Tag: moon

House Members Want NASA to Develop Human Space Exploration Roadmap

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Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Science Committee PR) – On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing titled,Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA’s Human Exploration Proposals.” Witnesses shared their viewpoints on NASA’s human space exploration plans – including a human mission to Mars – and the challenge of keeping programs on track through changing presidential administrations.

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Lunar Flashlight CubeSat to Map Moon’s South Pole

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The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, will examine the moon’s surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (Credit: NASA)

The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, will examine the moon’s surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division recently selected the Lunar Flashlight CubeSat as a secondary payload to fly aboard the Space Launch System’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) flight. Lunar Flashlight, led by a team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center, will map the lunar south pole for volatiles and demonstrate several technological firsts, including being the first CubeSat to reach the moon, the first planetary CubeSat mission to use green propulsion, and the first mission to use lasers to look for water ice.

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Video: ESA Looks Ahead to Lunar Exploration

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Video Caption: This 8-minute film gives an overview of the past, present, and future of Moon exploration, from the Lunar cataclysm to ESA’s vision of what Lunar exploration could be.

NASA Year in Review

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2015, NASA explored the expanse of our solar system and beyond, and the complex processes of our home planet, while also advancing the technologies for our journey to Mars, and new aviation systems as the agency reached new milestones aboard the International Space Station.

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International Institute of Space Law Weighs in on Space Mining Law

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IISL_logoINTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SPACE LAW

Position Paper on Space Resource Mining
Adopted by consensus by the Board of Directors on 20 December 2015

I. The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

On 25 November 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262).1 It consists of four Titles: I. Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship; II. Commercial Remote Sensing; III. Office of Space Commerce; and IV. Space Resource Exploration and Utilization.

Title IV, which is of interest here, addresses in a preliminary way space resource exploitation.

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NASA Releases Stunning New High-Definition Image of Earth

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Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) recently captured a unique view of Earth from the spacecraft’s vantage point in orbit around the moon.

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X Prize Verifies Moon Express Launch Contract

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GoogleLunarXPRIZE_LogoLOS ANGELES (December 8, 2015) – Moon Express, Inc. has received official verification today of their launch contract from XPRIZE as part of the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition for privately funded teams to land an unmanned spacecraft on the surface of the moon by December 31, 2017. Moon Express will use a Rocket Lab Electron rocket combined with the company’s  “MX-1E” micro-lander as part of a 2017 mission.

“We are extremely proud to officially confirm receipt and verification of Moon Express’s launch contract,” said Bob Weiss, vice chairman and president of XPRIZE. “Having multiple teams attempting actual missions to the moon is a hallmark of a genuine competition. Verified launch contracts are the ‘bona fides’ that teams need to demonstrate that they are in it to win it. Moon Express’ accomplishment has brought XPRIZE closer to the moon.”

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Moon Express Praises Signing of Commercial Space Act

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moon_wires
WASHINGTON, DC, November 25th, 2015 (Moon Express PR) – Today, history was made when President Obama signed legislation into law recognizing and promoting the rights of Moon Express to explore, harvest and own resources from the Moon. This historic law was passed as Title IV of the “U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act”, making the United States the first nation to explicitly recognize private sector mining rights for water and minerals obtained from the Moon.

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Astrobotic, DLR Sign MOU on Lunar Payloads

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astrobotic
PITTSBURGH, PA – The German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and Astrobotic Technology have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on exploring concepts for a possible DLR payload to the Moon on Astrobotic’s robotic lunar lander. This collaboration stands to provide DLR with lunar surface access via Astrobotic’s delivery service, in support of DLR’s ongoing work in lunar science and exploration. This agreement marks the third space agency to partner with Astrobotic toward a shared vision of returning to the Moon with commercial robotic missions.

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Team Synergy Moon Announces Launch Schedule

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VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)

VIRUS-1 thruster test (Credit: Team Synergy Moon)

SAN FRANCISCO (Team Synergy Moon PR) — Team Synergy Moon, with team partner Interorbital Systems announced their 2016/2017 launch plans at this year’s Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams Summit Conference, held last month at Google and YouTube HQ in Tokyo, Japan.  Unlike the other 15 GLXP Teams, Synergy Moon is developing their own Launch Vehicle with team partner Interorbital Systems, led by team members Rod and Randa Milliron, and will not be seeking a launch contract with any other commercial launch provider.

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Moon Express Praises Senate Vote on Space Mining

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me-word-logo2WASHINGTON, DC, November 11th, 2015 (Moon Express PR) – Last night, the Senate passed landmark legislation on a unified vision for the growth of the commercial space industry. Title IV of the “U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended)”, provides the first ever codification of rights under United States law for the extraction and utilization of space resources obtained from a celestial body.

Moon Express, Bigelow Aerospace, and many other companies are applauding the Senate for supporting the creation of a stable and predictable environment for private sector development while encouraging investments into the bold new field of outer space resource exploration and utilization. This legislation protects and supports U.S. interests as private sector companies expand the economic sphere of Earth to the Moon and beyond.

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GLXP Update: A Video Look at SpaceIL’s New Spacecraft Design

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Video Caption: After SpaceIL engineers finished redesigning a new and improved spacecraft model to meet the launch requirements, the team realized they need it to look inspiring from the outside, too. So they got some guidance from Israeli Industrial Designer, Alex Padwa.

Team AngelicvM Will Fly with Astrobotic on First Lunar Mission

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Griffin Lander. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

Griffin Lander. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

TOKYO (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic Technology, Inc. announced today that it will carry a rover for Team AngelicvM, the Google Lunar XPRIZE team from Chile, to the surface of the Moon on Astrobotic’s first lunar mission. Team AngelicvM joins Team HAKUTO, the Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE team, which announced a partnership with Astrobotic earlier this year.

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Moonspike Aims for the Moon

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A Kickstarter to build a moon rocket and launch a payload to the lunar surface.

Update on Astrobotic — a GLXP Team Not Backed By a Billionaire

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Griffin Lander. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

Griffin Lander. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an update on Astrobotic, a leading Google Lunar X Prize team widely viewed as having a good chance of winning the $30 million competition if it can afford to launch its lander and rover to the moon.

Astrobotic President John Thornton told the newspaper that the announcements by rival teams Moon Express and SpaceIL that they had secured launch contracts will help Astrobotic’s own efforts.

“I think there are some things that will come out of [these announcements] that will help us in this,” Mr. Thornton said Thursday, the day after SpaceIL, a team from Israel, announced it had a launch contract in hand. “It could trigger a cascade of things that we’ve been setting up that were on a certain schedule, but now this could move things along.”

While SpaceIL got several wealthy financial backers — including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — to back its efforts, Astrobotic and CMU’s method of getting to the moon involved three steps: Build an unmanned rover (CMU’s task); build a lunar lander (Astrobotic’s task); and then lease a rocket ship and rent out payload on it to pay for it (also Astrobotic’s task).

Turns out, finding enough customers in the fledgling space delivery business is tough. But Astrobotic has made significant progress, including announcing Sept. 29 that it had secured its eighth customer, a crowd-sourced company called Lunar Mission One that wants to take digital documents from people to the moon.

That eighth customer means Astrobotic is “very close” to filling up its payload and having enough money to pay for a rocket to lease, Mr. Thornton said.

Read the full story.