Tag: moon

ESA, China Open Moon & Mars Exploration to Private Sector

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ESA and the Chinese space agency have made separate announcements opening their deep space exploration programs to private sector participation.

ESA issued a Call for Ideas for exploring the moon and Mars on its website.

Private-sector partners are welcome to join ESA in its space exploration strategy. Join us to explore beyond Earth’s horizon by sharing knowledge, capabilities, risks and benefits.

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Rover Searches California Desert for Water to Lunar Simulation

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Video Caption: Water is critical for human existence, whether on our planet or distant destinations. In support of future space exploration, researchers from NASA’s Ames Research Center are searching for water closer to home — in the desert near the Mojave National Preserve in Southern California.

The Mojave Volatiles Prospector, or MVP project, is a test bed for scientists from Ames to develop the technologies and procedures that will be needed to search for water ice and other volatiles that might be hidden under the surface of the Moon, Mars or another planetary body.

For more information about NASA Ames, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/ames

China to Launch Second Space Station Next Year; Moon Plans Remain Uncertain

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Model of the Tiangong-2 space station

Model of the Tiangong-2 space station

China plans to launch a larger space station next year that will have the capability of being resupplied by robotic cargo ships.

The Tianzhou-1, which literally means “heavenly vessel”, will carry propellants, living necessities for astronauts, research facilities and repair equipment to China’s second orbiting space lab Tiangong-2, said Zhou Jianping, chief engineer of China’s manned space program.

Cargo transportation system is a key technology China must master and make breakthroughs to build its own space station, said Zhou who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body….

According to Zhou, Tianzhou-1 will be blasted off on top of a next-generation Long March-7 rocket, possibly from a new launch site in the southern Hainan Province.

Research on the Long March-5 carrier rocket – to be used to lift the Tiangong-2 lab into space – Tiangong-2’s payload, and selection of astronauts for the mission are currently “progressing in an orderly manner,” Zhou said.

Tiangong-2 will be larger than its predecessor and will resemble the Salyut space station first flown by the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. It will have docking ports on both ends.

Meanwhile, Zhou says that while China has no plans to send astronauts to the moon for the time being.

“With China’s current technologies of manned space flight and moon probe, we have the technology basis to realize the manned lunar mission,” said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s manned space program.

Zhou…said that challenges and a lot of preparation precede the realization of the manned lunar mission.

For example, it requires the research and development of a bigger carrier rocket and the bigger and more sophisticated manned spacecraft, he added.

 

Hawaiian High School Students to Design Experiments for Moon Flight

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`Iolani School’s Moon RIDERS team. (Credit: PISCES)

`Iolani School’s Moon RIDERS team. (Credit: PISCES)

HILO, Hawaii (PISCES PR) – The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) is pleased to announce the two Hawaii high schools chosen for the Moon RIDERS student lunar flight experiment!

Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island, and `Iolani School in Honolulu on Oahu, have been selected to participate in the unprecedented student project to develop, build, test, and fly a real-life lunar experiment to the surface of the Moon!

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GLXP Update: Astrobotic, HAKUTO Announce Rideshare Plans to the Moon

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Moonraker and Tetris exploring a cliff together (Credit: HAKUTO)

Moonraker and Tetris exploring a cliff together (Credit: HAKUTO)

TOKYO, Japan (February 23, 2015) – HAKUTO, the only Japanese team competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, has announced a contract with fellow competitor, Astrobotic, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., to carry a pair of rovers to the moon. Astrobotic plans to launch its Google Lunar XPRIZE mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., during the second half of 2016. HAKUTO’s twin rovers, Moonraker and Tetris, will piggyback on Astrobotic’s Griffin lander to reach the lunar surface. Upon touchdown, the rovers will be released simultaneously with Astrobotic’s Andy rover, developed by Carnegie Mellon University, travel 500 meters on the moon’s surface and send high-definition images and video back to Earth, all in pursuit of the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE Grand Prize.

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FAA Moves to Establish Framework for Commercial Lunar Operations

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Artist's conception of a Bigelow lunar habitat. (Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

Artist’s conception of a Bigelow lunar habitat. (Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

A recent government review of Bigelow Aerospace’s ambitious plans for settlements on the moon did not result in an endorsement of private property rights and ownership on the Moon.

“I want to make clear that the FAA today has responsibility to license launches and reentry and nothing in between,” said George Nield, who is associate administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA (FAA AST).

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Astrobotic Video Promotes Fast Delivery to the Moon

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Moon Express Continues Lander Flight Tests at NASA Kennedy

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Moon Express' MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

Moon Express’ MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Feb. 6, 2015 (MoonEx PR) – Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) has announced that it will continue flight tests at Kennedy Space Center using the newest version of its lunar lander test vehicle later this month.

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GLXP Update: Team Synergy Moon Announces T & L Publications as DIY/STEAM Outreach Sponsor

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nuts_and_volts_logoSan Francisco (Team Synergy Moon PR) – Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Synergy Moon announces T & L Publications as our DIY/STEAM Outreach Sponsor.

T & L Publications is an American consumer-magazine publisher serving Hobbyist Electronics, Robotics, and Science & Technology enthusiasts. Their focus and readership is a perfect match for Synergy Moon’s Do-It-Yourself methodologies focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) through the lens of civilian space exploration. T & L Publications produces and operates Nuts & Volts and SERVO magazines.

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Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

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Moon Express' MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

Moon Express’ MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) – During November and December 2014, Moon Express successfully conducted its lander test vehicle hot fires and initial flight tests at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, with the support of NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative.

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