Phases of the Moon
Archive for the ‘Moon’
NASA’s Ares 1 spacecraft is seen launching from Cape Canaveral carrying the Orion spacecraft. The Lunar Access Module (LSAM), launched separately, will join with the Orion Command Module (CM) in order to deliver 4 astronauts to a Low Lunar Orbit (LLO). Once in LLO the CM and LSAM separate and the LSAM lands 4 astronauts on the surface of the moon. After ~1 week, the ascent stage of the LSAM returns the astronauts to the CM in LLO for a return back to Earth. The CM will re-enter like an Apollo or Soyuz capsule with an ablative heat shield.
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. Teams must be at least 90% privately funded and must be registered to compete by December 31, 2010. The first team to land on the Moon and complete the mission objectives will be awarded $20 million; the full first prize is available until December 31, 2012. After that date, the first prize will drop to $15 million. The second team to do so will be awarded $5 million. Another $5 million will awarded in bonus prizes. The final deadline for winning the prize is December 31, 2014.
Google Lunar X PRIZE teams come from all walks of life with varied sets of experiences and ideas. Each has a unique plan for getting to the lunar surface. Get to know all of our competitors by following their blogs, watching the latest videos, or participating on their forums, and cheer them on to the Moon!
Source: The Space Review
The 2nd Space Exploration Conference held December 2006 in Houston outlined several reasons for a human return to the Moon. Remarkably, some complain that the reason for going to the Moon is still unclear. Possibly the sheer scope of the envisioned surface activities diffuses its impact. Almost 200 activities were described for the Moon, grouped under six major “themes” (as the agency calls them), including settlement, global cooperation, science, and preparation for Mars. This diffusion is both deliberate and unavoidable. (more…)