Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

NASA Picks Science Team for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission
By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 23 December 2004
08:57 am ET

BOULDER, Colo. -- NASA announced Wednesday the suite of U.S. science investigators for its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) project, as well as a Russian scientist.

The U.S. Moon probe is the first spacecraft to be built as part of the Vision for Space Exploration, put into motion earlier this year by U.S. President George W. Bush. LRO is slated for a liftoff in the fall of 2008, under the auspices of NASA’s Robotic Lunar Exploration Program.

The LRO underpins NASA’s interest in replanting human footprints on the Moon. President Bush has called for the space agency to conduct the first extended human expedition to the lunar surface as early as 2015, but no later than the year 2020.

Not only will LRO characterize future robotic and human landing spots, the spacecraft will be equipped to inventory possible resources for human crews to “live off the land” -- in this case what’s available on the crater-pocked Moon. Another key duty of the LRO is to characterize the lunar radiation environment and its impact on humans.


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