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

Monday, January 02, 2006

January 2, 2006

Good day,

I have a Google Alert for "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter" just to see what
pops up.
(you can too - )

Sometimes it picks items for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter but today there is
an article from The Huntsville Times with some ideas from Marshall Space
Flight Center about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter so I have copied

Google Alert for: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Marshall hopes lunar lander makes return trips
Huntsville Times - Huntsville,AL,USA
... This time, NASA wants to put as much as possible into basically two
probes: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Marshall's lunar lander. ...
This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

I am going to copy the end piece from Harrison H. Schmitt's "RETURN TO THE
MOON" as well.

Just consider this as one of those small Picture Frame nudges. :-)

My hope is that we will think through the whole mission concept. The reason
for going back to the Moon needs to be clear for more than just those at
NASA. It will need to be clear in the minds of the government and the
population as a whole.

We saw how quickly the novelty of the Apollo missions wore off and the news
quit following the missions. (well maybe not all of you - not everyone is
and ancient )

If going back to the Moon is just for the science obtainable by some
robotics then the first time the money is tight, the missions will be
terminated. If going back to the Moon is to see if we can leave the warmth
and protection of a magnetic shield and an atmosphere of warmth, then all of
those on Earth should be interested because it won't be cheap.

Will we be able to adjust to an alien environment and establish a new foot
hold in space? Is this what the missions will be about? Do we want to see
what needs to be considered to make it happen?

If we really want to learn how to live on the Moon and Mars, not just visit,
then more than just astronauts will want to be able to go to these places.

All of this is discussed in Jack Schmitt's book.

If you care to stay with me in this coming year we will go through some of
what he talks about.

I am hoping that you are looking at much of the same horizon I see. If your
view differs, well let me know. Just don't pull too hard on my Picture
Frame. :-)

Thanks for looking up with me.
Larry Kellogg
Web Site
Blog Spot
RSS link
News ltr
More about the Pioneer Anomaly. - LRK -
The Study of the Pioneer Anomaly: New Data and Objectives for New
Authors: Slava G. Turyshev, Viktor T. Toth, Larry R. Kellogg, Eunice. L.
Lau, Kyong J. Lee
Comments: 42 pages, 40 figures, 3 tables

Marshall hopes lunar lander makes return trips
Scientist says probe isn't seen as 'one-shot effort'
Monday, January 02, 2006

Times Aerospace Writer,

Before America sends astronauts back to the moon, NASA scientists want to
find minerals and water that could help sustain life on the lunar surface.

About 10 people at Marshall Space Flight Center and another 40 at NASA sites
around the country are developing what NASA engineers believe will be a
complex, unmanned lunar lander that will serve as a test run for a manned
lunar lander.

The probe isn't considered a "one-shot effort like the unmanned lunar
efforts in the past," said John Horack, the program manager.

When Apollo astronauts were headed to the moon in the 1960s, NASA launched
several probes to orbit and land on the moon. This time, NASA wants to put
as much as possible into basically two probes: the Lunar Reconnaissance
Orbiter and Marshall's lunar lander.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is slated to orbit the moon, possibly by
2008, and take detailed photographs of proposed landing sites.

Horack said NASA engineers at Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Center
outside Washington, D.C., are completing studies that will serve as
blueprints for the lunar lander probe and its mission.

"One of the interesting concepts we have been considering is whether this
should be a smaller version of the proposed lunar lander that will put
humans on the moon," he said. "Consideration has to be given that we are
taking up resources to place this on the moon, and it's not just one shot. A
crew could use it at some later date."

Horack said the lander would set down on the moon's south pole near a crater
where scientists believe ice may be.

"Obviously, water is important for human survival," Horack said. "But we are
looking for different types of lunar material and mineral also."

NASA planners hope the right combination of moon rocks can be used to
produce rocket fuel to help reduce the weight and cost of lunar missions.

Marshall was awarded management of the program in September. It is slated to
cost between $450 million and $750 million.

"It's still early in the program, and that's the reason for the price
range," Horack said. "That number will become definite later."

Horack said mission planners are grappling with what the lander will
accomplish and which tools will be used once it sets down on the moon.

One approach under consideration would be to use an instrument mounted on
"something like a jet pack," Horack said. "It ... would hop across the
moon's surface and take samples and measurements," but the
jet-pack-propelled instrument would be limited to about "12 hops and a
couple of hours of operation."

Also being considered is a rover similar to one NASA sent to Mars. The rover
has its own drawbacks because of power limitations and, Horack asked, "if it
gets down in a crater, will it be able to get back out again? The hopper
could possibly come back."

The mission studies should be completed next month, Horack said, and a
working probe configuration should be ready for review by summer.

"At first glance, the rover looks like a well-proven technology, but is it?"
Horack said. "Will it be useful for this application? Those are the type of
questions we have to answer throughout this program."

© 2006 The Huntsville Times
© 2006 All Rights Reserved.


In just a few decades or less. Harrison Schmitt tells us, humans should be
back in space in ways few of us have imagined:

* Within 10 years, we should already have permanent production lines for
Apollo-like heavy-lift boosters and fusion power systems, and facilities on
the Moon for lunar mining, processing, and settlement.

* We should, within 20 years, have a permanent settlement on the Moon with
commercial operations producing helium-3 fuel for a growing terrestrial
fusion electrical power industry.

* Within 25 years, we should be in our fifth year of manned exploration of
Mars, based on the availability of lunar boosters and other resources.

As an astrogeologist, businessman, and space advocate, and as a former NASA
astronaut and United States Senator, Harrison Schmitt is uniquely qualified
to think and talk about not just the science and technology of space, but
the issues of politics, management, investment, and human commitment it will
take to reconstitute the great enterprise that took us to the Moon more than
35 years ago.

What Schmitt encourages us to envision for the near future is a whole array
of reinvigorated space enterprises, involving both government agencies and
private companies -- dedicated to capital and human resources, and
determined to foster a culture that is not risk-averse. The goal, as he
sees it, is nothing less than a new and permanent era of human enterprise,
achievement, and settlement is space.


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