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

Friday, April 14, 2006

Google Alert for: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - But what was the trigger?

I have asked that Google send me alerts when there are news releases that talk about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and today seven alerts, but what triggered them was not talk about the LRO but the recent addition of a hitch hiker craft that is going to monitor the impact of the Earth Departure Upper Stage as it smashes into the Moon.

Take a look at where the reports came from and if you care, check out the way they are reported. Seems that crashes make the news.

Remember, the LRO is going to orbit the Moon and provide us with much needed information about the Moon to find the best places for setting down our next human explorers.

I wonder if this isn't being upstaged by another attempt to melt some suspected ice. If no water vapor what then, will we then stop our plans to go to the Moon or we realize we can get oxygen out of rocks most anywhere?

Maybe we should be extracting water out of our rocks just to show it can be done.

Volcanic Glass - The optimum feedstock for a lunar oxygen production process may be volcanic glass. At least 25 distinct glass compositions have been identified in the Apollo sample collection. The iron-rich species promise particularly high oxygen yields. The deposit sampled by the Apollo 17 astronauts (sample 74220) is uniformly fine-grained and friable, offering a feedstock which reacts rapidly and can be used with little or no processing prior to oxygen extraction. Complete reduction of the total FeO content of this iron-rich glass is equivalent to an oxygen yield of 5 wt%. Over 80% of this yield was achieved after 3 hours at a temperature of 1050°C (Figure 1).

The production of oxygen from lunar materials is now a reality. Oxygen release by means of hydrogen reduction has been demonstrated in the laboratory with samples of lunar basalt, soil, and volcanic glass. Yields from soils are predictable, based solely on each sample's iron abundance.

The reactions are rapid, with most of the release occurring in a few tens of minutes. All of the major iron-bearing phases in lunar soil release oxygen, though with differing degrees of efficiency. These data can support the design of an oxygen production plant at a future lunar base.

For more details see:

Allen, C. C., R. V. Morris, and D. S. McKay 1996. Oxygen Extraction from Lunar Soils and Pyroclastic Glass. J. Geophys. Res. 101. 26,085-26,095.

Here on Earth we are concerned about using resources that are not renewable.
Finding new sources of coal, oil, and gas depend on knowing geology and the lay of the land. Mapping the resources on the Moon will also be needed, and not just at the polar regions.

We will need metals as well and so setting up our base camps will need to be positioned based on an in depth knowledge of what is available.

Graphic Version of Above - LRK -

Hope we don't just focus on the poles but look at the Moon as a whole.

Comes back to knowing what you want to do on the Moon for more than a weekend.

Thanks for looking up.

Larry Kellogg

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Google Alert for: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

The impact will stir up lunar dust needed to search for signs of ...
Houston Chronicle - United States
... The crash vehicle, called an impactor, and observational instruments will be added to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Already ...

NASA to launch moon-impact probe
Xinhua - China
... The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in the Kennedy Space Center, together with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on top a rocket. ...

NASA to blast moon for water
Rediff - India
... Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite -- will hitch a ride to the moon onboard the same rocket as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite due for ...

NASA plans to slam craft into moon
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
... since NASA's Lunar Prospector in 1999 -- will be part of a previously announced mission in which a larger craft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, will fly ...

NASA plots a bingle on the moon,5478,18787747%255E663,00.html
Melbourne Herald Sun - Australia
... million. The mission will be launched in October 2008, with a rocket that carries the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and impactor. The ...

Spacecraft will drill into moon
Florida Today - Melbourne,FL,USA
... NASA aims to launch its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter aboard either a Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 or a Boeing Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. ...

NASA Chooses New Spacecraft To Search For Water On Moon
All Headline News - USA
... AHN)—NASA announces it will send a second spacecraft to search for water ice on the moon with the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scheduled for ...

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.




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