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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It looks like this meeting was fruitful.
An India paper headline says 'Treaty' signed. I think a bit strong.
Quotes the San Jose Mercury News which says a deal was signed.
The NASA Release 08-190 says representatives from space agencies considering participation in
the International Lunar Network (ILN)agreed on a statement of intent as a first step in planning.

We would like to see eight landers and only have money for four, so others are welcome.
Since eight nations were represented, hopefully they will convince their powers to be that this is a good idea.


RELEASE: 08-192


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA's Lunar Science Institute at Moffett
Field, Calif., has announced its first international affiliate
partner for conducting lunar science activities. Canada's University
of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, will represent the Canadian
lunar science community as part of the newly established Canadian
Network for Lunar Science and Exploration.
--------------------------- Read more.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
July 29, 2008

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington

Michael Mewhinney
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

RELEASE: 08-190


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA hosted a meeting of space agencies from
nine countries last week to discuss the next steps in the ongoing
scientific exploration of the moon. The meeting laid the groundwork
for a new generation of lunar science.

Discussions, led by NASA Headquarters officials, were held at NASA's
Lunar Science Institute, located at the Ames Research Center at
Moffett Field, Calif. Representatives from space agencies in Canada,
France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the
United Kingdom, and the United States attended the meeting. During
the meeting, attendees discussed cooperation on an international
activity called the International Lunar Network (ILN). The network is
designed to gradually place 6-8 fixed or mobile science stations on
the lunar surface. The stations will form a second-generation robotic
science network to replace hardware left by the Apollo Program to
study the moon's surface and interior.

NASA plans to place its first two ILN landers on the surface of the
moon in 2013-14. The landers are being developed under the Lunar
Precursor Robotic Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Huntsville, Ala.

The ILN is supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the
agency's headquarters in Washington. It was created in response to a
2007 report released by the National Research Council, which affirmed
that the moon offers "profound scientific value" and "lunar
activities apply to broad scientific and exploration concerns."

Representatives from space agencies considering participation in the
ILN agreed on a statement of intent as a first step in planning. The
statement marked an expression of interest by the agencies to study
options for participating in a series of international lunar
missions. The goal is to form a network of missions that will benefit
scientists worldwide.

"We are tremendously excited by the enthusiasm shown for the ILN and
lunar science more broadly," said Jim Green, director of the
Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. "This international
activity will greatly extend scientific knowledge of the moon in a
number of important areas."

The statement of intent does not completely define the ILN concept.
The document leaves open the possibility for near and long-term
evolution and implementation. Initially, participants intend to
establish potential landing sites, interoperable spectrum and
communications standards, and a set of scientifically equivalent core
instrumentation to carry out specific measurements.

"We are in a new era of lunar exploration," said Jim Adams, deputy
director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters.
"Scientific coordination of the international armada of missions
being sent to the moon in the next decade will greatly leverage our
scientific capabilities, and perhaps even more importantly, develop
the next generation of lunar scientists."

International participation in specific ILN activities will be
established by appropriate international agreements. Additional
participants may join in the future when they are programmatically
and financially ready. Participation in the ILN could include the
contribution of landers, orbiters, instrumentation, or other
significant infrastructure, such as ground segment elements or power
supplies for surviving the lunar night.

For more information on NASA lunar activities, visit:


U.S. signs deal with eight other nations in new effort to explore moon
By Mike Swift
Mercury News
Article Launched: 07/25/2008 09:28:56 PM PDT

In hopes of discovering clues to the origin of life on Earth, the United States and eight other nations signed a landmark agreement at NASA's Ames Research Center this week that scientists hope will lay the groundwork for a new generation of lunar exploration and science.

Unlike the all-American Apollo program, the new agreement sees a multinational fleet of robot spacecraft returning to the moon in coming years, with the maturing space programs of countries like India, Germany and South Korea playing key roles in an effort that ultimately would lead to the return of astronauts.

"It's sort of like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, like at the end of 'Casablanca,' " James Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, said at Moffett Field this week.

"Many of these countries are quite interested in the manned program. They want to provide astronauts to be the first Canadian or the first Italian or the first French man or French woman on the moon."

NASA and the eight other countries - Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Britain and France - plan to formally announce the agreement Tuesday. The multinational agreement capped a momentous week at Ames, including the largest NASA science conference purely devoted to the moon since the 1970s.

A multinational moon effort would allow NASA to share costs. The United States budgeted money for four landers, but scientists want up to eight spacecraft on the surface. Representative of the space and science agencies of the nine countries spent Thursday at Moffett Field working on a plan to launch lunar landers and orbiters, establishing a network to monitor the moon's seismic activity that would stretch from the poles to the far side.

India inks treaty with US to explore the moon

July 27, 2008 10:01 IST

India, along with seven other countries, has signed a landmark agreement with the United States to carry out lunar exploration.

The agreement was signed at American space agency NASA's Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley this week and it would be formally announced on Tuesday.




NASA New Interactive Image Collections

Dan sent me a note about NASA's new look for their image archive (see note below) and I thought I would pass some of the info.
- LRK -

NASA Launches New Interactive Image Collections
POSTED July 28, 10:58 AM

Do you love photos of space, rockets, astronauts, launches, all the hardware, and the galaxy? Then take a look at NASA's newest venture: nasaimages. org It's newly-opened, and I've added it to my Super 7 links on the left.

In 2007, NASA entered into a Space Act agreement with the Internet Archive to create this incredible image library. The project, which is not funded by tax dollars, is right now supported by a grant from the Kahle-Austin Foundation.

When you land on the home page, you'll find the black void of space, looking back at Earth. Superimposed are four interactive photos representing the major categories: Universe, Solar System, Earth, and Astronauts.

At the bottom of the page is a an easy, interactive banner with multple pop-up min-screens. You can browse backwards through the history of the space program, or take a tour of the Solar System. The site is easy to navigate.


Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:


You'll find this interesting:

This is written by a friend of mine, an ex-PIO (Public Information Officer) who worked at NASA. After you read about NASA's Image Collections, scroll to the bottom ("Welcome To Space News at The Examiner") and click on "Read More". Amazing stuff!

I was searching through the NASA Image Collections web site over the weekend and it's nothing short of amazing. Enjoy!


NASA Images

Spaceflight Timeline.

A service of the Internet Archive.

NASA Launches New Interactive Image Collections

POSTED July 28, 10:58 AM Do you love photos of space, rockets, astronauts, launches, all the hardware, and the galaxy? Then take a look at NASA's newest venture: nasaimages. org It's newly-opened, and I've added it to my Super 7 links on the left....



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Plasma Bullets Trigger Northern Lights

When you stand under a curtain of the Northern Lights having just come out of the movie, The Thing, while on temporary duty in Keflavik Island, it can make for some strange feelings that make the hair on the back of your neck rise.
- LRK -

NASA Science News for July 24, 2008

Researchers have discovered what causes brilliant outbursts of Northern Lights: Gigantic plasma bullets launched toward Earth by explosions 1/3rd of the way to the Moon.


Check out our RSS feed at!


Now if the high speed protons are aiming at Earth and the high speed electrons are heading out to space, and it was a Full Moon, and this happens, shouldn't I be able to pick up this energy on the Moon with a grid of antennas and do some energy storage, hmmm, hmmm. I wonder what other phenomena we will observe while looking Earthward from the Moon?
- LRK -

Just thinking out loud, but might there be some sort of energy signature generated by a metal asteroid hurling towards us in the path of our Sun's solar wind? Wouldn't it be nice to have more ways to detect those asteroids sneaking up on us in the glare of the Sun? And if you were on the Moon, could you add another data point and get some triangulation going. And while we are on a role, put some satellites at Sun - Earth L4 and L5 and map what is heading towards Earth. Just thinking out loud. Hmmm.
- LRK -

Some of you do have kids going through college that will help make it happen, yes? Nod your head yes. :-)
And if they are afraid of heights, well then they can help develop habitats in our oceans or practice going to the Moon while under the sea.
- LRK -

A bit off topic but just got back from spending a week with my mom and celebrating her 98th birthday. She is a little ticked off that she has to use a walker and the lady that road down the elevator with us is 101 and goes jogging. Mom says she is slowing down. I hope I was passed some of those genes and I am just slowing down at 98. Will need all the time I can get to see some of the use of space develop as I will be 71 at the end of the year.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Plasma Bullets Spark Northern Lights

July 24, 2008: Duck! Plasma bullets are zinging past Earth.

That's the conclusion of researchers studying data from NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft. The gigantic bullets, they say, are launched by explosions 1/3rd of the way to the Moon and when they hit Earth—wow. The impacts spark colorful outbursts of Northern Lights called "substorms."

"We have discovered what makes the Northern Lights dance," declares UCLA physicist Vassilis Angelopoulos, principal investigator of the THEMIS mission. The findings appear online in the July 24 issue of Science Express and in print August 14 in the journal Science.

The THEMIS fleet was launched in February 2007 to unravel the mystery of substorms, which have long puzzled observers with their unpredictable eruptions of light and color. The spacecraft wouldn't merely observe substorms from afar; they would actually plunge into the tempest using onboard sensors to measure particles and fields. Mission scientists hoped this in situ approach would allow them to figure out what caused substorms--and they were right.

The discovery came on what began as a quiet day, Feb 26, 2008. Arctic skies were dark and Earth's magnetic field was still. High above the planet, the five THEMIS satellites had just arranged themselves in a line down the middle of Earth's magnetotail—a million kilometer long tail of magnetism pulled into space by the action of the solar wind.

That's when the explosion occurred.


NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics, namely to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions of the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth's magnetosphere.

THEMIS is a 2-year mission consisting of 5 identical probes that will study the violent colorful eruptions of Auroras.




Tuesday, July 08, 2008

NASA Missions - Past - Current - Future

Sometimes we comment that NASA is not going and doing everything we would like.
You know, go to the Moon, go to Mars, and why not the Stars.


Still, there are a number of things going on now and more planned for
the future.
I copied the list of Current Missions below and I think you will see
that quite a bit is going on.
Still, you say, not enough.
Looks like one needs to speak to their representatives in Congress if
you are in the USA.
With all the talk of a down turn in the economy sometimes missions get canceled.
Let us hope folks can see the benefit and provide the funds to carry on.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

Continue viewing what NASA is doing.
- LRK -

NASA Missions Index page where you might check on Past, Present, and
Future missions.
- LRK -


Just because I am lax in probing the World of the Internet doesn't
mean there aren't things going on.
Do check out the NASA Current Missions page to see that much indeed is
- LRK -

Missions - Current

Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE)
Major mission of the Explorer program.

Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM)
AIM's two-year mission is to study Polar Mesospheric Clouds, the
Earth's highest clouds, which form an icy membrane 50 miles above the
surface at the edge of space.

Aqua, Latin for water, is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named
for the large amount of information that the mission will be
collecting about the Earth's water cycle.

Arctic sea ice
Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft
and Satellites

The Suzaku mission is a joint effort of JAXA and NASA designed to
discover more about the x-ray universe.

Aura Mission
A mission dedicated to the health of Earth's atmosphere.

Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO)
CALIPSO will provide the next generation of climate observations,
drastically improving our ability to predict climate change and to
study the air we breathe.

Cassini-Huygens Mission
Unlocking the secrets of Saturn.

Chandra X-ray Observatory
NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory probes the mysteries of space with
unprecedented x-ray images that help to unravel the structure and
evolution of the universe.

CloudSat's cloud-profiling radar is 1,000 times more sensitive than
typical weather radar and can detect clouds and distinguish between
cloud particles and precipitation.

Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS)
CHIPS uses an extreme ultraviolet spectrograph to study the "Local
Bubble" surrounding our Solar System.

Constellation: NASA's Future
A new generation of spacecraft will carry humans to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Cluster ESA/NASA Mission
The four Cluster spacecraft carry out 3D measurements in the Earth's

Dawn launched in September, becoming the first spacecraft ever planned
to orbit two different bodies after leaving Earth. The spacecraft will
orbit Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids in the solar

Deep Impact
Exploring Comet Tempel 1 to determine the origins of life in our Solar System.

Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (EP-TOMS)
Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (EP-TOMS), along with the
Ozone Monitoring Instrument onboard AURA, are currently the only NASA
spacecraft on orbit specializing in ozone retrieval.

Earth Observing Mission, EO-1
Earth Observing-1 →As the first New Millennium Program Earth
Observing Mission, EO-1 has validated advanced land imaging and unique
spacecraft technologies.

EPOXI is a low-cost mission that will expand our knowledge of both
cometary bodies and extrasolar planetary systems.

Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)
Mapping the history of star formation in the universe.
› Galaxy Evolution Explorer

The Gamma-ray Large Space Telescope
GLAST Launches on Gamma Ray Mission
The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope will answer questions about
supermassive black hole systems, pulsars and the origin of cosmic

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)
GOES-N is the latest in a series of satellites that provide a constant
vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions
such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Geotail Mission
A mission to study the tail of Earth's magnetosphere.

Gravity Probe B
This mission is the relativity gyroscope experiment developed by NASA
and Stanford University to test two unverified predictions of Albert
Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
The twin satellites are making detailed measurements of Earth's
gravity field to learn more about gravity and Earth's natural systems.

Hayabusa (MUSES-C)
Hayabusa (MUSES-C) is Japan's asteroid sample return mission.

High Energy Transient Explorer-2 (HETE-2) Mission
HETE-2 is a small scientific satellite designed to detect and localize
gamma-ray bursts.

Hinode (Solar B)
A collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the United
States, United Kingdom and Europe, Hinode's mission is to investigate
the interaction between the sun's magnetic field and its corona.

Hubble Space Telescope
Learn how Hubble has expanded our knowledge of the cosmos.
> Hubble Section
> Servicing Mission 4

Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICEsat) Mission
The ICESat mission will provide multi-year elevation data regarding
ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information,
especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas.

International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL)
INTEGRAL is the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched.

International Space Station
Aboard the International Space Station, astronauts work to improve
life on Earth and extend life beyond our home planet.

Jason-1 is the first follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/Poseidon
mission that measured ocean surface topography.

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions
jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Mars Express
Mission to search for subsurface water from orbit.

Mars Exploration Rovers
Rovers Spirit and Opportunity explore the Martian landscape.

Mars Odyssey
This orbiter is mapping the mineralogy and morphology of the Martian surface.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
The mission will determine whether long-standing bodies of water ever
existed on Mars.

Mercury, Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging
MESSENGER will study Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.

New Horizons
New Horizons began its journey across the solar system to conduct
flyby studies of Pluto and its moon.

NOAA Environmental Satellites
NOAA-N is the latest in a series of polar-orbiting satellites, that
will collect information to improve weather prediction and climate
research across the globe.

Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2
The joint NASA-French satellite will help scientists better monitor
and understand rises in global sea level, study the world's ocean
circulation and its links to Earth's climate.

Phoenix Mars Lander
Phoenix on Mars
The lander scoops up soil to search for possible conditions for life
in the Martian arctic.

A journey through our solar system and beyond.

Pioneer Venus
The mission's objective was to investigate the Venus's solar wind, map
the planet's surface and study the upper atmosphere.

Polar Mission
The Polar Mission is to obtain data from both high- and low-altitude
perspectives of the polar region of geospace.

Polar Operational Environmental Satellite
POES is a cooperative effort between NASA and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United Kingdom and France.

The Quick Scatterometer, or QuikScat, replaces the NASA Scatterometer
(NSCAT) instrument on Japan's Midori satellite.

Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI)
RHESSI's primary mission is to explore the basic physics of particle
acceleration and explosive energy release in solar flares.

Rosetta will orbit comet 67P and accompany it on its journey to the Sun.

Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) Mission
RXTE is a satellite that observes the fast-moving, high-energy worlds
of black holes, neutron stars, X-ray pulsars and bursts of X-rays that
light up the sky and then disappear forever.

SMART 1's two part mission will test new technologies and explore
darker regions of the Moon's south pole for the first time.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy--or SOFIA--is an
airborne observatory that will complement the Hubble, Spitzer,
Herschel and James Webb space telescopes, as well as major Earth-based

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
SOHO, designed to study the sun, from its deep core to its outer
corona, is a cooperative program between ESA and NASA.

Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE)
A NASA-sponsored satellite mission that will provide state-of-the-art
measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared,
and total solar radiation.

Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO)
STEREO continues its mission to capture 3D images of the sun.

Small Satellite Missions
Small satellite missions provide NASA with valuable opportunities to
test emerging technologies and economical commercial off-the-shelf
components, which may be useful in future space missions.

Space Shuttle
The space shuttle is the most complex machine ever built and its
capacity is instrumental in building the International Space Station.

Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, studying the universe in infared.

Stardust returns samples from Comet Wild 2 to Earth.

Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS)
A mission that was designed to study the chemical composition of
interstellar gas clouds.

The Swift mission seeks to tell us more about gamma-ray bursts, the
most powerful explosions in the universe.

TacSat-2 features 11 onboard experiments, which will be conducted
during the spacecraft's planned six to 12-month mission.

Terra is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary partnership between the
U.S., Canada and Japan that is an important part of helping us better
understand and protect our home planet.

The 2-year mission of Time History of Events and Macroscale
Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) is to track these violent,
colorful eruptions near the North Pole.

Thermospere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Mission (TIMED)
The TIMED mission is studying the influences of the Sun and humans on
the least explored region of Earth's atmosphere.

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)
This system of satellites and ground stations makes up a portion of
the Space Network and provides mission services for near Earth
satellites and orbiting vehicles.

Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) Mission
TRACE enables solar physicists to study the connections between
fine-scale magnetic fields and the associated plasma structures on the

Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4)
The TC4 study will tackle challenging questions about Earth's ozone
layer and climate using coordinated observations from satellites and
high-flying NASA airplanes.

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall.

Voyager - The Interstellar Mission
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 journey to study the region in space where the
Sun's influence ends and the dark recesses of interstellar space

Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)
A mission to take the first full sky picture of the early Universe.

Wind Mission
A mission to investigate the solar wind and its impact on the
near-Earth environment.

The Mirror Modules on this x-ray observatory allow XMM-Newton to
detect millions of sources, far more than any previous X-ray mission.

When you have the time and can't think of what to do - check out what
is going on related to space.
- LRK -

JPL Space Calendar
# Jul 08 - Asteroid 19685 (1999 RB197) Occults HIP 80672 (5.8 Magnitude Star)
# Jul 08 - Asteroid 2906 Caltech Closest Approach To Earth (2.150 AU);sstr=2906
# Jul 08-10 - Eufoam Conference, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
# Jul 08-11 - Workshop: Radio Galaxies in the Chandra Era, Cambridge,
# Jul 08-11 - Polar Research Conference: Arctic and Antarctic
Perspectives in the International Polar Year, St. Petersburg, Russia



Moon and Mars - Videos