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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge
http://space.xprize.org/lunar-lander-challenge

Watching the future unfold in real time.
- LRK -

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://spacefellowship.com/2009/09/13/armadillo-aerospace-claim-level-2-ngllc-prize/
Armadillo Aerospace Claim Level 2 NGLLC Prize
Published By Rob GoldsmithOn: 13 September 2009 9:02 AM CEST

Armadillo Aerospace have officially completed the 2009 Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills,
Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and
spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such
as Twitter. The Space Fellowship earlier reporting that the team were
getting ready to fly.

Level 2 requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing
precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and
boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2
mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent
from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a
prize of $1 million while second is $500,000.

Earlier on in the day John Carmack (Team Leader) had made jokes about
the wet weather, saying “at least we don’t have to worry about
grassfires today” As the rain eased away a window was expected to
appear in which the team would attempt to win the prize. The team had
a pre-flight meeting and got ready, Peter Diamandis posting “Team
Armadillo on the move… rolling out to launchpad!“. The vehicle for
level 2 is called Scorpious or the Super MOD.

The team completed the first flight, John Carmack on the radio saying
“good nominal flight, one down, one to go“. The vehicle was refuelled
and flight preparations were again underway. At 6.22pm EDT there was a
problem with the igniter, however, eight minutes later it was reported
that the problem was a software glitch and that the second leg had
been flown successfully.

To complete the prize the team now needed to prep the vehicle and
return to the finish line, they did it. Soon afterwards judges
announced that Armadillo Aerospace had officially been confirmed as
completing both flights within the rules.
snip
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Has been interesting watching these rocket fly.
- LRK -

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://thelaunchpad.xprize.org/2009/10/masten-qualifies-for-150000-level-1.html
The Launch Pad

NGLLC 09: Masten Qualifies for $150,000 Level 1 Prize Purse
10/07/2009 12:51:00 PM
Masten Space Systems successfully flew their Xombie vehicle today,
completing two flights and meeting the Level 1 requirements of the
Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

Masten had a previous attempt on September 16, 2009, but did not
complete the second flight due to engine damage. Masten went back to
their workshop and solved the engine problem, tested it over the last
several weeks and today flew an aluminum engine, making this the first
known flight of such an engine on a reusable launch vehicle (Armadillo
Aerospace also flew a aluminum engine for their September 12, 2009
flight, although also utilized a graphite liner).

Amidst chants of "Fly Xombie, fly!", the first flight lasted about 93
seconds and the vehicle landed ~20 cm from the center of the pad;
almost a perfect repeat of their first NGLLC flight. The second flight
lasted 91 seconds and the vehicle landed 11 cm from the center of the
pad -- an impressive feat indeed (all numbers preliminary until judges
declare them official).
snip
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://masten-space.com/blog/
Masten Space Systems Qualifies for $1 Million Prize
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
admin on 10/30/2009 at 2:01 pm

Mojave, California – October 30, 2009 – Masten Space Systems
successfully qualified for first place in Level Two of the Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Wednesday. Flying a brand new vehicle
named XA-0.1E (nicknamed Xoie), Masten demonstrated their ability to
build, debug and fly a vehicle on a very short timeline.
“To come from not flying at all last year to qualifying for level one
AND level two of the LLC this year shows how far our technology has
progressed,” Masten Space Systems CEO David Masten said. “After a
short vacation we will start modifying Xoie for commercial payloads
and begin work on Xoie’s successor.”

Xoie is a larger, lightweight version of Masten’s Level One vehicle
Xombie and features an aluminum structure, larger tanks and a more
powerful engine. Originally designed for only 750 pounds of thrust,
Xoie’s engine produces over 1000 pounds of thrust. “Our engines go to
11! Now we go build the 2500 pound version,” stated MSS propulsion
engineer Jonathan Goff. A visibly exhausted but happy Ian Garcia,
guidance engineer, said, “We wrote our flight control system from
scratch and it just does what I tell it to do! Making it work for
supersonic flight is going to be a fun challenge.”

snip
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today live from the Mojave.
http://far.pyroinnovations.com/
Friends of Amateur Rocketry is a licensed non-profit organization
dedicated to further innovation in the field of experimental rocketry.
F.A.R. conducts launches once a month at the F.A.R. Rocket Test
Facility (RTF) in the Mojave desert near Cantil, CA.
- LRK -

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.youtube.com/user/xprize#p/a/0/lcys-t2thk8
Masten qualifies for Level2 of Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge
From: xprize | October 31, 2009 | 216 views
On Oct 30, 2009, Team Masten qualified for Level 2 of the Northrop
Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Hear what Dave Masten, Team Leader and
CEO of Masten Space Systems felt like after successfully putting Xoie
on the trailer at the end of Flight #2. Find out more at:
www.thelaunchpad.xprize.org
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcys-t2thk8&feature=channel


Live streaming for October 31, 2009 of the Unreasonable Rocket, Level
1 and Level 2 attempts for the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander
Challenge.
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/northrop-grumman-lunar-lander-challenge

Back to the show.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://www.mikemassee.com/gallery/v/aviationandspace/masten_level_II_lunar_lander/
Masten Space Level II Lunar Lander Challenge (Xoie)
Masten's first attempt at the Lunar Lander Challenge Level II - there
was a small fire after the first flight which ended the attempt, but
there may be another on Friday.

http://www.mikemassee.com/about.html
About the Artist

Hello and thanks for visiting my site. I'm a professional
photographer, cinematographer, solids modeler, graphics artist,
photoshop expert, broadcast engineer, adventurer, traveller, foodie,
recovering 3D animator and occasional web coder.

I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them, along
with all the other content on this site.
snip

http://www.mikemassee.com/index.php
Home

snip
==============================================================
http://twitter.com/ngllc09
NGLLC09

Next attempt for Blue will be early this afternoon, @unrocket thinks. #ngllc
5 minutes ago from web

snip
==============================================================
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/
Google Lunar X-Prize

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Live
Webcast starts on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 9am PST / 16:00 UTC

snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

Thursday, October 29, 2009

LRO - Apollo 17 Lunar Module Landing Site

It now seems we can see some pictures of the Apollo 17 landing site
from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- LRK -

------------------------------------
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/lroc_20091028_apollo.html
LRO - Apollo 17 Lunar Module Landing Site

Apollo 17 Lunar Module Challenger descent stage comes into focus from
the new lower 50 km mapping orbit, image width 102 meters. Credit:
NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/397620main_challenger_4x_350.jpg

LRO maneuvered into its 50-km mapping orbit on September 15. The next
pass over the Apollo 17 landing site resulted in images with more than
two times better resolution than previously acquired. At the time of
this recent overflight the Sun was high in the sky (28° incidence
angle) helping to bring out subtle differences in surface brightness.
The descent stage of the lunar module Challenger is now clearly
visible, at 50 cm per pixel (angular resolution) the descent stage
deck is 8 pixels across (4 meters), also note that the legs are also
now distinguishable. The descent stage served as the launch pad for
the ascent stage as it blasted off for a rendezvous with the command
module America on 14 December 1972.

Tracks are clearly visible and can be followed to the east, where
astronauts Jack Schmitt and Gene Cernan set up the Surface Electrical
Properties experiment (SEP). Cernan drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle
(LRV) in an intersecting north-south and east-west course to mark
positions for laying out the SEP 35-meter antennas (circle labeled
"SEP" marks the area of the SEP transmitter). The dark area just below
the SEP experiment is where the astronauts left the rover, in a prime
spot for monitoring the liftoff.

snip
------------------------------------
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=32693
LRO Image of Apollo 17 Landing Site

LRO maneuvered into its 50-km mapping orbit on September 15. The next
pass over the Apollo 17 landing site resulted in images with more than
two times better resolution than previously acquired. At the time of
this recent overflight the Sun was high in the sky (28° incidence
angle) helping to bring out subtle differences in surface brightness.

The descent stage of the lunar module Challenger is now clearly
visible, at 50 cm per pixel (angular resolution) the descent stage
deck is 8 pixels across (4 meters), also note that the legs are also
now distinguishable. The descent stage served as the launch pad for
the ascent stage as it blasted off for a rendezvous with the command
module America on 14 December 1972.

------------------------------------
Also - http://www.onorbit.com/node/1658

A quick refresher on Apollo 17
- LRK -
------------------------------------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_17
Apollo 17

Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo
program. It was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and
the sixth and final lunar landing mission of the Apollo program. The
mission was launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, and
concluded on December 19. It remains both the most recent manned moon
landing and manned flight beyond low Earth orbit. It also broke
several records set by previous flights, including longest manned
lunar landing flight; longest total lunar surface extravehicular
activities; largest lunar sample return, and longest time in lunar
orbit.

snip
------------------------------------

Maybe you would like to read about what Apollo 17 mission was about.
- LRK -

------------------------------------
http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/A17_PressKit.pdf
Press Kit
176 page PDF file

APOLLO 17 LAUNCH DECEMBER 6
The night launch of Apollo 17 on December 6 will be
visible to people on a large portion of the eastern seaborad
as the final United States manned lunar lhnding mission gets
underway.
------------------------------------

We have had access to a lot of Apollo images from the actual mission time frame.
Off course some would probably say they were all part of lunar hoax. :-)
- LRK -

------------------------------------
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Apollo Image Atlas

Foreword
Scanning and Processing Information
Credits
The Apollo Image Atlas can be accessed in the following ways:

Browse Image Catalog
70mm Hasselblad
Mapping (Metric)
Panoramic
Apollo Lunar Surface Closeup Camera (ALSCC)
35mm Nikon
Search
Search by Feature Name
Search by Coordinate
Search by Description
Slideshows
70mm Hasselblad
Mapping (Metric)

The Apollo Image Atlas is a comprehensive collection of Apollo-Saturn
mission photography. Included are almost 25,000 lunar images, both
from orbit and from the moon's surface, as well as photographs of the
earth, astronauts and mission hardware.

Other sites of interest:
Apollo Surface Panoramas
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollopanoramas/
Consolidated Lunar Atlas of the Moon
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/cla/
Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/lunarorbiter/
Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/lunar_orbiter/
Ranger Photographs of the Moon
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/ranger/
USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/
------------------------------------

When will a tourist be able to snap their own pictures at these
historical sites?

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo17info.html
Apollo 17

Launched: 7 December 1972 UT 05:33:00 (12:33:00 a.m. EST)
Landed on Moon: 11 December 1972 UT 19:54:57 (02:54:57 p.m. EST)
Landing Site: Taurus-Littrow (20.19 N, 30.77 E)
Returned to Earth: 19 December 1972 UT 19:24:59 (02:24:59 p.m. EST)
Eugene A. Cernan, commander
Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot
Harrison H. Schmitt, lunar module pilot

snip
==============================================================
If you like the numbers you will find them here. - LRK -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_00a_Cover.htm
APOLLO BY THE NUMBERS:
A Statistical Reference

by
Richard W. Orloff

NASA History Division
Office of Policy and Plans
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546

NASA SP-2000-4029
2000
Revised, September 2004

ISBN 0-16-050631-X
-----------------------------
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_00g_Table_of_Contents.htm
Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Acknowledgments
Dedication
About The Author
Apollo 1 - The Fire
Apollo 7 - The First Mission: Testing the CSM in Earth Orbit
Apollo 8 - The Second Mission: Testing the CSM in Lunar Orbit
Apollo 9 - The Third Mission: Testing the LM in Earth Orbit
Apollo 10 - The Fourth Mission: Testing the LM in Lunar Orbit
Apollo 11 - The Fifth Mission: The First Lunar Landing
Apollo 12 - The Sixth Mission: The Second Lunar Landing
Apollo 13 - The Seventh Mission: The Third Lunar Landing Attempt
Apollo 14 - The Eighth Mission: The Third Lunar Landing
Apollo 15 - The Ninth Mission: The Fourth Lunar Landing
Apollo 16 - The Tenth Mission: The Fifth Lunar Landing

Apollo 17 - The Eleventh Mission: The Sixth Lunar Landing
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_17a_Summary.htm

snip
==============================================================
http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a record of the lunar surface
operations conducted by the six pairs of astronauts who landed on the
Moon from 1969 through 1972. The Journal is intended as a resource for
anyone wanting to know what happened during the missions and why. It
includes a corrected transcript of all recorded conversations between
the lunar surface crews and Houston. The Journal also contains
extensive, interwoven commentary by the Editor and by ten of the
twelve moonwalking astronauts.

snip
==============================================================
http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/images17.html
Apollo 17 Image Library

This Apollo 17 Image Library contains all of the pictures taken on the
lunar surface by the astronauts together with pictures from pre-flight
training and pictures of equipment and the flight hardware.
High-resolution version of many of the lunar surface images are
included. A source for both thumbnail and low -resolution versions of
the lunar surface images is a website compiled by Paul Spudis and
colleagues at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.

snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

Monday, October 26, 2009

And now we wait - Why? - I ask.

The Augustine Commission final report is out and we wait to see when the government decides whether to fund or not to fund whatever it is they decide to fund or not!!!
- LRK -

--------------------------
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1499/1
And now we wait.
by Jeff Foust
Monday, October 26, 2009

For months the space community had been waiting for it, and on Thursday they finally got it: the final report of the Augustine committee. Jeff Foust reports on the reaction and how the report is the next step, but not the last step, in crafting a new space policy.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1499/1
--------------------------

I watched the press briefing on the Internet and have been reading through the 157 page PDF Augustine Report file.

I am not sure why we needed a blue ribbon panel of experts to tell us that Congress cut NASA's funding.

There is a cute interactive flash presentation for the Constellation program showing the Orion docking with the ISS as test of carrying astronauts to the ISS.

I guess that will just be another publication of proposed missions that never get completed.
Too many posters I have, of missions to nowhere.
- LRK -

Sort of hard to dock with the ISS if it is de-orbited before you have a rocket or a crew capsule to get there.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/main/index.html
- LRK -

--------------------------
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/hsf/meetings/10_22_pressconference.html
Date and Time: October 22, 2009 - 1 pm EDT
Location Information:
Zenger Room of the National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, in Washington, D.C.

The Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee Chairman Norman Augustine will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. EDT, on Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Zenger Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, in Washington.

Augustine will be accompanied by committee member Ed Crawley. Printed copies of the committee's final report will be available during the press conference.

Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee - Final Report (pdf, 7.7MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf

snip
Video link here as well as on the NASA site - LRK - http://vimeo.com/7270323
Also Senate hearings - http://vimeo.com/user1955131
--------------------------

I copied part of the Executive Summary from the Augustine Commission before and it has been suggested that I should have copied a bit more.

I have done so and unacceptable I think the comment is, that if we can't afford the money to achieve the goals we should accept the disappointment of setting lesser goals.

Why should I accept the disappointment?

Maybe I should accept the resignation of those in Congress that don't wish to fund our ability to develop space properly and maybe THEY should just accept the disappointment of not being re-elected.
- LRK -

--------------------------
The Augustine Commission issued its final report.
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf
[7.9 MB, 157 pages ]
Review of Human Space Flight Plans Committee

p9. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The U.S. human spaceflight program appears to be on an unsustainable trajectory. It is perpetuating the perilous practice of pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources. Space operations are among the most demanding and unforgiving pursuits ever undertaken by humans. It really is rocket science. Space operations become all the more difficult when means do not match aspirations. Such is the case today.

The nation is facing important decisions on the future of human spaceflight. Will we leave the close proximity of low-Earth orbit, where astronauts have circled since 1972, and explore the solar system, charting a path for the eventual expansion of human civilization into space? If so, how will we ensure that our exploration delivers the greatest benefit to the nation? Can we explore with reasonable assurances of human safety? Can the nation marshal the resources to embark on the mission?

Whatever space program is ultimately selected, it must be matched with the resources needed for its execution. How can we marshal the necessary resources? There are actually more options available today than in 1961, when President Kennedy challenged the nation to “commit itself to the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

First, space exploration has become a global enterprise.
Many nations have aspirations in space, and the combined annual budgets of their space programs are comparable to NASA’s. If the United States is willing to lead a global program of exploration, sharing both the burden and benefit of space exploration in a meaningful way, significant accomplishments could follow. Actively engaging international partners in a manner adapted to today’s multi-polar world could strengthen geopolitical relationships, leverage global financial and technical resources, and enhance the exploration enterprise.

Second, there is now a burgeoning commercial space industry.
If we craft a space architecture to provide opportunities to this industry, there is the potential—not without risk—that the costs to the government would be reduced. Finally, we are also more experienced than in 1961, and able to build on that experience as we design an exploration program. If, after designing cleverly, building alliances with partners, and engaging commercial providers, the nation cannot afford to fund the effort to pursue the goals it would like to embrace, it should accept the disappointment of setting lesser goals.
snip
--------------------------

To fund or not to fund, that is the question.
Congress, are you listening?
To be re-elected, THAT is the question.
- LRK -

We need to learn to LIVE off world, NOT JUST GO CAMPING. - IMHO

Is this just going to be another web link that I have to go look up on the Web Archive? http://www.archive.org/index.php
http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/www.nasa.gov/#

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/index.html
At the core of NASA's future space exploration is a return to the moon, where we will build a sustainable long term human presence.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
NASA SETS ARES I-X PRELAUNCH EVENTS AND COUNTDOWN DETAILS
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/oct/HQ_M09-206_Ares_I-X.html

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are set for the upcoming Ares I-X flight test. The rocket is targeted to lift off at 8 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The launch will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's Web site.

A launch day blog will update the countdown beginning at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Originating from Kennedy, the blog is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to launch. To follow the blog, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/aresIX

snip
==============================================================
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/flighttests/aresIx/index.html
Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Targeted Launch Date: Oct. 27
Launch Window: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA's first flight test for the agency's next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system, called Ares I-X, will bring NASA one step closer to its exploration goals. The flight test will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I.
More Information
› Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2009/release-20091023b.html

› Ares I-X Press Kit (PDF, 3.2 MB )
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396682main_Ares_I-X-pk.pdf

› Ares I-X Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.0 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/354470main_aresIX_fs_may09.pdf

› Ares I-X Mission Specifications (PDF, 8 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/271630main_aresIx_flyer_090408.pdf

› Management Bios
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/flighttests/aresIx/AresIX_Bios.html

› Ares I-X Integration Map (PDF, 4 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/283121main_IX_%20Integrated_Map_10_9_08_CMR.pdf

snip
==============================================================
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/altair/index.html
NASA Tests Engine Technology for Landing Astronauts on the Moon A technology development engine that may help NASA safely return astronauts to the lunar surface has successfully completed its third round of testing. The goal of these tests is to reduce risk and advance technology for a reliable and robust rocket engine that could enable America's next moon landing.

The tests by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in West Palm Beach, Fla., helped to gather data on this concept engine that might play a role in the next stage of human exploration of the moon. Most rockets make spacecraft travel faster. The goal of a lunar lander descent engine is to slow the vehicle so astronauts can land safely.
snip

The Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine, or CECE, is fueled by a mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen chilled to sub-zero temperatures. Image Credit: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
+ View large image
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/multimedia/cece.html

+ View Video (Windows, streaming)
http://anon.nasa-global.edgesuite.net/anon.nasa-global/MARSHALL/CECE_Engine.asx
snip
==============================================================
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/index.html

At the core of NASA's future space exploration is a return to the moon, where we will build a sustainable long term human presence.

As the space shuttle approaches retirement and the International Space Station nears completion, NASA is building the next fleet of vehicles to bring astronauts back to the moon, and possibly to Mars and beyond.
snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

Friday, October 23, 2009

NASA SETS ARES I-X PRELAUNCH EVENTS AND COUNTDOWN DETAILS

NASA SETS ARES I-X PRELAUNCH EVENTS AND COUNTDOWN DETAILS
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/oct/HQ_M09-206_Ares_I-X.html

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are set for the upcoming Ares I-X flight test. The rocket is targeted to lift off at 8 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The launch will be carried
live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's Web site.

A launch day blog will update the countdown beginning at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Originating from Kennedy, the blog is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to launch. To follow the blog, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/aresIX
---------------------------

With all eyes on the test, I hope it goes well.
- LRK -

--------------------------
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/flighttests/aresIx/index.html
Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X
Targeted Launch Date: Oct. 27
Launch Window: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39B
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA's first flight test for the agency's next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system, called Ares I-X, will bring NASA one step closer to its exploration goals. The flight test will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I.

More Information
› Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2009/release-20091023b.html

› Ares I-X Press Kit (PDF, 3.2 MB )
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396682main_Ares_I-X-pk.pdf

› Ares I-X Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.0 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/354470main_aresIX_fs_may09.pdf

› Ares I-X Mission Specifications (PDF, 8 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/271630main_aresIx_flyer_090408.pdf

› Management Bios
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/flighttests/aresIx/AresIX_Bios.html

› Ares I-X Integration Map (PDF, 4 MB)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/283121main_IX_%20Integrated_Map_10_9_08_CMR.pdf
snip
--------------------------

Best be on good behavior, the boss is looking.
- LRK -

--------------------------
http://www.spacenews.com/launch/091022-bolden-garver-expected-for-flight.html
10/22/09 12:00 PM ET
Bolden and Garver Expected to Be On Hand for Ares 1-X Flight

By Amy Klamper

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver are planning to attend the unmanned suborbital test flight of the Ares 1-X rocket, targeted for Oct. 27 at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., according to NASA officials.

The test is a major early milestone for NASA’s Constellation program, a five-year-old effort to build new rockets and spacecraft capable of returning humans to the Moon by 2020.

The Ares 1-X test shot comes as Bolden and Garver mull the findings of a blue-ribbon panel tasked with determining a range of options for NASA’s manned spaceflight future. The panel, led by former Lockheed Martin chief Norm Augustine, included completion of the Ares 1 rocket
in two of the five broad options detailed in its report. But the other options would scrap Ares 1 and make substantial changes to other aspects of the Constellation program, including dropping the Moon in favor of other destinations.

snip
--------------------------

Well the Augustine report is out.
What now?
- LRK -

--------------------------
The Augustine Commission issued its final report.
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf
[7.9 MB, 157 pages ]
Review of Human Space Flight Plans Committee

p9. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The U.S. human spaceflight program appears to be on an unsustainable trajectory. It is perpetuating the perilous practice of pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources. Space operations are among the most demanding and unforgiving pursuits ever undertaken by humans. It really is rocket science. Space operations become all the more difficult when means do not match aspirations. Such is the case today.

The nation is facing important decisions on the future of human spaceflight. Will we leave the close proximity of low-Earth orbit, where astronauts have circled since 1972, and explore the solar system, charting a path for the eventual expansion of human civilization into space? If so, how will we ensure that our exploration delivers the greatest benefit to the nation? Can we explore with reasonable assurances of human safety? Can the nation marshal the resources to embark on the mission?

Whatever space program is ultimately selected, it must be matched with the resources needed for its execution. How can we marshal the necessary resources? There are actually more options available today than in 1961, when President Kennedy challenged the nation to “commit itself to the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

snip
--------------------------

To fund or not to fund, that is the question.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18030-found-first-skylight-on-the-moon.html
Found: first 'skylight' on the moon
23:54 22 October 2009 by Rachel Courtland

A deep hole on the moon that could open into a vast underground tunnel has been found for the first time. The discovery strengthens evidence for subsurface, lava-carved channels that could shield future human colonists from space radiation and other hazards.

The moon seems to possess long, winding tunnels called lava tubes that are similar to structures seen on Earth. They are created when the top of a stream of molten rock solidifies and the lava inside drains away, leaving a hollow tube of rock.

Their existence on the moon is hinted at based on observations of sinuous rilles – long, winding depressions carved into the lunar surface by the flow of lava. Some sections of the rilles have
collapsed, suggesting that hollow lava tubes hide beneath at least some of the rilles.

But until now, no one has found an opening into what appears to be an intact tube. "There's sort of a chicken-and-egg problem," says Carolyn van der Bogert of the University of M√ľnster in Germany. "If it's intact, you can't see it."

Finding a hole in a rille could suggest that an intact tube lies beneath. So a group led by Junichi Haruyama of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency searched for these "skylights" in images taken by Japan's Kaguya spacecraft, which orbited the moon for almost two years
before ending its mission in June.

snip
==============================================================
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/23oct_ladee.htm?list965414
NASA Mission to Study the Moon's Fragile Atmosphere
10.23.2009

Oct. 23, 2009: Right now, the Moon is a ghost town. Nothing stirs. Here and there, an abandoned Apollo rover — or the dusty base of a lunar lander — linger as silent testimony to past human activity. But these days, only occasional asteroid impacts disrupt the decades-long
spell of profound stillness.

And this stillness presents scientists with an important opportunity.

Currently, the Moon's tenuous atmosphere is relatively undisturbed. But that won't be true for long. NASA is planning to return people to the Moon, and human activity will kick up dust, expel rocket exhaust, and release other gaseous emissions into the lunar atmosphere. Because
the atmosphere is so thin, these disturbances could quickly swamp its natural composition.

If scientists are ever to know the lunar atmosphere in a relatively natural state, now is the time to look. So researchers are building a probe called the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that will orbit the Moon and measure its wispy atmosphere better than ever before.

"It's important that we understand it in its pristine state before there's much perturbation," says Anthony Colaprete of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. "It's such a fragile system. It's possible that it will be hard to study once humans are once more living and working on the Moon."

snip
==============================================================
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/10/22/moon-earth-formation.html
Controversial Moon Origin Theory Rewrites History
Michael Reilly, Discovery News

Oct. 22, 2009 -- The moon may have been adopted by our planet instead of descended from it.

If a new twist on a decades-old theory is right, conditions in the early solar system suggest the moon formed inside Mercury's orbit and migrated out until it was roped into orbit around Earth.

The idea flies in the face of scientific consensus, known as the giant impact hypothesis, which holds that the moon formed from red-hot debris left over after a Mars-sized object collided with Earth around 4.5 billion years ago.

However, the moon has several curious traits that go unexplained with that theory, and Robert Malcuit of Denison University has argued for decades for an alternative view of our moon's history.

Malcuit's version of events is tantamount to cosmic blasphemy, but scientists have recently found 4 billion-year-old minerals in Australia that suggest our planet was too cool to have sustained a cataclysmic moon-forming impact early in its history.

"Everything in the giant impact model is hot, hot, hot," he said. "It's incompatible with what we see in the geologic record. Earth is cool enough at that time to have ocean water on its surface."

Malcuit's computer modeling studies, which he has worked on since the 1980s, show that it is possible for Earth's gravitational pull to capture the moon. At first, the moon's orbits would have been highly elliptical, swinging close to Earth and then far away about eight times a year.
snip
==============================================================
http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2009/10/20091023_akatsuki_campaign_e.html
[JAXA:0211] Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C) Message Campaign

October 23, 2009 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle in Japan Fiscal Year 2010. The AKATSUKI will enter the orbit of Venus about half a year after its launch, and will take some two years to explore the atmosphere of Venus.

JAXA would like to enhance people’s interest in space and the Earth by holding a "message campaign" in which we invite people to send us messages that will be printed in fine letters on an aluminum plate and placed aboard the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI". We will accept
messages both from Japan and overseas so that we can bind the feelings and thoughts of everybody in the world into one, and inject it into the orbit of Venus. Through this campaign, we would like to boost the public’s knowledge about Japanese space science research activities in
Japan as well as abroad.

With the cooperation of the "International Year of Astronomy 2009 Japan Committee," we would like to carry out the "message campaign" to collect messages to be attached to the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" as follows.

1. Campaign name

"We will deliver your message to the bright star Venus"
- "AKATSUKI" Message Campaign -

2. Message accepted
From October 23, 2009 thru December 25, 2009 (Japan Standard Time)

3. How to send your message
[For individual senders]
Through the Internet
Japanese site: http://www.jaxa.jp/event/akatsuki/index_j.html
English site: http://www.jaxa.jp/event/akatsuki/index_e.html


You can send a message in Japanese characters (Hiragana, Kanji, and Katakana) as well as using numbers and/or Roman letters. However, some letters (such as half-sized Katakana) or some PC specific letters may not be properly encoded on our side. Therefore, if you use such
letters, they may not be printed as you intend.

Only a name (without a message) is also acceptable.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 Japan Committee will be in charge of accepting names and messages sent through the Internet, counting them, and protecting your private information.

Your message and illustration may be used on our Web site, leaflet, and/or magazines for the purpose of public affairs and promotion.

Copyright of the messages and illustrations basically belong to JAXA.

snip
------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.jaxa.jp/event/akatsuki/index_e.html

Venus is well known by the Japanese as the first star, and has been called the "morning bright star" or "evening bright star" since ancient times. In the West, its shining beauty is explained in its name "Venus", the Goddess of beauty. Venus comes closest to the Earth, and the dimensions of the two planets are very similar, hence they are often called "brother planets." However, it is imagined that there are no oceans on Venus because it is located a little closer to the Sun.

As its atmosphere mostly consists of carbon dioxide, which causes the greenhouse effect, Venus has become a tropical heat planet unlike theEarth. Although Venus has little rotation, its surface is surrounded by strong east winds called a "super rotation," which is one of the biggest wonders of meteorology.

The Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C), scheduled to be launched by JAXA in Japan Fiscal Year 2010, will explore this unique climate of Venus to elucidate the mechanism of determining the planetary environment in order to help deepen our understanding of the Earth's climate.

This year also marks the 400th anniversary since Galileo Galilei first turned a telescope to the night sky to open the door to space. The United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Science, and Culture Organization recognize this year as the "International Year of Astronomy 2009," and a lot of space-related events are being carried out all over the world. It is said that Galileo became certain about the theory of "Heliocentrism" thanks to observing the waxing and
waning of Venus.

snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sea Launch Files Chapter 11 to Address Financial Challenges - June 22, 2009

What was it I have heard, to develop space we need to have cheaper launch facilities. We need competition to bring down the cost of launching satellites.

Then there was/is Sea Launch, an international business, that could launch from the ocean cheaper than the big guys.
http://www.sea-launch.com/

Not all has gone smoothly. A bump in the road was a boom on the launch pad out there in the ocean back in January 2007.
--------------------------------------------------
Sea Launch Experiences Anomaly During NSS-8 Launch
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=21766
--------------------------------------------------

The Sea Launch satellite launch schedules were disrupted and owners of satellites found other launch services for time critical launches.

Hughes Network Systems LLC wanted to collect a $52 million arbitration award made in connection with a canceled launch contract following the failed launching in 2007.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=BA:US&sid=aSApkl3mFF18

All of which has led to Sea Launch filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- LRK -

--------------------------------------------------
http://www.boeing.com/special/sea-launch/news_releases/2009/nr_090622.html
Sea Launch Files Chapter 11 to Address Financial Challenges

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 22, 2009 – Sea Launch Company L.L.C. and Sea Launch Limited Partnership and subsidiaries (“Sea Launch” or “Company”), a leading provider of launch services to the commercial satellite industry, has filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington.

The members of Sea Launch have unanimously determined that Chapter 11 reorganization is in the best interests of the Company, its customers, shareholders, employees and other related parties.

Sea Launch intends to continue to maintain all normal business operations after the filing for reorganization. Subject to court approval, Sea Launch will initially use its cash balance to meet operational requirements during the reorganization process and is addressing Debtor in Possession financing, if necessary.

“We want to assure our customers, employees, suppliers and partners that Sea Launch intends to continue to operate after the filing,” said Kjell Karlsen, president and general manager of Sea Launch. “Chapter 11 reorganization provides an opportunity for us to continue operations and focus on building our future plans. We are grateful for the continued support of our customers and partners while we focus on reorganizing for the future.”

In the court filing, Sea Launch listed assets of between $100 million and $500 million against liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion. Sea Launch’s restructuring counsel is Alston & Bird, LLP.

Contact: Paula Korn, 562.499.4729 or 562.254.5684 (cell),
paula.korn@sea-launch.com

snip
--------------------------------------------------

Sea Launch plans to continue operations but it won't be easy.
When you have to take time to regroup others can take advantage and pick up the slack.
- LRK -

--------------------------------------------------
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124585981636148193.html
Sea Launch Bankruptcy Gives Advantage to European Rivals
snip
The filing underscores the financial weakness of the commercial satellite launch business in the U.S. The partnership's woes are in stark contrast to the expanding, government-supported launch operations aggressively marketed by Russia and the European launch consortium Arianespace.

Both Arianespace and Russian-supported International Launch Services benefit from billions of dollars in public investments because they also are part of strategic national-security priorities for Moscow and the European Union. Over the weekend, for example, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy announced a drive to develop a replacement for Europe's premier satellite launcher, the Ariane 5 rocket. Such plans are part of broader European ambitions to promote unmanned and eventually manned space exploration.
snip
--------------------------------------------------

Hmmmm, haven't heard of any bailout funds being offered. What is a billion or two among friends, yes?

--------------------------------------------------
http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0906/24sealaunch/
snip
In the filing, the company said it is unable to repay debt or secure new financing, making bankruptcy reorganization the "best avenue" to keep the company afloat.

Officials say they intend to continue normal business operations, including the pursuit of new launch contracts to bring in new revenue.

Whether satellite operators will sign with a company in bankruptcy remains to be seen, but Sea Launch leaders attempted to ease their concerns.

"We want to assure our customers, employees, suppliers and partners that Sea Launch intends to continue to operate after the filing," said Kjell Karlsen, president and general manager of Sea Launch. "Chapter 11 reorganization provides an opportunity for us to continue operations and focus on building our future plans. We are grateful for the continued support of our customers and partners while we focus on reorganizing for the future."

Two more launches had been planned for this year. Sea Launch has contracts for 10 launches through 2012, officials said.

Sea Launch reported assets between $100 million and $500 million and estimated debt of almost $2 billion.

The company will explore the potential sale of one or more of its business units during the bankruptcy proceedings, officials said.
snip
--------------------------------------------------

Are there any CEO's who got bailout bonuses who would like to give a donation to help a multinational corporation lower the price of getting to space?
- LRK -

Why Sea Launch?
http://www.sea-launch.com/why_sea_launch.htm

What next? Ares 1-X launch.
- LRK -

--------------------------------------------------
http://www.spacetoday.net/Summary/4720
Ares 1-X launch date moved up
Posted: Wed, Sep 23, 2009, 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT)
NASA announced Tuesday that it was moving up next month's launch of a prototype of the Ares 1 launch vehicle by several days. The Ares 1-X launch, previously planned for October 31, is now scheduled for October 27, the agency announced; a backup date of October 28 is also planned. Officials said they moved up the launch because previous plans included buffer time they did not need, and that the range was available on those earlier dates. The Ares 1-X is a full-scale version of the Ares 1, but uses only a four-segment solid rocket motor in its first stage, versus the five-segment planned for the Ares 1; the second stage of the Ares 1-X is a dummy stage with no propulsion. The future of the Ares 1 is in question after a review of human spaceflight plans performed this summer by an independent committee:
several of the options in that committee's summary report did not include the Ares 1.
snip
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/sep/HQ_09-219_Ares_I-X_Launch_Date.html
--------------------------------------------------

Will we see Space-X Falcon-9 launch November 29,2009.
- LRK -

-------------------------------------------------
http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0909/24falcon/
snip
But according to an Air Force document first made public by the Orlando Sentinel, SpaceX has requested a launch date of Nov. 29 on the Air Force's Eastern Range. The range oversees launch operations and a network of required communications and tracking sites stretching from the U.S. East Coast across the Atlantic Ocean.

The range document lists a launch window on Nov. 29 between 1600 GMT and 2000 GMT (11 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST).

Musk said not to read too much into that date.

"It is possible, but unlikely that we would be able to launch on Nov 29," Musk said in an email response to questions.
snip
-------------------------------------------------

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Launch
Sea Launch
Sea Launch is a spacecraft launch service that uses a mobile sea platform for equatorial launches of commercial payloads on specialized Zenit 3SL rockets. As of April 2009 it had assembled and launched thirty rockets, with two failures and one partial failure. In June 2009 the provider of the Sea Launch service, Sea Launch Co. LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[1]

The sea-based launch system means the rockets can be fired from the optimum position on Earth's surface, considerably increasing payload capacity and reducing launch costs compared to land-based systems.

The Sea Launch consortium of four companies from the United States, Russia, Ukraine and Norway, was established in 1995 and their first rocket was launched in March 1999. It is managed by Boeing with participation from the other shareholders. [2] [3]
All commercial payloads have been communications satellites intended for geostationary transfer orbit with such customers as EchoStar, DirecTV, XM Satellite Radio, and PanAmSat.
The launcher and its payload are assembled on a purpose-built ship Sea Launch Commander in Long Beach, California. It is then positioned on top of the self-propelled platform Ocean Odyssey and moved to the equatorial Pacific Ocean for launch, with the Sea Launch Commander serving as command center.

Although Sea Launch is currently the world's only ocean-based space launch company, the idea is not unique: in 1964–1988 the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy and NASA launched spacecraft from the San Marco platform off the coast of Kenya and Shtil' rockets have been
used to orbit payloads launched from submarines.

snip
References

1 "Boeing's satellite launch subsidiary files for Chapter 11". Seattle
Post-Intelligencer.
http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/172105.asp

2 "Sea Launch System - Commercial heavy-lift launch services, USA".
Aerospace-technology.com. 2006.
http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/sealaunch/

3 "Zenit 3SL". Orbireport.com. 1997–2000.
http://www.orbireport.com/Launchers/Zenit_3SL/Architecture.html

[Many more references - LRK -]
snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LCROSS: Mission to HYPErspace

Paul D. Spudis wrote some comments about the LCROSS mission and the reactions to the lack of a plume.

- LRK -
--------------------------------------------------
http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/2009/10/12/lcross-a-mission-to-hyperspace/
October 12, 2009

LCROSS: Mission to HYPErspace

Early last Friday, the public and families of employees at Ames Research Center in California, where the LCROSS mission was conceived, built and operated, camped on the lawn in an all-night vigil. NASA’s educational outreach and public relations push about the pending lunar
impact event was very effective, having reached a wide audience in the weeks leading up to the much hyped event. Alas, the promised giant plume of impact debris was invisible from Earth, leaving a receptive public feeling cheated and disappointed.

The understanding that a high-velocity impactor can yield important information about planetary composition and state is very old. The first probes to the Moon (both Soviet and American) were impactors. We know that when something strikes a planetary surface at high speed, target material is thrown up into space, some of it vaporized by heat generated in the energy of the impact. By studying this impact ejecta, we learn about the composition of the target object.

I didn’t post on it earlier, but as the LCROSS mission has successfully concluded, I think it is a good time to examine this mission, how it came about, and the lessons that hopefully it has taught NASA about public appeal and its involvement with space.
snip
--------------------------------------------------

Dr. Spudis mentions some of the history of how the LCROSS mission came about and how some had wanted to land rovers or hoppers. Even if water itself is detected more might have been detected with instrumentation on the ground. Then again, landing rovers or hoppers this early without more information from the LRO mapping might not have done any better.

The comments left on his blog are most interesting as well. You may find them informative.
- LRK -

So now the question will be, do we do it right and send rovers to the Moon later.
Missions get proposed and before they get far they may be switched, modified or dropped for others.

Just not enough money to do everything you would like. And then there is politics.

http://www.spacenews.com/archive/archive06/smalllanders_0814.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Precursor_Robotic_Program
http://moon.msfc.nasa.gov/background.html

Some have accused NASA of BOMBING the Moon. Not so, but is something to consider.
- LRK -
--------------------------------------------------
http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/nasa-bombing-the-moon-opinions-contributors-kenneth-anderson-glenn-harlan-reynolds.html?partner=commentary_newsletter
Tiny URL for above link - http://tinyurl.com/yhdkzcn
Commentary
Bombing The Moon
Kenneth Anderson and Glenn Harlan Reynolds, 10.13.09, 12:00 AM EDT
Laws and treaties on explosions in space.

The rocket that NASA aimed at the Moon last week did not produce the public relations bonanza the agency was hoping for--a cloud of dust visible to amateur earth astronomers. But early accounts suggest the explosions did produce a wealth of scientific data on the presence and distribution of water-ice in the dust, which is an important practical factor if humans are ever to spend much time there. The presence of accessible lunar water would mean not having to haul all our own H2O out of Earth's deep gravity well.

The LCROSS mission is an important and expensive scientific experiment. Nonetheless, comments on Web sites such as Scientific American and Nature indicate that quite a few people thought the whole venture to be some sort of outer-space vandalism. Some even wondered
whether NASA might have acted illegally or violated an international law or treaty by setting out to "bomb the Moon."

The answer is no. But while many might be surprised--dismayed, even--to hear that there is such a thing as "space law," there are treaties governing activities in outer space, including the Moon. The United States has joined four international agreements that regulate different questions about space activities. The Outer Space Treaty (dating back to 1967, not long before the first lunar landing) covers many aspects of humans in space, including the peaceful uses of space.

snip
--------------------------------------------------

The subject of space law is going to come up over and over. It will be a subject that needs to be dealt with as we inhabit off world places.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpi/abspudis.html
Dr. Paul D. Spudis

Planetary Geology and Remote Sensing

I am a geologist interested in the geological history and evolution of the Moon and the processes of impact and volcanism that have shaped its surface. I study the Moon largely by remote sensing, whereby composition and physical properties are determined through analysis of data returned by orbiting spacecraft and from Earth-based telescopic sensing. I combine this information with data from photographs and lunar samples obtained by the manned Apollo missions to reconstruct the nature, composition, and history of the Moon. Because impact and volcanism are the principal processes that have shaped the Moon and other terrestrial planets, I study impact craters and lava flows on the Earth as guides for interpreting planetary histories. The Dept. of Defense Clementine mission to the Moon, for which I was Deputy Leader of the Science Team, mapped the Moon's topographic shape and surface color in the visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum (where information on mineral composition can be extracted). My current research largely focuses on analysis and comprehension of the huge quantity of data (more than 60 Gbytes!) returned by this mission. By integrating this new, global dataset with the information provided by the Apollo samples, we will be able to reconstruct the structure and history of the Moon, a complex and fascinating planetary object as well as our nearest neighbor in space.

snip
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

==============================================================

NASA Glenn Research Center leads effort to design tiny nuclear plant for moon outpost

A few snippets from a long article that is quite informative.
- LRK -

--------------------------------------------
http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2009/10/engineers_at_clevelands_nasa_g.html
Cleveland's NASA Glenn Research Center leads effort to design tiny
nuclear plant for moon outpost
By John Mangels, The Plain Dealer
October 10, 2009, 9:00PM

There are no electrical outlets on the moon. No power cables either, no transmission towers, no grid, no generating plants.
snip

Engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are leading work on a possible solution: an ultra-compact nuclear power plant that can run for eight years or longer without maintenance, and can make more than enough electricity to meet the daily needs of the average
American house.

The whole rig could fold up to fit in a tractor-trailer with room to spare. The heart of the system is a reactor no bigger than an office trash bin.
snip

The lunar outpost's design is still evolving, and NASA's overall human space exploration program is in flux as the White House and Congress wrestle with the cost of building new spacecraft to send astronauts to the moon and Mars.
snip

Here's the Glenn-led team's basic plan: The small reactor would be buried about 6 feet deep in the lunar soil and shielded with a plug made of boron carbide, a material that blocks radiation as effectively as lead but is much lighter. Splitting uranium atoms in the reactor's core would release energy in the form of heat, as much as 1,200 degrees. A couple of gallons of liquid metal – probably sodium or a sodium/potassium mix – piped around the core would transfer that heat energy to four Stirling engines mounted on a metal truss above the reactor.

The Stirling engines convert the reactor's heat into mechanical energy, driving an alternator that makes electricity. Together, the engines should put out 40 kilowatts.

Waste heat would be absorbed by coolant and pumped through a series of radiator panels that unfurl from the truss like giant bat wings. The fully extended panels would be 100 feet long, but when folded they're less than 5.

The whole system would weigh 11,000 pounds, about as much as a fully armored Humvee. NASA's Altair lunar lander conceivably could haul two at a time to the surface.

"The idea is to deliver [the nuclear power plant] in this nice, compact, stowed configuration, and once you install the reactor in the hole, you can deploy the radiators," said Mason. "You can do it
remotely from Earth, or from the habitat on the moon. It's meant to be a very simple setup."
snip

The radiation level of the reactor's individual uranium dioxide fuel pins is low enough that they can be safely hand-held, Palac said. If the rocket carrying the reactor exploded, its nuclear fuel would be dispersed, he said, and the remnants, although they would require cleanup, would not exceed normal background radiation levels.

Palac said he hopes people will react to the project like his wife's aunt, a member of several environmental groups. He'd been worried about her response to his research, and described it obliquely as developing fission surface power for the moon..

"She said, 'Oh, you mean nuclear,'" Palac recalled. "She said, 'You know, nuclear power has tremendous potential to be a solution to our global energy crisis, and how wonderful you're taking it to outer space, where I'm sure it's even more useful.' I was blown away by that."

snip
--------------------------------------------

Now if we can just get our act together and get back to the Moon while I am still around to see it happen, I would be most pleased. :-)

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
==============================================================
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/Citations.aspx?id=201
TITLE AND SUBTITLE:
Multi-Megawatt Gas Turbine Power Systems for Lunar Colonies

SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY REPORT NUMBER:
NASA/TM-2006-214658; AIAA-2006-4117

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES:
Prepared for the Fourth International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit (IECEC) sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, San Diego, California, June 26-29, 2006. Responsible person, Albert J. Juhasz, organization code RPT,
216-433-6134.

ABSTRACT:
A concept for development of second generation 10 MWe prototype lunar power plant utilizing a gas cooled fission reactor supplying heated helium working fluid to two parallel 5 MWe closed cycle gas turbines is presented. Such a power system is expected to supply the energy needs for an initial lunar colony with a crew of up to 50 persons engaged in mining and manufacturing activities. System performance and mass details were generated by an author developed code (BRMAPS). The proposed pilot power plant can be a model for future plants of the
same capacity that could be tied to an evolutionary lunar power grid.

SUBJECT TERMS:
Space nuclear power; Lunar power; Nuclear power plants
NUMBER OF PAGES:
16

PDF AVAILABLE FROM URL:
2006/TM-2006-214658.pdf ( 1043 KB )

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http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090806-moon-nuclear-power.html
NASA Steps Closer to Nuclear Power for Moon Base
By Tariq Malik Managing Editor
posted: 06 August 2009 - 06:37 pm ET

NASA has made a series of critical strides in developing new nuclear reactors the size of a trash can that could power a human outpost on the moon or Mars.

Three recent tests at different NASA centers and a national lab have successfully demonstrated key technologies required for compact fission-based nuclear power plants for human settlements on other worlds.

"This recent string of technology development successes confirms that the fission surface power project is on the right path," said Don Palac, NASA's fission surface power project manager at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in a statement.

Power on the moon

NASA's current plan for human space exploration is to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 on sortie missions that could lead to a permanent outpost for exploring the lunar surface and testing technologies that could aid a manned mission to Mars.

The space agency has been studying the feasibility of using nuclear fission power plants to support future moon bases. Engineers performed tests in recent weeks as part of a joint effort by NASA and the Department of Energy.

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http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/15may_stirling.htm
Wake up and smell the coffee -- on the Moon!
05.15.2009

May 15, 2009: Have you ever wondered how you'd make your morning cup of java if you lived on another planet, or perhaps the moon? That steaming beverage would be a must on a cold lunar morning.

But with rare sunlight, no coal or wood to burn, and no flowing water for hydro-electrical power, how would you make that cup of coffee, much less cook breakfast, heat your abode, and power the life support equipment and tools you needed to live and work up there?

NASA, planning for a future lunar outpost, has been asking those same questions lately.

There's more than one way to generate power on the moon. Fission Surface Power is one of the options NASA is considering. If this method is chosen, an engine invented in the early 1800s by Scottish brothers Robert and James Stirling could help make it work.

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WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Where Has All The Water Gone? - LCROSS Strikes The Moon

I grew up with the Moon being dry, no water, magnificent desolation.
LCROSS strikes the Moon with an anticipated plume of water, but just a flash.
Still there are indications that the full story of water on the Moon has yet to be told.
- LRK -

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http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/sfn-091008-lcross-updates.html
LIVE LCROSS UPDATES: Reports Coming in on Moon Crash Results
By Stephen Clark posted: 08 October 2009 11:16 pm ET

2100 GMT (5 p.m. EDT)
A $79 million mission struck a lunar bullseye early Friday and collected a wealth of data to guide scientists seeking water on the moon, but the impact was a dud for observers hoping to catch a glimpse of space fireworks. See our full story.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/lcross/091009impact/index.html

1455 GMT (10:55 a.m. EDT)
The story coming out of the post-impact press conference is that scientists do not know exactly what LCROSS saw.
LCROSS gathered strong spectroscopic signals, but officials were expecting a dramatic visible ejecta plume from the Centaur impact that was not obviously observed by any sensor. Instruments also detected an unexpected sodium flash in the data.

Ground telescopes also observed suspected spectral data, but saw no apparent sign of a debris cloud.
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Instruments on lunar spacecraft register indications of water or at least the hydroxyl.
- LRK -

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http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/features/pieters1.html
Water detected at high latitudes - 09.24.09

This image of the moon is from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 mission. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun, and illustrates the extent to which different materials are mapped across the side of the moon that faces Earth.

Small amounts of water and hydroxyl (blue) were detected on the surface of the moon at various locations. This image illustrates their distribution at high latitudes toward the poles.

Blue shows the signature of water and hydroxyl molecules as seen by a highly diagnostic absorption of infrared light with a wavelength of three micrometers. Green shows the brightness of the surface as measured by reflected infrared radiation from the sun with a wavelength of 2.4 micrometers, and red shows an iron-bearing mineral called pyroxene, detected by absorption of 2.0-micrometer infrared light.

Image credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS

› Full resolution jpeg (1.8 Mb)
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/388698main_1-M3color-clean-full.jpg
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We have been told that the Lunar regolith samples returned by the Apollo missions turned out to be dry.

Now we hear that the Russian missions that landed on the Moon and returned samples of the regolith have tested for signs of water.

If you try to submit your ideas in peer reviewed articles and it doesn't meet the expectations of the reviewers, you may find it hard to get your article published. Then when the word finally gets out, the unspeakable, is spoken, and things may change.

The Moon may not be completely dry, you just may have to dig deeper.
- LRK -

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http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1485/1
Water on the Moon
by Arlin Crotts - Monday, October 12, 2009

On August 9, 1976, Luna 24 launched toward the Moon on a Proton rocket, and nine days later landed safely in the southern part of the unexplored Mare Crisium. Within 24 hours, it deployed a drilling rig, extracted a core sample from two meters into the Moon, stowed it in its return capsule, and blasted off again with 170 grams of lunar soil. Four days later it successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over Siberia, and the core sample was taken to Moscow intact and uncontaminated (as far as we know). It was the last lunar mission of the Soviet Union, and the last from Earth to soft-land on the Moon (as of this writing).

What it brought back was very special. The core sample was found by scientists M. Akhmanova, B. Dement’yev, and M. Markov of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytic Chemistry to contain about 0.1% water by mass, as seen by absorption in infrared spectroscopy (at about 3 microns wavelength), at a detection level about 10 times above the threshold. The trend was for the water signal to increase looking deeper below the lunar surface. The original title of their paper in the February 1978 Russian-language journal Geokhimiia translates to “Water in the regolith of Mare Crisium (Luna-24)?” and in the English-language version of the journal “Possible Water in Luna 24 Regolith from the Sea of Crises”—but the abstract claims a detection of water fairly definitively. The authors point out that the sample shows no tendency to absorb water from the air, but they were not willing to stake their reputations on an absolute statement that terrestrial contamination was completely avoided. Nonetheless, they claim to have taken every possible precaution and stress that this result must be followed up. The three Soviet lunar sample return missions (Luna 16, 20, and 24) from 1970 to 1976 brought back a total of 327 grams of lunar soil. The six Apollo lunar landing missions in 1969–1972 returned 381,700 grams of soil and rock. By 1978 it was widely held that the Apollo samples contained virtually no water, typically measuring in parts per billion, orders of magnitude less than the 1,000,000 parts per billion seen by Luna 24. The Soviet findings were completely ignored. (According to my searches, no other author has cited their work.)

Recently scientists learned that, for a major subclass of Apollo samples, the no-water result was seriously mistaken. Alberto Saal at Brown University and his collaborators showed, in the journal Nature in 2008 and other work in 2009, that volcanic glasses from magma originating deep in the lunar interior contain water at levels up to 70 parts per million. Furthermore, they calculate that most of this water was lost in the venting process, so probably started out at levels approaching one part per thousand, nearly at the level seen by Luna 24. Furthermore, the tendency has been for lunar scientists to think that the same processes that drove off most of the water from the Moon drove off other volatile, light elements. For this reason it is also surprising that Saal and collaborators are finding up to 0.09% sulfur (probably as sulfur dioxide), even before one accounts for loss processes. One could say, shockingly, that at least parts of the lunar interior are rich in sulfur, and hardly more depleted in water than many minerals on Earth, such as basalts along mid-ocean ridges. Few scientists have found cause to dismiss to the Saal et al. compositional measurements. They seem sound. Other researchers (such as Francis McCubbin and coworkers) have found supporting results.

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Will the talk about "Water on the Moon" be enough to encourage the funding of sending human missions back to the Moon?
Will there be enough water for my morning coffee?
Will there be enough to sustain a Lunar Base?


The Moon may not be the only place where water is hard to find.
How deep are we now drilling for water here on Earth where once there was much?
- LRK -

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http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article638
Water Shortage Cripples Palestinian Farming

http://westernfarmpress.com/news/water-shortage-0206/
Water shortage threatens to curb UC research - Feb 6, 2009 10:17 AM

http://www.environmental-expert.com/resulteachpressrelease.aspx?cid=28206&codi=37165
Groundwater overuse could cause severe water shortage
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Sep. 15, 2008

http://www.eenews.net/public/Landletter/2009/04/09/7
7. WATER: Industrial farms could leave eastern Wash. with dry wells (Land Letter, 04/09/2009)

http://www.mindfully.org/Water/China-Water-Shortage.htm
Worsening Water Shortages Threaten China's Food Supplies
Lester R. Brown / Earth Policy Institute 4oct01
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Take some of our experience with finding water here on Earth, up to the Moon.
Fine tune it and bring back some Spin Offs that can be used back here on Earth.
Hard to drink coffee without water. :-)

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site: http://lkellogg.vttoth.com/LarryRussellKellogg/
BlogSpot: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/
RSS link: http://kelloggserialreports.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Newsletter: https://news.altair.com/mailman/listinfo/lunar-update
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrkellogg
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http://www.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/lunar-water-hydroxyl-signals-near-crater
Lunar Water / Hydroxyl Signals Near a Crater
uploaded by mgmirkin September 26, 2009 at 11:28 am

Image Credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Brown Univ.

Original Caption: These images show a lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, as viewed by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. On the left is an image showing infrared brightness. On the right, the abundance of water (light blue) and hydroxyl (red) is shown around a small crater. Hydroxyl-rich materials are seen as two rays emanating from the crater at the one and seven o'clock positions. Water-rich materials encircle the crater. Ray patterns such as those containing the hydroxyl usually indicate that materials have been excavated from below the surface. If so, it is possible that there are deposits of water- and hydroxyl-rich materials just below the surface of the moon.

See:
Water Molecules Found on the Moon
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/24sep_moonwater.htm

Mission Images - Signatures of Water
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/features/moonm3-images.html

Rays of Water and Hydroxyl
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/features/clark4.html

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http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090924-moon-water-reaction.html
Moon Water: A Game-Changing Discovery
By Andrea Thompson Senior Writer posted: 24 September 2009 02:24 pm ET

This story was updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

The discovery of widespread but small amounts water on the surface of the moon, announced yesterday, stands as one of the most surprising findings in planetary science.

Three spacecraft picked up the signature of water, not just in the frigid polar craters where it has long been suspected to exist, but all over the lunar surface, which was previously thought to be bone dry.

"Widespread water has been detected on the surface of the moon," said planetary geologist Carle Pieters of Brown University in Rhode Island, who led one of the studies detailing the findings.

While the findings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, don't mean there are pools of liquid water sitting on the moon, it does mean that there is — entirely unexpectedly — water potentially tied up or mixed in the minerals that make up the lunar dirt.

"What we're detecting is completely unexpected," Pieters said. "The moon continues to surprise us."

The moon dirt would be akin to soil from an arid environment like Arizona — it wouldn't feel wet to the touch, but there's certainly water bound up in it, Pieters told SPACE.com.

This discovery may well revolutionize our understanding of the nature of the moon's surface, experts say, and it has geologists eager to go back to the moon and dig up some lunar dirt.

"I rank this as a game changer for lunar science," said University of Colorado astrophysicist Jack Burns, chair of the science committee for the NASA Advisory Council. Burns was not involved in the new findings. "In my mind this is possibly the most significant discovery about the moon since the Apollo era."
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http://www.spaceflightnow.com/lcross/091009impact/index.html
Lunar smash produces surprise, disappointment
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: October 9, 2009

A $79 million mission struck a lunar bullseye early Friday and collected a wealth of data to guide scientists seeking water on the moon, but the impact was a dud for observers hoping to catch a glimpse of space fireworks.

"We have the data we need to actually address the questions we set out to address, and that's the bottom line," said Tony Colaprete, the principal investigator for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS.

But after an ambitious campaign to engage the public in what was advertised as a visually observable event, the mission's Centaur rocket impactor crashed into the moon with barely a flicker of light at 1131 GMT (7:31 a.m. EDT) Friday.

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WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK

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Moon and Mars - Videos

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