August 20, 2010 |
Newly discovered cliffs on the moon indicate that it has shrunk in the past as it cooled off, and that it might even still be shrinking, researchers say. The shrinkage isn't dramatic — perhaps no more than a 300-foot reduction in the moon's 2,000-mile diameter — but it is enough to cause cracks to form just like they would in the rind of a dried-up orange. Researchers had first noticed the cliffs, technically called lobate scarps because they are semicircular, like a lobe, in images from the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions.
October 8, 2009 |
In the predawn hours Friday, while those on the West Coast still snooze, a rocket is scheduled to punch a 13-foot-deep hole in a crater at the moon's south pole that hasn't seen sunlight in billions of years. The purpose: to find out whether ice lies hidden there. NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, which set out for the moon in June, made a late-course correction Tuesday to better position itself to steer the rocket into the 2-mile-deep crater Cabeus at 4:30 a.m. PDT on Friday.
September 12, 2009 |
NASA scientists announced Friday that they had picked a 60-mile-wide crater near the moon's south pole as the place where they will send a rocket to punch a hole in the lunar surface next month in search of water. Instruments aboard other satellites and on Earth have detected a significant amount of hydrogen, a telltale marker for water, on the northwest rim of the crater known as Cabeus A. "We're very confident we're going to hit a good place," Anthony Colaprete, lead scientist for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, mission, said at a briefing at Ames Research Center in Mountain View.
July 18, 2009 |
With the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing just two days away, NASA on Friday released the sharpest images ever taken of astronaut work sites on the moon, showing hardware and soil disturbances left behind by the 12 Americans who visited the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. The images, taken over the last few weeks by cameras aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, include some of the 10-foot-tall landing structure called the descent stage.
July 17, 2009 |
Forty years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were well on their way to a date with history, becoming the first men to set foot on another body in space. Events to mark the anniversary and commemorate the ever-thinning ranks of space-race veterans will include interviews with surviving Apollo astronauts and a Kennedy Center salute to the Apollo era. One highlight was the release Thursday of 15 newly digitized scenes of Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon.
June 16, 2009 |
Continuing delays in the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour caused NASA managers on Monday to move back the scheduled launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter moon-mapping mission by a day, to no earlier than Thursday. Endeavour's launch, originally planned for Saturday at Cape Canaveral in Florida, was delayed by a leak in the hydrogen venting system on the shuttle's giant external fuel tank, NASA said.