NASA green lights upgrade of Apollo era lunar laser experiment

The first laser retroreflector experiment was placed on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts

One of the original designers of a pioneering Apollo Moon experiment is leading an effort to create an upgraded version for future lunar landing missions. A team under professor emeritus at the University of Maryland (UMD), Doug Currie are developing a more accurate version of the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment that was left behind by Apollo 11, 14, and 15 between 1969 and 1971 that allows scientists to measure the distance from the Earth to the Moon extreme accuracy.

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Hypothetical "ploonets" would blur the lines between planets and moons

An artist's illustration of an Earth-like exomoon orbiting a Saturn-like exoplanet

You know what planets are. You're familiar with moons. But what do you get when you cross the two? "Ploonets," according to astronomers from Australia and Colombia. These weird, hypothetical objects start life as a moon circling a giant planet, but models show they can be exiled and essentially turn into planets themselves. If true, this theory could explain away some astronomical mysteries.

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NASA taps Carnegie Mellon to build small, speedy MoonRanger lunar rover

The rover, called MoonRanger, will be about the size of a suitcase and weigh about 24 ...

NASA has awarded Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Astrobotic a US$5.6 million contract to build a new suitcase-sized robotic lunar rover that could land on the Moon as soon as 2021. One of 12 proposals selected as part of the agency's Lunar Surface and Instrumentation and Technology Payload (LSITP) program, the 24-lb (11-kg) MoonRanger rover is designed to operate autonomously on week-long missions within 0.6 mi (1 km) of its lander.

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The story of the Moon across a century of cinema

A century of movies about the Moon reflect our evolving perspective on our grand lunar neighbor

The history of the Moon in cinema is a compelling parallel to the story of the Moon in popular consciousness. As the world's perception of the Moon has changed, so have the cinematic stories we tell, and this chronology of the Moon on film tells the story of how we, as a civilization, have entirely changed our view of our lunar neighbor over the past 100 years.

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Moon rock time-capsule unlocks the Sun’s earliest secrets

The secrets of our Sun may be found much closer to home – in astronomical terms, anyway – as NASA researchers look to the Moon’s crust to answer core questions about our solar system. While Earth orbits in the so-called “habitable zone” around the Sun, the reason conditions for intelligent life arose here but not on other planets have long … Continue reading

NASA chief justifies potential $30bn Moon 2024 cost

NASA’s ambitious “Artemis” mission to take American astronauts back to the moon will cost as much as $30 billion over the next half decade, the space agency’s chief has confirmed. Administrator Jim Bridenstine also defended the Moon 2024 project over criticism that it was wasteful and could distract NASA from other scientific work. It has been decades since an American … Continue reading