NASA announces landing site on the Moon for its water hunting rover, VIPER

NASA is sending a rover where no man or robot has gone before.

As of recent, mining lunar water ice has been all the talk for enabling deep space exploration and establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon. We’ve known from decades of study that the Moon has water, but where and how much has been the question.

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SpaceX, Blue Origin, Dynetics, and more selected again for further lunar lander concepts

NASA announced contract awards to five companies for further development of lunar lander concepts for its Artemis Program on Tuesday.

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NASA is looking for Lunar Rovers for its Artemis Program

With the continued goal of crewed landings on the Moon in 2024, NASA is in need of more flight hardware for lunar exploration. The next big part will be a rover, NASA put out a request for information regarding proposed Artemis rovers.

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When will NASA send SLS and Orion on the first Artemis mission around the Moon?

NASA is sending astronauts back to the Moon for the first since Apollo 17 in 1972. The new space exploration program is called Artemis, and the first Artemis mission is just months away from happening. A new report though begs the question of when will NASA truly launch Artemis 1?

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NASA shares new video detailing why we are heading back to the Moon

Tuesday NASA released a video on their YouTube channel that went over why we are heading back to the Moon and what we expect we can learn from going.

This Day In Space (July 20, 1969): Apollo 11 Lands on The Moon

It’s a hot and humid summer morning. On July 16th, 1969 the silence was broken by the sound of five F-1 engines roaring to life. Apollo 11 lifted off at 9:32 AM EDT on a mission of a lifetime. On July 20th, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are about to land on the Moon.

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Viewing Thursday’s Ring of Fire eclipse

This Thursday, June 10th, a ring-of-fire eclipse will be visible across the northern hemisphere. The Moon will cast its shadow onto the Earth, this is in contrast to the recent Lunar eclipse, where the Earth cast its shadow onto the surface of the moon.

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Viewing tonights Supermoon Eclipse

Early tomorrow morning, there will be a lunar eclipse visible across the western United States. This will be the first time in six years that we have seen a total solar eclipse occur with a supermoon.

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Dogecoin sending SpaceX mission to the Moon on Falcon 9 lunar payload mission

Dogecoin has gone from a joke crypto coin to the hottest cryptocurrency since bitcoin, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is largely responsible for its meteoric rise over the last few months. Now the space exploration company is planning the first dogecoin-funded mission to the Moon …

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How to get a free taco today from Taco Bell

Today marks the halfway point till the new Moon and Taco Bell is celebrating the only way it knows by giving out free tacos.

With Arecibo’s collapse, some scientists want to build its replacement on the Moon

2020 ended on a low note for the scientific community as the Arecibo Observatory collapsed in early December. However, this event has reinvigorated the discussion around NASA’s proposed Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT). Some scientists have even suggested that an LCRT on the Moon’s far side could act as a better replacement for Arecibo.

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NASA developing lunar navigation architecture for its upcoming Artemis missions

Preparations for NASA’s Artemis program are in full swing as the first mission, Artemis I, is set to launch later this year. However, one crucial part of the program that still requires a solution is navigation architecture. With extended stays on the moon, humans and autonomous robots alike would benefit greatly from having a system similar to GPS available.

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Many in Thailand angered over minister’s decision to send a spacecraft to the Moon

A new report has come out stating that Anek Laothamatas, Thailand’s Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, wants to build a spacecraft capable of orbiting the moon. The news has sparked some controversy among Thailand residents as they see more pressing issues that could be addressed with the money. 

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iSpace opens new ‘HAKUTO-R’ mission control center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

On December 9, 2020, iSpace announced that it had opened a brand new mission control center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. It will serve as the mission control for the companies commercial lunar exploration program, “HAKUTO-R.”

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A total solar eclipse will be visible in South America on December 14

On December 14, 2020, the Moon will move in front of the Sun, creating the only total eclipse that will take place this year. Unfortunately, most of you reading this article won’t be able to view the eclipse, though, due to it only be visible from Chile and Argentina in South America.

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Blue Origin: National Team human landing system proposal for NASA Moon mission submitted [Video]

NASA awarded three distinct human landing system proposals from Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX for further development in April. These 21st-century human landing systems are designed to transfer astronauts from the Orion spacecraft to the surface of the Moon on Artemis missions happening this decade. Blue Origin, which leads the National Team, shared a major update on its HLS progress today.

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NASA to name 18 Artemis astronaut ‘cadre’ on Wednesday ahead of Moon mission training

According to Ars Technica, Vice President Mike Pence will be announcing a group of 18 astronauts who will be considered for NASA’s Artemis Program. Some of which could even be lucky enough to set foot on the moon.

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NASA sets science priorities for Artemis Base Camp and upcoming astronaut Moon mission

Astronauts are going back to the Moon for the first time since the end of NASA’s Apollo program in 1972. Under the Artemis program, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the Moon in this decade. NASA is releasing new details about the planned Artemis III mission today in a report outlining science priorities.

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NASA confirmed China’s lander on the Moon with image from lunar orbit

Last week we saw China land its Chang’e 5 lander on the surface from the Moon with the goal to gather lunar samples and launch to the return vehicles in orbit above the lander. This had to happen within just one lunar day (2 earth weeks). We saw them complete the mission in just a couple days based on state-run media coverage. Now NASA has captured a photo of the lander using cameras on its own orbiter around the Moon.

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$1 to $15K: NASA taps four companies to collect Moon rocks in proof-of-concept mission

In September, NASA unveiled plans to pay commercial companies to collect Moon rocks and transfer ownership to the U.S. space agency for the first time. Now, NASA has selected four proposals to fulfill its goal, and the awards range from $1 to $15,000.

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Not a monolith: Mysterious object trapped in orbit actually a rocket stage from the 60s

Back in September, a mysterious object became trapped temporarily in Earth’s orbit. The object was initially classified as an asteroid, but some weren’t convinced the classification was correct. Now those suspicions have been proven correct…

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China expected to preform ‘Chang’e 5’ Moon landing on Tuesday

According to leaks on Chinese social media, we now know when certain events will take place for China’s newest lunar lander that recently launched on November 23rd. China is apparently attempting to land their booster as early as December 1.

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Watch: China wants to grab a chunk of the Moon with ‘Chang’e 5’ mission launching today

China is hours away from attempting a mission that hasn’t been tried since the end of the space race in the 1970s. Atop its Long March 5Y rocket, China plans to launch a lander to collect lunar soil never seen by researches here on Earth.

The mission is called “Chang’e 5” after the Chinese goddess of the moon. It’s also a continuation of what China has done with Chang’e 1-4 which has focused on learning how to orbit and land on the Moon. Now it is time for China to attempt to return a sample of the lunar surface.

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NASA’s high-flying 747 SOFIA behind new discovery about Moon before astronauts return

How is this for a tantalizing teaser? NASA plans to announce a new discovery about Earth’s Moon on Monday, October 26. No details on what the announcement will include beyond ‘new science details,’ but the discovery is credited to NASA’s custom 747 named SOFIA.

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5G on the Moon? NASA backs Nokia’s space communication network starting with LTE

NASA recently unveiled the winners of its fifth round of Tipping Point technology innovators. Most funding goes toward demonstrating ways to refuel vehicles in space for sending heavier payloads to the Moon. One experiment being funded by NASA, however, is focused on bringing an essential Earth experience to space.

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NASA wants to pay someone to collect rocks on the Moon as a lunar commerce proof of concept

Sending the first woman and next man to the Moon isn’t the only lunar goal NASA has for 2024. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced today that the space agency is seeking a commercial company capable of collecting moon rocks for NASA to purchase.

The interesting twist is that the company or companies awarded contracts won’t be required to bring the Moon rocks back to Earth. The objective is simply to demonstrate commerce on the Moon as a concept toward building a sustainable presence on the lunar surface and beyond.

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White House celebrates SpaceX and Mars Perseverance rover on Space Exploration Day

Neil Armstrong made history 51 years ago today when the American astronaut became the first human to step foot on the Moon. Space Exploration Day on July 20 honors the Apollo 11 mission and all advances made in space.

The White House released a presidential statement this year that recognizes the recent SpaceX launch with astronauts and the upcoming NASA Mars 2020 mission as current milestones:

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Astrobotic will transport NASA’s ice-studying VIPER rover to the Moon with Griffin lunar lander in 2023

The Perseverance Mars rover isn’t the only new rover in NASA’s collection of robots that will explore celestial bodies in space. The slightly more aggressively named VIPER rover will be Moon-bound in 2023.

Today NASA unveiled which company has been awarded the contract to transport VIPER to the Moon using a lunar landing system: Astrobotic. The company will receive $199.5 million for the service.

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NASA finalizes contract to design habitation and logistics outpost for lunar orbiting Gateway

NASA signed a contract this month with the company that will design its Gateway housing module. The lunar orbiting outpost is intended to be used in NASA’s Artemis program. The Orbital Science Corporation, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Space, was awarded a $187 million contract to work on the project. 

The Gateway is an advanced lunar outpost that will be essential to the Artemis program in the future. The program aims to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024. NASA’s agreement with Orbital Science Corporation foresees that the Gateway’s preliminary design will be presented and revised by the end of this year.

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Reuters: President Trump to counter Moon Treaty with ‘Artemis Accords’ to encourage legal lunar mining

President Trump issued an executive order on April 6 to encourage commercial companies to work with NASA and its Artemis program.

Specifically, the ordered denounced the Moon Treaty in an effort to ease concerns for international partners concerned with policy on the use of lunar resources.

Now the Trump administration appears to be going one step further with a new international agreement that not only doesn’t recognize but counters the Moon Treaty.

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Three is company: Lunar edition

You’re familiar with the Moon right? That really charming glow in the sky that controls our tides? Turns out Earth has a new one, and it’s not the first time this has happened either.

Astronomer Kacper Wierzchos shared the news this week that he and his Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne discovered something special in the night sky.

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NASA Video: Apollo 13 views of the Moon in 4K

From NASA Goddard:

This video uses data gathered from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft to recreate some of the stunning views of the Moon that the Apollo 13 astronauts saw on their perilous journey around the farside in 1970.

These visualizations, in 4K resolution, depict many different views of the lunar surface, starting with earthset and sunrise and concluding with the time Apollo 13 reestablished radio contact with Mission Control.

Also depicted is the path of the free return trajectory around the Moon, and a continuous view of the Moon throughout that path. All views have been sped up for timing purposes — they are not shown in “real-time.”

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