Moon Stories June 11

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 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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Moon Stories May 5

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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Moon Stories February 26

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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Moon Stories February 25

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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