LRO and LCROSS launched

Lunar Mapping, NASA, Robotic Exploration 1 Comment »

LRO and LCROSS was launched yesterday, in what appears to be a picture-perfect launch. LRO will reach the Moon Tuesday 23. June, and will start conducting its scientific experiments after a short commissioning phase. LCROSS will take a slightly different trajectory, and will impact the Moon 9. October.

The launch has been widely reported in international media, here are a few random links: USA, Germany, UK, France, Norway, Australia. I’ll add more links as I come across them.

White Label Space joins GLXP

GLXP, Robotic Exploration No Comments »

White Label Space has joined the Google Lunar X Prize, read more here: http://www.lunarexplorers.net/node/668, and here: http://www.whitelabelspace.com/2009/05/white-label-space-joins-google-lunar-x.html.

Best of luck to the new team!

International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008

Awards 2 Comments »

ILEWG and the Lunar Explorers Society (Lunex) has announced the winners of the International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008, at the LEAG-ICEUM10-SRR conference, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The ILEWG Awards celebrate the top lunar achievements in science, technology, international cooperation, community service, commerce and outreach. The Lunex YLE Award is given to an entity promoting lunar exploration among young lunar explorers.

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India launches its first lunar mission

ISRO, Lunar Mapping No Comments »

At 06:22 IST Wednesday morning India successfully launched its first lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1.  Riding on top of a PSLV-11C rocket the spacecraft was inserted in a orbit around the Earth, before it will start its trip towards the Moon. It will be inserted in a Moon orbit in two weeks, and then gradually lower its final altitude to 100 km.

When the final orbit is reached Chandrayaan-1′s main task will be to:

  • To place an unmanned spacecraft in an orbit around the moon
  • To conduct mineralogical and chemical mapping of the lunar surface
  • To upgrade the technological base in the country

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Bad news for the Constellation program?

NASA No Comments »

The Constellation program is the future space transportation system of NASA , developed to bring humans and cargo into earth orbit and beyond. It is the key element or returning humans to the Moon by 2020, as stated in the Vision for Space Exploration.

All the components of the Constellation program has been designed to be as reliable and cheap as possible, while still being able to transport both astronauts and large quantities of material too the Moon. The complexity of this project is enormous, and I have been following it with great interest the last few years. Unfortunately the Ares I rocket and the Orion capsule, together tasked with bringing humans from Earth to space, has encountered several problems this year.

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