Moon

Spikey robot ‘hedgehogs’ to explore Martian moon

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 2, 2013   View Article

A spike-covered robotic hedgehog is being developed to precisely hop, bounce and tumble across the Martian moon Phobos on a scouting trip for a human mission to Mars, according to a space scientist working on the project.

The Martian moon Phobos is one of the red planet’s two satellites, each just a few kilometers wide. Many scientists consider the moon a must-visit destination to learn more about Mars, the evolution of the solar system, and, perhaps, use as a base camp for future robotic explorations of Mars.

3-D printer and moon rocks join up to make repairs in space

Publication: NBC News   Date: November 28, 2012   View Article

When lunar colonists need a new tool or replacement part to fix a broken spacecraft leg, all they’ll need to do is scoop up some moon rocks and feed them into a 3-D printer, suggests a new proof-of-concept study.

The ability to use material already on the moon to build things and fix equipment could save earthlings a bundle of money in fuel costs since they won’t have to haul everything they need to their lunar outposts.

Can urine whiz rockets to Mars

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: October 4, 2011   View Article

The idea of using urine to whiz rockets to the moon and beyond is once again leaking into the realm of possibility.

That’s because scientists have begun to crack the code of how bacteria that live without the aid of oxygen convert ammonium — a key chemical in urine — into hydrazine, which is a type of rocket fuel.

Kleopatra gave birth to twins … moons

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 23, 2011   View Article

Kleopatra, a dog-bone shaped asteroid named after the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, is a pile of rubble that spawned twin moons about 100 million years ago, astronomers announced in a new study.

The discovery stems from detailed observations of 135-mile-long Kleopatra with the Keck II telescope in Hawaii made in 2008 that confirmed the asteroid’s dog-bone shape and the presence of two moons, each about 5 miles wide.

Moon Not So Watery After All, Lunar-Rock Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 5, 2010   View Article

The inside of the moon isn’t as watery as previously reported, according to a new study that found a high variety of chlorine atoms in Apollo moon rocks.

For decades scientists had thought the moon is bone dry inside and out. But recent moon-impact missions found water ice on the lunar surface, and reanalysis of rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts found evidence for significant amounts of water inside the moon in the form of hydroxyl (-OH), a hydrogen compound formed by the breakdown of water (H2O).

In a new study of Apollo moon rocks, geochemist Zachary Sharp of the University of New Mexico and colleagues measured the moon rocks’ chlorine isotopes, or different forms of the chlorine atom.

Seven out-of-this world destinations

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: April 13, 2010   View Article

We are headed to Mars … eventually. But first we need the rocket technology and human spaceflight savvy to get us there safely and efficiently. And the best way to do that is to visit places such as asteroids, our moon, a Martian moon and even no man’s lands in space called “Lagrange points,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden explained during the unveiling of the agency’s revised vision for space exploration.

The vision shifts focus away from a return to the moon as part of a steppingstone to Mars in favor of what experts call a “flexible path” to space exploration, pushing humans ever deeper into the cosmos.

Water Found in Apollo Moon Rocks?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 9, 2010   View Article

Recently NASA crashed two spacecraft into the moon and orbiters scanned the lunar surface for telltale light signatures—all to confirm the rocky body isn’t bone dry after all.

But, it turns out, solid evidence for water on the moon was under our noses the whole time.

Tiny amounts of water have been found in some of the famous moon rocks brought back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts, scientists announced last Wednesday.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach