Lunar news 4-21-2020

LUNAR NEWS

The race to the moon is heating up. I found this BRILLIANT proposal for building a telescope in a lunar crater . Its so simple, I’m amazed they waited this long. You can find the official NASA link here, and a relevant SlashDot discussion here. Drop a package with some rovers, have them drive out and pull the antenna mesh out and anchor themselves. On the dark side of the moon, shielded from earth radio noise. Read the article for details, but it really is..brilliantly simple. (In terms of mission)

Also this is in the news, “Trump signs executive order to support moon mining, tap asteroid resources” Headline says it all. The OSIRIS-REx (wiki) spacecraft will be the first to pave the way for research on mining asteroids by a sampling mission. (Official NASA link here)

This got me thinking about rover design, for lunar mining. Firstly, It seems as though SpaceX will be the cargo supplier to the the Lunar Gateway space station. The VIPER rover (wiki) which is a reboot of the Resource Prospector (wiki) should be delivered (by SpaceX presumably) to the moon sometime in 2023. All these rovers are so much fun! NASA is even considering allowing tag along packages, if you can fit it into a box the size of a bar of soap. You can do a LOT with an electronic package the size that small. Think 1/16 scale RC car that unfolds via origami. NASA press release here, additional article by Engadget.

Speaking of moons, Popular Mechanics had this EXCELLENT article ranking the best moons of moons in our solar system! Its worth the read. Also worth the watch, is this YouTube video of the Apollo 11 landing profile. Give it a like, someone put a lot of love into that video.

Moon news roundup 2-27-2020

Quiet this week, but I did find some neat news.

We have heard of the many ways astronauts would make oxygen on the moon, this is the latest way of generating it from moon dust. What’s really interesting about this is the efficiency factor.

This next link, I don’t even know what to say. I’ve heard of this, but never thought it as a serious thing. They want to grow habitats on the moon using mushrooms! Well, *someone* figured it out. It’s called myco-architecture, and its actually worthy of consideration. All I can say is read the NASA article and decide who’s been working in the shroom-room too long.

Well, hope you laughed, that’s it for this week!

3D printing lunar bases

3D printing is a real thing now. SQ4D is doing houses. Think about that, a house built in a day. It took only 12 hours to print that. When you view the pictures that really is a sizeable habitat.

Now Lunarcrete is the best material when you think about it. Its just crushed local rock really. NASA has done a lot of research into this. They are doing tests on the ISS now, and others are getting into it. This company, SQ4D, is paving the way. The process could easily be automated.

This is also a good use of mined material after generating oxygen from it.

Elon Musk, props to you on your twitter tweet about your SpaceX Starship project. That’s a big fuel tank! 9 meters across is a lot of fuel! Easy to include a 3d lunarcrete printing machine and a couple of rover-dozers to feed it. Your doing the hard part, getting it there. The printing tech is mature.

Report from the dark side of the moon.

China today has released a trove of pictures and data from the dark side of the moon.

Update 1-26-20, Popular Mechanics has this article with some really nice lunar pictures.

I thought today I should give credit where its due to the Chang’e-4 mission and its lunar lander, Yutu-2, on the dark side of the moon with a few relevant links. For those of you wondering how they take pictures with no light, read about Yutu-2’s cameras. To save you the click, its a really nice camera that can see in the 420-700nm range. The images you see are compiled from many exposures of different wavelengths.

I also was interested in the ground penetrating radar package. From the wiki :

“Lunar penetrating radar (LPR), is a ground penetrating radar with a probing depth of approximately 30 m with 30 cm vertical resolution, and more than 100 m with 10 m vertical resolution.[11]

Wonder if someone will find an artificial object buried somewhere. Along with the spectrum analyzer, most likely, they will find a gold mine of precious metals and stake a claim. Well, can’t complain, they were there first. (cough, NASA, cough)

The combination of instruments including the Advanced Small Analyzer for Neutrals (ASAN) found some interesting stuff. Not sure what it is but here are some links.

A nice article from space.com on the original mission. This is a great read, lots of facts and details for those interested.

The data released is 17,239 data files equaling roughly 20.9GB of data. For those interested in that, its public and can be located here.

Congratulations guys, nice work! Even crashing on the moon is historically hard.

We should not forget who else do not get enough press. India’s 3rd lunar attempt. Those of you who wish to participate in intelligent commentary, or read more, I suggest this Slashdot link to the article. As always, I do try to save you the search, here is the Chandrayaan-3 mission wiki.

Bezos and Blue origin develop new lander!

Just found this very cool article. To quote from Daily Mail :

“Blue Origin is ‘going to the MOON’: Jeff Bezos unveils lunar lander at mysterious invite-only event in Washington D.C. and suggests his firm will hit VP Pence’s 2024 deadline for putting humans back on the surface”

Not only is this lander totally bad-ass looking, but Blue and Bezos have done what NASA failed to do for the last 50 years. And on much less budget, I believe.

Not sure what the future holds, But I can see SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Bigelow  Aerospace all working together. Blue makes the inital setup, possibly carrying some robots and a few inflatable modules from Bigelow, follow it up with with Blue/SpaceX just dropping tons of what would be needed. We could have a huge colony by 2030’ish.

Would be nice to see Boston Dynamics get involved with Lunar robots. 3D printing of structures, I think, would be the easiest. Digging would be best, much more protection underground, rather than the surface.

Keep up the hard work guys, your all doing what humanity really needs. We cant live in this old apartment forever, it’s time to leave the nest.

Domain for sale!

I never wanted these sites to goto waste. Jeff Bezos, If your out there – buy the darn sites they will help you to all the planets.  Virgin Atlantic,  http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/

Elon musk?! It’s like bidding on a cheap car

Jeff bezos  Its cheaper then gas. 

Bill gates? C’mon, you could buy those up and make then pay for the royalties!

You all want to be first to the the moon,  with passengers – and you have money to spend and i have bills to pay. First one to make a real offer will own the entire fly-to-* domain.

Elon musk, I know your out there too, be a man and throw your hat in the ring. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos  – cmon guys your all heading to the moon and beyond.

Think ahead 20 years from now when your orbiting the moon and mars. Who owns the fly-to-‘s? Virgin Atlantic might want those destinations on the WWW.

All you people going into space – own the fly-to-‘s before i get old and die. It will save you money.

At  the end of the day – guys Its all about the domain and who snags them all up first. Entire Fly-to-* is for sale. And I don’t take spare change.

Richard Branson? You out there?

admin at www.fly-to-the-moon.com . Nevermind, You guys know how to track someone down when you want to buy something…

 

 

Lockheed Martin Unveils Plans For Huge Reusable Moon Lander For Astronauts

This is very cool. I found it on slashdot.

Here is the LINK. Also the Lockheed proposal. Billionaires vs trillion dollar agencies.  The cost savings come from saving overhead.  Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bill GatesJeff Bezos all you other people!  Screw it, you got the cash and the world has been waiting decades to see all that NASA art from the 70’s come to life. Apparently our elected officials can’t get it done. So for that I thank you all for you efforts.

Fully fueled 68 metric tons! That’s a big girl! 2 weeks on the surface! What a great start! Click the the link and see what comments have to say. It would appear that between Virgin Atlantic, SpaceX, NASA, Bigelow Aerospace  and others… The race is on. First one to the moon wins!

 

NASA Chief Wants to Send Humans to the Moon — ‘To Stay’

Interesting new NASA PR stunt that won’t come to fruition for … like never…  Permanent moon presence.

They have used this since the 50’s. For what we spend in one year on (…..whatever…) – this would have been done by now. At least they are trying to make a try but I’m afraid that too many middlemen will choke the project to death as all other attempts.

Link here

At least he’s trying, kudos to that.

Sad to say I have to warn you about ad spam on space.com. To space.com  – at a certain point its overkill. Inline Youtube ad’s? Good writing ruined by ad’s. To those that can stand it, the video starts after 3 seconds or so.