Published on Dec 3, 2015 When humans finally blast off for another world, where will we be going? Will we return to the Moon,
and take over where the Apollo astronauts left off, or will we press onto Mars, and set foot on a whole new planet?
by Matt Williams on April 7, 2015
Rima Ariadaeus, a linear rile (a surface channel thought to be formed by lava) on the Moon?s surface,
as photographed from Apollo 10. Credit: NASA
Is our future really on the moon? Let's take a look at how much it would cost us to fly 238,900 miles to the moon and set up shop. CREDIT:MAKEUSOF
An early lunar outpost design based on a module design (1990). Credit: NASA/Cicorra Kitmacher
pectra gathered by the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) on India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission, showing the presence of water
in Moon’s polar regions.
Credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown University/USGS
Hydrogen detected in the polar regions of the Moon point towards the presence of water. Credit: NASA
Artist concept of a base on the Moon. Credit: NASA, via Wikipedia
Schematic showing the stream of charged hydrogen ions carried from the Sun by the solar wind. Credit: University of Maryland/F. Merlin/McREL]
Multi-dome lunar base being constructed, based on the 3D printing concept. Once assembled, the inflated domes are covered with a layer of 3D-printed lunar regolith by robots to help protect the occupants against space radiation and micrometeoroids. Credits: ESA/Foster + Partners
Multi-dome lunar base being constructed, based on the 3D printing concept. Credits: ESA/Foster + Partners
Artist’s impression of a lunar base created with 3-d printing techniques. Credits: ESA/Foster + Partners
The ESA recently elaborated its plan to create a Moon base by the 2030s.
Credit: Foster + Partners is part of a consortium set up by the European Space Agency to explore
the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations.
Credit: ESA/Foster + Partners
Here is NASA's NASA's Transient Lunar events report
China plans lunar far side landing with hardware similar to Chang’e-3 lander
This time-lapse color panorama from China’s Chang’e-3 lander shows the Yutu rover at two different positions
during its trek over the Moon’s surface at its landing site from Dec. 15-18, 2013. This view was taken from the 360-degree panorama.
Credit: CNSA/Chinanews/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo.
Mosaic of the Chang’e-3 moon lander and the lunar surface taken by the camera on China’s Yutu moon rover
from a position south of the lander during Lunar Day 3. Note the landing ramp and rover tracks at left.
Credit: CNSA/SASTIND/Xinhua/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer Mosaic of the Chang’e-3 moon lander and the lunar surface taken by the camera on China’s Yutu moon rover from a position south of the lander during Lunar Day 3.
Note the landing ramp and rover tracks at left. Credit: CNSA/SASTIND/Xinhua/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer
360-degree time-lapse color panorama from China’s Chang’e-3 lander. This new 360-degree time-lapse color panorama
from China’s Chang’e-3 lander shows the Yutu rover at five different positions, including passing by crater and heading south
and away from the Chang’e-3 lunar landing site forever during its trek over the Moon’s surface at its landing site from
Dec. 15-22, 2013 during the 1st Lunar Day. Credit: CNSA/Chinanews/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo – kenkremer.com.
See our Yutu timelapse pano "NASA APOD Feb. 3, 2014
Pyramid Rock, as named by the Chinese. This rock was ejected when the crater immediately behind it was created.
Image: Chinese Academy of Sciences/China National Space Administration/The Science and Application Centre for
Moon and Deep Space Exploration/Emily Lakdawalla.
This is a 360 degree panoramic image of the rover and part of the lander.
Bright white rocks litter the rim of the crater on the left.
Image: Chinese Academy of Sciences/China National Space Administration/
The Science and Application Centre for Moon and Deep Space Exploration/Emily Lakdawalla.
This image shows a lot of detail of the Yutu rover. Image: Chinese Academy of Sciences/China National Space Administration
/The Science and Application Centre for Moon and Deep Space Exploration/Emily Lakdawalla.
A high ranking member of China's secretive space agency has surprisingly revealed details on the nation's ambitious plans for exploring both the moon and Mars. Architect of the country's impending missions, Wu Weiren, provided the BBC with remarkable insight into the heretofore unknown intentions for China's space agency. He told the broadcaster that they hope to soon both orbit as well as land on the moon in order to obtain samples from the celestial body. That would merely be the initial stage of China's presence on the moon as Weiren says that they aim to ultimately establish a manned research base there. A key factor in their aspirations reside on the far side of the moon, where China believes there may be water and ice that could prove to be valuable resources to future lunar denizens. However, as might be expected given the state of current space exploration, China has begun setting their sights on Mars as a longterm goal for exploration. In an intriguing revelation, Weiren indicated that the Chinese space agency was limited by their own government as far as allocating resources towards a Martian mission. With that stance seemingly having changed, the agency is confident that it will reach the Red Planet by 2021 in an elaborate mission. "We will orbit Mars, land, and deploy a rover - all in one mission," Weiren declared to the BBC. Despite their lofty expectations, China faces a unique challenge due to the nature of their space agency. Since it is part of the Chinese military, NASA is forbidden for working with them and the European Space Agency has only collaborated with them on one mission. As such, the isolationist space agency has been forced to rely on Russian help as well as their own vast resources of scientists. Weiren expressed hope that the stalemate with the United States can come to an end and both countries could work together to explore space. Whether that proves to be case remains to be seen, but it may be in everyone's best interests rather than a space war over land and resources from the moon and beyond. Source: BBC News
Published on May 22, 2013 This movie shows the variations in the lunar gravity field as measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) during the primary mapping mission from March to May 2012. Very precise microwave measurements between two spacecraft, named Ebb and Flow, were used to map gravity with high precision and high spatial resolution. The field shown resolves blocks on the surface of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) and measurements are three to five orders of magnitude improved over previous data. Red corresponds to mass excesses and blue corresponds to mass deficiencies. The map shows more small-scale detail on the far side of the moon compared to the nearside because the far side has many more small craters. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License
Map showing variations in the lunar gravity field, as measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) .
High-resolution of the Marius Hills pit, which lies over a possible lava tube in an ancient volcanic region
of the Moon called the Marius Hills.
Artist concept of the GRAIL mission, twin spacecraft that fly in tandem around the Moon to measure its gravity field.
Credit: NASA/JPL Much like Earth, the moon’s gravitational field is affected by masses below the surface.
“Any gravitational field is affected by the density of material,” said Sood. “If you are flying the spacecraft over a block
of dense material, it will experience an increase in gravitational pull in contrary to flying over a lava tube void,
in which case there will be a decrease in gravitational attraction experienced by the spacecraft.”
Marius Hills, which shows multiple lunar domes and two large sinuous rilles.
Credit: NASA/LPI “[W]e have to remember that gravity is non-unique,” Sood added, “which means, in order to support our findings
and to add to our ongoing efforts, our team is considering a ground penetrating radar that will probe the lunar
subsurface from orbit. The goal of the radar would be to confirm the presence of the potential lava tube candidates
that we have detected so far, and in addition, look for smaller lava tubes that were beyond the resolution of GRAIL gravity data.”
Artist’s impression of a lava tube measuring several kms wide, with the city of Philadelphia shown inside for scale:
Purdue University/David Blair Each of these holes could lead to subsurface voids or caverns, which range in diameter from about 16 feet (5 meters)
to more than 2,950 feet (900 m). Assuming that just a fraction of these lead to underground tubes that are large enough
to house an entire Earth city, there would be no shortage of possible settlement sites if and when it comes time to colonize the Moon.
Artist rendering of Orbital ATK concept for an initial lunar habitat outpost, as it would appear with NASA’s Orion spacecraft in 2021.
Credit: Orbital ATK
Based on a series of articles that were recently made available to the public,
NASA predicts it could build a base on the Moon by 2022, and for cheaper than expected.
Artist’s concept for a Lunar base. Credit: NASA
Artist’s concept for a lunar base built through in-situ-resource utilization (ISRU)
and a form of 3D printing known as contour-crafitng.
A lunar base as imagined by NASA in the 1970s, with a Mass Driver extending to the horizon. Credit: NASA
A lunar base could exist by 2022, and for cheaper than you expect. Credit: Kcida10
A lunar base could exist by 2022, and for cheaper than you expect. Credit: Kcida10
Lunar footprint from the Apollo missions. Credit: NASA