Mission to EARTH's Moon

This page was last updated on October 1, 2018

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NASA's travel poster to Earth's Moon

Soft Landings on the Moon

Should We Go to Mars or Back to the Moon?

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?

A great new Moon Resource It'The Chang’E-1 Topographic Atlas of the Moon
Authors: Li, C., Liu, J., Mu, L., Ren, X., Zuo, W.

This atlas is based on the lunar global Digital Elevation Models (DEM) of Chang'E-1 (CE-1), and presents CCD stereo image data with digital photogrammetry. The spatial resolution of the DEM in this atlas is 500m, with horizontal accuracy of 192m and vertical accuracy of 120m. Color-shaded relief maps with contour lines are used to show the lunar topographical characteristics. The topographical data gathered by CE-1 can provide fundamental information for the study of lunar topographical, morphological and geological structures, as well as for lunar evolution research.


There Could Be Lava Tubes on the Moon, Large Enough for Whole Cities
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

Here is Earth rise from the Japanese Kaguya Mission

The Ladee Mission on the Moon

How Much It Costs To Live On The Moon???

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]

The lunar reconnaissance Orbiter


Moon Mystery Solved! Apollo Rocket Impact Site Finally Foun


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

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China's mission TO THE MOON

China Plans Lunar Far Side Landing by 2020 by KEN KREMER on SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

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.

China Reveals Plans for Moon and Mars

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


  The Chinese lunar rover, part of the upcoming Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon. 
  Credit and ©: CASC/China Ministry of Defense

 The Chinese Yutu rover, part of the Chang’e 3 mission, on the Moon.
 Credit: CNSA

 elevation data of the Moon, highlighting the low-lying regions of the South Pole-Aitken Basin.
 Credit: NASA/GSFC/University of Arizona

 Artist’s concept of a possible “International Lunar Village” on the Moon, 
 assembled using inflated domes and 3D printing.
 Credits: ESA/Foster + Partners

China launches Queqiao relay satellite to support Chang'e-4 lunar far side landing mission

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Gravity of the moon

Grail's Video Gravity Map of the moon

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) .
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC

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.”


The Marius Hills Skylight, as observed by the Japanese SELENE/Kaguya research team. Image by: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

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 surface exploration crew investigating a typical, small lava tunnel, to determine if it could serve as a natural shelter for the habitation modules of a Lunar Base. Credit: NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Arched passages in the main tube show the classic lava tube shape. The floor was the crust on a former lava lake that fell inward as it drained from beneath. Credit: Dave Bunnell/Under Earth Images/Wikipedia Commons

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.

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Orbital ATK's Mission Proposal


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

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NASA's MoonBase Proposal

MOONBASE BY 2022 FOR $10 BILLION, SAYS NASA 23 Mar , 2016 by Matt Williams

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.
Credit: NASA

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.
Credit: NASA

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

This shaded relief image shows the Moon’s Shackleton Crater, a 21-km-wide crater permanently shadowed crater near the lunar south pole. The crater’s interior structure is shown in false color based on data from NASA’s LRO probe. Credit: NASA

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Bigelow and ULA/Future Missions


Bigelow Lunar Outpost. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

Lunar. Sooner.™

Bigelow Aerospace & United Launch Alliance have an agreement to push for the creation of an orbiting Lunar Depot See Full Press Release Here:

Interior schematic view of Bigelow Aerospace B330 expandable module. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

View of the Vulcan Rocket. Credit: ULA


Artist's impression of a lunar base created with 3-d printing techniques. Credits: ESA/Foster + Partners

NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image showing some of the newly discovered lava tube skylight candidates at Philolaus Crater near the North Pole of the Moon. Credit: NASA/LRO/SETI Institute/Mars Institute/Pascal Lee

Philolaus Traverse from SETI on Vimeo.

Polar Caves on the Moon? - Pascal Lee from SETI on Vimeo.

4G Mission to the Moon

The Moon will get 4G coverage next year(2019), 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on its surface. Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PTScientists in 2019 and has today appointed Nokia as its technology partner. Berlin-based company, PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately-funded Moon landing. Mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Vodafone’s network expertise will be used to set up the Moon’s first 4G network, connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). Nokia, through Nokia Bell Labs, will create a space-grade Ultra Compact Network that will be the lightest ever developed - weighing less than one kilo, the same as a bag of sugar. The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video while they carefully approach and study NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon (Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt) to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

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Image showing the distribution of surface ice at the Moon's south pole (left) and north pole (right), detected by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument. Credits: NASA

Direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in the lunar polar regions (PDF)

A map showing the permanently shadowed regions (blue) that cover about 3 percent of the moon’s south pole. Credit: NASA Goddard/LRO mission

Exposed water ice (green or blue dots) in lunar polar regions and temperature. Credit: Shuai Li

Shackleton Crater

This visualization, created using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter laser altimeter data, offers a view of Shackleton Crater located in the south pole of the moon. Thanks to these measurements, we now have our best-yet maps of the crater's permanently-shadowed interior! Note: This video contains no audio.

NASA | Water on the Moon

Since the 1960's, scientists have suspected that frozen water could survive in cold, dark craters at the Moon's poles. While previous lunar missions have detected hints of water on the Moon, new data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) pinpoints areas near the south pole where water is likely to exist. The key to this discovery is hydrogen, the main ingredient in water: LRO uses its Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector, or LEND, to measure how much hydrogen is trapped within the lunar soil. By combining years of LEND data, scientists see mounting evidence of hydrogen-rich areas near the Moon's south pole, strongly suggesting the presence of frozen water. This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on facebook: Or find us on Twitter:

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Elon Musk Reveals who the First Lunar Tourist Will Be

Ever since Elon Musk announced the latest addition to the SpaceX rocket family back in September of 2016, the general public and space community has been eagerly awaiting updates on its progress. Known as the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), this massive launch vehicle is central to Musk’s plan of conducting space tourism with flights into orbit and to the Moon. It is also intrinsic to his vision of sending astronauts and colonists to Mars.

Graphic showing the various stages of the BFR’s first lunar mission. Credit: SpaceX

#dearMoon Project

New space-inspired art project #dearMoon hosted by Yusaku Maezawa,Japanese entrepreneur. To launch it, project introduction movie aired at a press conference with Mr. Elon Musk at September 17, 2018 SpaceX HQ. Credit: SpaceX

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