Skip to comments.Hubble Takes Rare Look at Moon
Posted on 10/19/2005 9:25:18 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a rare look at the moon to gauge the amount of oxygen-bearing minerals in the lunar soil that could be mined by astronauts and used in a new moon mission.
NASA said Wednesday that the telescope's ultraviolet observations of two Apollo landing sites and an unexplored but geologically intriguing area will help scientists pick the best spots for robot and human exploration.
The space agency hopes to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 using Apollo-like capsules and rockets made of shuttle parts.
The data also will benefit a lunar reconnaissance spacecraft to be launched in 2008.
NASA scientist Jim Garvin described the August observations as "CSI does the moon through Hubble."
"We're going to try to do forensic science using places on the moon we know, two of the Apollo sites particularly noteworthy for their soils," he said.
The space telescope photographed the landing sites of Apollo 15 and 17. Scientists know from rocks collected by the moonwalkers how much of the mineral ilmenite, an iron titanium oxide, is present at those locations.
Oxygen could be extracted from ilmenite with relative ease to provide air, water and rocket fuel for astronauts, allowing them to live off the land and helping to drive down exploration costs.
Hubble made 60 lunar observations over three days in August, around the time of the full moon. It has observed the moon just once before, in the late 1990s. The moon is a difficult target for the space telescope, which was not designed to track the fast-moving orb.
On the Net:
This image provided by NASA and taken by the Hubble Space Telescope Aug. 21, 2005 shows Aristarchus crater on the earth's moon. NASA said Wednesday Oct. 19, 2005 that the telescope's ultraviolet observations of two Apollo landing sites and an unexplored but geologically intriguing area will help scientists pick the best spots for robot and human exploration. The space agency hopes to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 using Apollo-like capsules and rockets made of shuttle parts. (AP Photo/NASA)
Did they take a picture of our flag there to debunk the "moon landing was a fake" coast to coast AM crowd?
The conspiracy kooks would only say that the photo was a construct of somebody's mind done in someone's garage and not from the Hubble telescope...
it's all in the shadow, remember?
Where's the bleepin LEM???
One small step for Hubble, one large step for mankind.
I'll bet they flew to the garage in black helicoptors, hiding in the contrails of poison our government is testing on us every day.
It ain't just the Art & George crowd on C t C, we've had FReepers going to the mattresses over believing we never had a moon landing!!!
The moon landing was fake because the astronauts brought back rocks instead of green cheese.
Image above:NASA's new crew exploration vehicle in lunar orbit. Artist's concept by John Frassanito and Associates.
How We'll Get Back to the Moon
Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will again explore the surface of the moon. And this time, we're going to stay, building outposts and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. There are echoes of the iconic images of the past, but it won't be your grandfather's moon shot.
This journey begins soon, with development of a new spaceship. Building on the best of Apollo and shuttle technology, NASA's creating a 21st century exploration system that will be affordable, reliable, versatile, and safe.
The centerpiece of this system is a new spacecraft designed to carry four astronauts to and from the moon, support up to six crewmembers on future missions to Mars, and deliver crew and supplies to the International Space Station.
The new crew vehicle will be shaped like an Apollo capsule, but it will be three times larger, allowing four astronauts to travel to the moon at a time.
The new spacecraft has solar panels to provide power, and both the capsule and the lunar lander use liquid methane in their engines. Why methane? NASA is thinking ahead, planning for a day when future astronauts can convert Martian atmospheric resources into methane fuel.
The new ship can be reused up to 10 times. After the craft parachutes to dry land (with a splashdown as a backup option), NASA can easily recover it, replace the heat shield and launch it again.
Coupled with the new lunar lander, the system sends twice as many astronauts to the surface as Apollo, and they can stay longer, with the initial missions lasting four to seven days. And while Apollo was limited to landings along the moon's equator, the new ship carries enough propellant to land anywhere on the moon's surface.
Once a lunar outpost is established, crews could remain on the lunar surface for up to six months. The spacecraft can also operate without a crew in lunar orbit, eliminating the need for one astronaut to stay behind while others explore the surface.
Cool. Is that the moon rover in that right side photo?
I have a family member who gets into this garbage with me once in awhile, she is fully convinced that the pentagon was hit by a missile and not a plane on 9-11 and that the twin towers came down by our govt's intention. Sorta like, 'prove to me you don't beat your wife'... it's all I can do to somehow politely end the conversation.
That'd take better than 3nR resolution... you'd need a telescope about 100 times bigger than Hubble.... I think the lunar reconnaissance spacecraft will be able to see the vehicles and stuff up there though.
Indeed. Whatever happened to Inspector Harry Callahan?
S73-22871 (13 December 1972) --- Scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder during the third Apollo 17 Extravehicular Activity (EVA-3) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which transported Schmitt and Eugene A. Cernan to this extravehicular station from their Lunar Module (LM), is seen in the background. The mosaic is made from two frames from Apollo 17 Hasselblad magazine 140. The two frames were photographed by Cernan.
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