Meteoroid Strikes Eject Precious Water From Moon

Researchers from NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, report that streams of meteoroids striking the Moon infuse the thin lunar atmosphere with a short-lived water vapor. The findings will help scientists understand the history of lunar water – a potential resource for sustaining long term operations on the Moon …Read More

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OSIRIS-REx Captures Laser 3D View Of Bennu

This colorful new glimpse of asteroid Bennu is the first 3D lidar map created since the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s arrival at the asteroid in December 2018. The three-dimensional shape model is based on data gathered by the Canadian Space Agency’s OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) instrument. To create the image, over 11 million laser pulses were fired …Read More

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SwRI-Led Team Discovers Surprisingly Old Surface On Near-Earth Asteroid

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered that the surface geology on asteroid Bennu is older than expected. Early observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission indicate a surface that is between 100 million and 1 billion years old. “We expected small, kilometer-sized NEAs to have young, frequently refreshed surfaces,” said SwRI’s …Read More

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SwRI-Led Team Identifies Water-Bearing Minerals On Asteroid Bennu

A Southwest Research Institute-led team discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Using early spectral data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft orbiting the asteroid, the team identified infrared properties similar to those in a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites. “Scientists are interested in the composition of Bennu …Read More

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A Region Of Bennu’s Northern Hemisphere Close Up

This trio of images acquired by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows a wide shot and two close-ups of a region in asteroid Bennu’s northern hemisphere. The wide-angle image (left), obtained by the spacecraft’s MapCam camera, shows a 590-foot (180-meter) wide area with many rocks, including some large boulders, and a “pond” of regolith that is mostly …Read More

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NASA To Host Media Teleconference On Asteroid Sample Return Mission

NASA is hosting a media teleconference at 1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 19, to announce new science from the agency’s first mission to return to Earth an asteroid sample that may contain unaltered material from the very beginning of our solar system. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft launched Sept. 8, …Read More

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Astrobotic Team Selected By ESA To Study Delivery Of Lunar Resources Mission

Astrobotic announced it will be part of a team led by Airbus that has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the delivery of a payload package onboard the Peregrine lunar lander around 2025. The study will analyze Europe’s first mission to demonstrate in-situ resource utilization on the Moon. As part of …Read More

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NASA Seeks U.S. Partners To Develop Systems To Land Astronauts On Moon

As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on December 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface. The agency is planning to test new human-class landers on the Moon beginning in …Read More

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Intuitive Machines Headed To The Moon In 2021

Intuitive Machines LLC has its sights set on a mid-2021 launch for the autonomous delivery of scientific and commercial payloads to the surface of the moon. Houston-based Intuitive Machines has been developing the Nova-C class moon lander as a component of the company’s Lunar Payloads and Data Service (LPDS) program. A 3,300-pound Nova-C lander delivers …Read More

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Lockheed Martin Selected For NASA’s Commercial Lunar Lander Payload Services Contract

Lockheed Martin will apply its expertise in interplanetary spacecraft to a new program designed to deliver commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon. NASA announced today they have selected Lockheed Martin’s McCandless Lunar Lander to provide payload delivery services as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract. Lockheed Martin’s lander design …Read More

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