Where’s The Water? Two Resource-Hunting Tools For The Moon’s Surface

Launching one pound of any material into space costs thousands of dollars. Since a gallon of water weighs more than eight pounds, it’s easy to see that the ability to generate water, air and fuel in space could represent enormous cost savings for future deep-space missions. And that would make human exploration of the Moon, …Read More

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Asteroid Bennu, Target Of NASA’s Sample Return Mission, Is Rotating Faster Over Time

In late 2018, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft arrived at Bennu, the asteroid it will be studying and sampling over the next several years. Now, new research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters shows Bennu is spinning faster over time – an observation that will help scientists understand the …Read More

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SWIM Project Maps Potential Sources Of Mars Water

Missions carrying humans to Mars will require on-site resources, and a project led by Planetary Science Institute (PSI) scientists Nathaniel Putzig and Gareth Morgan is mapping the availability of potential shallow water-ice sources across the surface of the Red Planet.  Two teams led by Putzig and Morgan were contracted by NASA to pursue separate mapping …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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New Policy Needed To Advance Space Resources Industry

Space mining – the extraction and use of resources from the moon, asteroids and more – once sat firmly in the realm of science fiction. Now, the first missions to harvest water from the permanently shadowed regions of the moon could be only a decade away. Earlier this month, a pair of Colorado congressmen introduced …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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Asteroid From ‘Rare Species’ Spotted In The Cosmic Wild

Astronomers have discovered an asteroid looping through the inner solar system on an exotic orbit. The unusual object is among the first asteroids ever found whose orbit is confined almost entirely within the orbit of Venus. The asteroid’s existence hints at potentially significant numbers of space rocks arcing unseen in uncharted regions nearer to the …Read More

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A Better Eyeshot Of The Makeup Of Ancient Meteorites

A team of Japanese and American scientists has visualized meteorite components at resolution powers much higher than ever before. Their efforts resulted in a much better look at – and enhanced understanding of – substances inside carbonaceous chondrites, the organic-containing meteorites that land on Earth. These substances include hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and water, all of …Read More

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Space Telescope Detects Water In A Number Of Asteroids

Using the infrared satellite AKARI, a Japanese research team has detected the existence of water in the form of hydrated minerals in a number of asteroids for the first time. This discovery will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of water in our solar system, the evolution of asteroids, and the origin of water …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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