Today marks the halfway point till the new Moon and Taco Bell is celebrating the only way it knows by giving out free tacos.
2020 ended on a low note for the scientific community as the Arecibo Observatory collapsed in early December. However, this event has reinvigorated the discussion around NASA’s proposed Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT). Some scientists have even suggested that an LCRT on the Moon’s far side could act as a better replacement for Arecibo.
Preparations for NASA’s Artemis program are in full swing as the first mission, Artemis I, is set to launch later this year. However, one crucial part of the program that still requires a solution is navigation architecture. With extended stays on the moon, humans and autonomous robots alike would benefit greatly from having a system similar to GPS available.
A new report has come out stating that Anek Laothamatas, Thailand’s Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, wants to build a spacecraft capable of orbiting the moon. The news has sparked some controversy among Thailand residents as they see more pressing issues that could be addressed with the money.
On December 9, 2020, iSpace announced that it had opened a brand new mission control center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. It will serve as the mission control for the companies commercial lunar exploration program, “HAKUTO-R.”
On December 14, 2020, the Moon will move in front of the Sun, creating the only total eclipse that will take place this year. Unfortunately, most of you reading this article won’t be able to view the eclipse, though, due to it only be visible from Chile and Argentina in South America.
NASA awarded three distinct human landing system proposals from Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX for further development in April. These 21st-century human landing systems are designed to transfer astronauts from the Orion spacecraft to the surface of the Moon on Artemis missions happening this decade. Blue Origin, which leads the National Team, shared a major update on its HLS progress today.
According to Ars Technica, Vice President Mike Pence will be announcing a group of 18 astronauts who will be considered for NASA’s Artemis Program. Some of which could even be lucky enough to set foot on the moon.
Astronauts are going back to the Moon for the first time since the end of NASA’s Apollo program in 1972. Under the Artemis program, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the Moon in this decade. NASA is releasing new details about the planned Artemis III mission today in a report outlining science priorities.
Last week we saw China land its Chang’e 5 lander on the surface from the Moon with the goal to gather lunar samples and launch to the return vehicles in orbit above the lander. This had to happen within just one lunar day (2 earth weeks). We saw them complete the mission in just a couple days based on state-run media coverage. Now NASA has captured a photo of the lander using cameras on its own orbiter around the Moon.