lunar exploration

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Israel's Ambitious Moon Landing Attempt Fails

It was supposed to be the first privately funded lunar mission

(Newser) - An Israeli spacecraft lost contact with Earth and crashed just moments before it was to land on the moon late Thursday, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar mission . The spacecraft lost communication with ground control as it was making its final descent... More »

First Private Spacecraft Is Headed to the Moon

Israel is aiming to launch an unmanned lander this week

(Newser) - An Israeli nonprofit says it'll launch what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon this week, reports the AP . SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters on Monday that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will ship from Florida, where, propelled... More »

Cotton Sprout on the Moon Has Perished

The experiment is still seen as historic

(Newser) - Just a day after announcing that it had successfully sprouted a cotton plant aboard a probe on the moon’s surface, the China National Space Administration said Wednesday that the plant died with the onset of the frigid lunar night, the Guardian reports. Nighttime temperatures on the moon can plummet... More »

On the Far Side of the Moon, Cotton Grows

China's getting into extraterrestrial agriculture, sprouts seeds in moon lander

(Newser) - For the first time anybody is aware of, seeds have sprouted on a celestial body beyond Earth. The China National Space Administration released a photo Tuesday showing that cotton seeds brought to the far side of the moon by the country's Chang'e 4 lander had germinated, the South ... More »

China Releases Incredible Panorama of Moon's Far Side

China hails success of mission

(Newser) - China on Friday broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the moon's far side, in what its space program hailed as another triumph for the groundbreaking missio n to the less-understood sector of the lunar surface. The pictures on state broadcaster CCTV showed the Jade Rabbit 2... More »

China Just Made History on the Moon

Craft lands on the far side of the moon, the first to do so

(Newser) - A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26am, China Central Television said during its noon broadcast. The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is... More »

China's Latest Move to Bring a Pink Floyd Song to Life

Launch of Queqiao satellite will set China up to send lunar probe to dark side of the moon

(Newser) - While China and the US go back and forth on tariffs here on Earth, the former is forging ahead with a more celestial grand plan. In what it hopes will eventually nab it a world first, China on Monday launched its Queqiao (aka "Magpie Bridge") satellite, per state... More »

Surprise: Moon May Have a Lot of Water

New study suggests interior has large quantities

(Newser) - There may be vast stores of water on the moon, a discovery that could be good news for future lunar explorers. Brown University scientists detected large quantities of water "glass beads" trapped in ancient volcanic deposits across the moon's surface, indicating there's far more water deep below... More »

NASA Finds Long-Lost Lunar Probe Still in Orbit

Ground radar spotted Chandrayaan-1

(Newser) - Almost eight years after it stopped communicating with ground stations, NASA has rediscovered India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. The long-lost spacecraft didn't crash into the lunar surface in 2009, as some had suspected, but continued circling the moon in a slightly different orbit. NASA says it detected the small... More »

Finally, Evidence of Other World That Helped Form Moon

Lunar rocks bolster a long-held theory about how the moon was created

(Newser) - A new analysis of three lunar rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts in the '60s breathes new life into an old theory some thought too simple: that the moon was created when another planet, Theia, crashed into Earth billions of years ago, leaving behind molten debris that eventually cooled... More »

China's Moon Rover 'Back From the Dead'

Jade Rabbit survives lunar night

(Newser) - Zombie on the moon: China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover has shown signs of life despite earlier reports that it had died following mechanical difficulties in the extreme cold of the lunar night. The rover—which signed off with the ominous words "Goodnight humanity" at the end of January—... More »

China Sends First Probe to Moon

Would be 3rd country to successfully 'soft-land'

(Newser) - The US and Soviet Union are the only countries to pull off a successful "soft landing" on the moon—but that could be about to change. China has launched its first lunar probe, CNN reports. Its Jade Rabbit lunar rover, which reportedly has six wheels, two legs, and four... More »

Book Your Moon Trip ... for $750M

Golden Spike plans travel by 2020

(Newser) - Looking for a cozy getaway for two with guaranteed solitude? Startup space venture Golden Spike has just the thing, but it will set you back a total of $1.5 billion. The company run by former NASA execs plans to offer two-person trips to the moon by 2020, reports Nature... More »

NASA May Have Found Lost Lunar Probe

Lunar Orbiter 2 crashed on dark side of the moon

(Newser) - NASA may have found a lost spaceship on the dark side of the moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a ship designed to map the surface of the moon, has spotted a butterfly-shaped pattern that Fox News speculates might be the probe’s predecessor, the Lunar Orbiter 2. The craft, launched... More »

Analysis Confirms Lots of Water on Moon

More than thought from last year's 'moonshot'

(Newser) - When NASA blasted a hole in the moon last year in search of water, scientists figured there would be a splash. They just didn't know how big. Now new results from the Hollywood-esque moonshot reveal lots of water in a crater where the sun never shines—41 gallons of ice... More »

Tonight's Full Moon Will Be Brightest of the Year

If you've got a clear sky, try scoping out some lunar topography

(Newser) - If you’re planning to do something moonlit in the near future, tonight might be the night. The full moon tonight will be the biggest and brightest of 2010. If you have a clear sky, the so-called wolf moon offers a great chance to see if you can spot the... More »

Buzz: Forget Moon, Let's Go to Mars

(Newser) - America should boldly turn its space program toward colonizing Mars instead of trying to retrace the dusty footprints that he and Neil Armstrong made on the Moon 40 years ago, Buzz Aldrin writes in the Washington Post on the anniversary of Apollo 11's launch. NASA's attempt to resume lunar exploration... More »

British Satellites May Provide Cell Phone Service on Moon

Program would give lunar residents cell phone service

(Newser) - The UK’s space agency is reviewing the feasibility of a mission to put satellites in orbit around the moon, CNET reports. The MoonLITE study plans to send four “penetrator darts” containing geophysical instruments into the moon’s crust, monitoring their findings with four accompanying satellites. The resulting data... More »

India Smashes Probe Into Moon

Landmark trip gathered data on lunar surface

(Newser) - India’s Moon Impact Probe, decorated with the country’s colors, was a smashing success for India's space program when it rammed into the moon’s surface today, Bloomberg reports. The green, white, and orange probe hurtled downward for half an hour, gathering data on the moon’s surface before... More »

Moon Rocks Still Giving Up Gritty Secrets

Lunar rocks have helped unlock secrets of solar system, demise of dinosaurs

(Newser) - Almost 40 years after Apollo astronauts brought samples of the moon back to Earth, the extraterrestrial rocks are still yielding new information, the New York Times reports. In addition to attention from the Johnson Space Center, where they reside, samples are mailed out—on loan only, and usually less than... More »

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