For anyone planning a trip to the moon, MIT has just designed a pill-shaped inflatable moon tent that fills with oxygen and comfortably sleeps two. The portable habitat also protects moon explorers from the sun's rays, contains food and water, and has a system that keeps potentially harmful moon dust out of the sleeping quarters. This futuristic tent, in its early stages, would allow astronauts to stray from the lunar lander and spend more time on the actual surface of the moon.
Such an overnight shelter could double the distance reachable from a permanent, as-yet-to-be-built moon base. This could, for instance, help explorers investigate a variety of sites at the 60-mile-wide Copernicus impact crater, one of the most prominent craters on the moon.
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In 2002 a 25-year-old NASA intern named Thad Roberts stole 17 pounds of moon rocks so he could have sex on the moon with his girlfriend. After he was caught selling the used rocks on the Internet, he spent 100 months in prison. Live Science interviewed Roberts in 2011.
What was it like to possess those moon rocks? Was the experience worth the consequences?
Time is the most valuable asset of the human experience. I, like many others, am filled with awe when I reflect upon how those rocks demonstrate humanity's limitless potential, or when I ponder the romantic expression that they poetically embody. But that awe does not live within those rocks. It belongs to all of us. From experience I can say that there are more appropriate, and more productive, ways to come face-to-face with our magnificent insignificance than stealing a piece of the moon. You can ponder the vast reaches of space and time as you peer through a telescope at Orion's Great Nebula, or you can simply breathe in the experience of being in love. Whatever you do, don't repeat my mistakes.
Blood moon during the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. Dominic Milan / NASA.
When our planet passes between the sun and moon in the early morning on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the moon—-which will be in Earth’s shadow--will appear to glow blood-red.
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If you’ve ever watched this video, you might wonder whether an astronaut’s suit is too ungainly to be graceful, or alternatively, if astronauts might just lack coordination.
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In celebration of today's Apollo 11 launch anniversary, BB pal and space enthusiast Steve Jurvetson shares this photo of the largest slice of the moon on Earth, on display in his office, and other Apollo 11 images, artifacts, and memories.
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Photo: Jerry Lodriguss
Jerry Lodriguss, digital astrophotographer, captured this stunning image of our Moon passing close to the planet Mars on July 5, 2014.
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Steve Jurvetson, VC and space/aviation collector, shares this wonderful photo of a new acquisition that now resides at the Draper Fisher Jurvetson offices. He explains:
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Image: mreclipse.com, via NASA.gov
Stay up tonight online to watch an awesome lunar eclipse with our astronomer pals at NASA:
Spring is here and ready to capture the world's attention with a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse will begin early on the morning of April 15 at approximately 2 a.m. EDT. If you have questions about the eclipse, this will be your chance! NASA astronomer Mitzi Adams and astrophysicist Alphonse Sterling will also answer questions in a live web chat, beginning on April 15 at 1 a.m. EDT and continuing through the end of the eclipse (approximately 5 a.m. EDT). The chat module will go live on this page at approximately 12:45 a.m. EDT. Convert to your local time here.
A live Ustream view of the lunar eclipse will be streamed on this page on the night of the event, courtesy of Marshall Space Flight Center. The feed will feature a variety of lunar eclipse views from telescopes around the United States.
Jeffrey sez, "Our esteemed interplanetary panorama enthusiast, Andrew Bodrov, has done it again (previously, this time being the first to stitch a 360 from the new Chinese moon lander!
Lunar panorama: Chang'e 3 lander
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer was watching as China's Chang'e 3 landed on the Moon. But the landing didn't register on any of LADEE's sensors. Why? The answer teaches us a lot about both the orbiter and the Moon itself.
"The Chang'e 3 lander took this photo of the rover Yutu on December 22, 2013. The rover had completed a semicircular tour of the lander and was departing the lander due south. This version of the image has been white-balanced and color-corrected." Image: CNSA / Gordan Ugarkovic
Planetary Society blogger Emily Lakdawalla has posted a roundup of what China's lunar rover Yutu has been up to on the Chang'e 3 unmanned space exploration mission. Lots of pictures.
Former NASA developer Katy Levinson explains why we should care about the Moon as much as Mars--even if its dust is a killer problem.Read the rest
The China National Space Administration has launched Chang'e 3, a plutonium-powered lunar lander on-board a 185-foot-tall Long March 3B rocket. The lander is on a four-day trajectory for the lunar surface, and will brake and enter lunar orbit on December 6th. It is scheduled to land on December 14th, in the Bay of Rainbows (Sinus Iridum). The rover masses 140kg, with nuclear heaters to keep systems alive during the two-week-long lunar nights, and will use radar to probe the lunascape as it roves during its mission. It is also outfitted with high-resolution panoramic cameras and telescopes. The Chinese space program's stated goal is to establish a space-station and autonomous landers that can return to Earth with samples.
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Despite all the attention lavished on Moon dust, we still don't know what effect the stuff has on human lungs ... which is kind of a big deal, considering the fact that the dust has busted through every vacuum seal its ever faced. And eaten through layers of moon boots. Basically, you can imagine Moon dust as those tiny shards that get left on the floor when you break a glass and inevitably end up embedded in your foot four days later. At The New Yorker
, Kate Green writes about efforts to better understand the effects of Moon dust on various materials
and how engineers are trying to find new ways to control it before humans return to the lunar surface.
The Moon is about 400,000 kilometers from Earth. The International Space Station is 1000 times closer to Earth. What would the Moon look like at 420 kilometers from Earth? YetiPC1 made a video visualization. Don't miss Yeti's other amusing video that shows how much the US national debt grows each day, in the form of gold bars getting dumped on a table.