(Skip to the bottom for my ROW80 update)
Besides Liftport who plans to build an orbital elevator on the moon in the next decade, there are quite a few other groups planning projects there as well.
NASA’s Night Rover Challenge has challenged innovators to design a power supply that will allow rovers to work through the two week long lunar night.
NASA’s LADDEE mission will orbit our moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine if dust is being lofted into the lunar sky.
NASA’s already there…
ARTEMIS stands for “Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun.” This mission is made up of two probes P1 and P2 which were originally members of the successful mission THEMIS in Earth orbit studying Earth’s aurora, but were redirected to the Moon in an effort to save the two probes from losing power in Earth’s shade. Through this new mission scientists look to learn more about the Earth-Moon Legrange points, the solar wind, the Moon’s plasma wake and how the Earth’s magnetotail and the Moon’s own weak magnetism interact with the solar wind.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was sent to the Moon to make high-resolution maps of the composition of the lunar surface and seek out potential sources of water-ice that may exist in the bottom of dark polar craters. The spacecraft is seeking potential landing sites and resources for future human exploration of the Moon. LRO was launched with the LCROSS lunar impact mission.
GRAIL flew twin spacecraft — named Ebb and Flow — in tandem around the moon to precisely measure and map variations in the moon’s gravitational field. The goal was to reveal differences in density of the Moon’s crust and mantle and will help answer fundamental questions about the Moon’s internal structure, thermal evolution and history of collisions with asteroids.
You can see a list of other missions to the moon, historical and recent, on NASA’s website.
LUNARSAIL: A Cubesat And Solar Sail To Orbit The Moon is using a kickstarter to fund the extremely low price tag of $11,000 to send a tiny satellite to orbit the moon using solar sails.
Pocket Spacecraft has a pricetag of £290,000 and will allow individuals to design their own tiny spacecraft to go on a mission to the moon.
Other teams are also competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.
Astrobotic’s 2015 inaugural mission, ‘Icebreaker’, will explore for methane, ammonia, and water at the Moon’s north pole.
The Moon Express founders believe in the long term economic potential of the Moon to produce resources essential to Earth’s energy future.
You can read about more teams competing for the prize on the Google Lunar X Prize Home Page.
There are also numerous artistic endeavors involving travel to the moon…
Moon is a short film by Michael Frye that reached its kickstarter goal of $1,000
The Law of Lunativity is a short film that explores the often challenging path for women in the field of science. They also met their kickstarter goal.
Did I write at least 2k? Yup
Did I help another writer? Yup
Did I add to my re-organization? Yup
A good week! Slow but steady.