more from leag... - MyMoon

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MORE FROM LEAG...

Tuesday morning's session at the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group meeting began with a presentation on different scenarios for returning astronauts to the Moon. Snore. OK, it wasn't that boring. There were a few points that intrigued me.

One scenario calls for the use of "recyclable landers." Once on the Moon, the lander is no longer needed so it is stripped for parts to build other equipment/machines needed by the astronauts. How green. Another point I found interesting was that while NASA views lunar exploration in terms of permanent moon bases, other international space agencies (e.g. ESA & JAXA) are viewing lunar exploration from an extended stay perspective. What's the difference? NASA wants to build permanent structures while international space agencies want to go camping for longer periods of time than the Apollo missions.

Who says scientists aren't funny? Mark Robinson from Arizona State University gave an overview of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC. All around awesome presentation; Mark showed some great images and a great sense of humor. By the way, the central peak in the middle of the Cabeus crater (where LCROSS crashed) is 9,000 meters tall. That is taller than Mt. Everest, for those of you keeping score at home, or who care. The big presentation of the day came right after lunch. Tony Colaprete, the lead of the LCROSS missioin, confirmed the news NASA released on November 13. Not only did LCROSS blast out a significant amount of water ice and water vapor, but LCROSS's instruments also detected organics, the molecules that make up the stuff of life. I'm not saying there is life on the Moon, in fact nobody is saying there is life on the Moon. Just the basic chemcial stuff that makes up you, me, plants, and animals. Water and organics. Perhaps the Moon isn't so boring after all.

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