Feeds

Hubble seeks breath of fresh air in lunar soil

A far cry from the intergalactic deep-field

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Hubble Space Telescope has joined the hunt for sources of oxygen on the moon, and it is already proving its worth.

Hubble's image of the Aristarchus impact crater: NASA

NASA has been imaging the moon's surface using Hubble's ultra-violet imaging systems, and has already discovered deposits of ilmenite, a mineral containing titanium and iron oxide.

Two of the deposits are at old landing sites, but a third is in a region never visited by humans. Scientists should be able to confirm their initial findings by comparing the data Hubble has collected from the three sites, and comparing them to rock samples brought back from the Apollo landing sites.

The findings from Hubble's survey will help mission planners work out the best places to send future robotic prospecting missions, NASA says. The work is all part of establishing candidate sites for future lunar bases. The data will boost what little we already know about lunar geology.

Hubble was not designed for taking pictures of anything as close up as the moon, and NASA astronomers said that making the observations had been both "interesting and challenging".

Jim Garvin, chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, noted: "Our initial findings support the potential existence of some unique varieties of oxygen-rich glassy soils in both the Aristarchus and Apollo 17 regions. They could be well-suited for visits by robots and human explorers in efforts to learn how to live off the land on the moon."

He added that it would be some months before the data had been fully processed and analysed. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.