Feeds

Scientists ponder future Moon mission activities

One of these days, Alice...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A clever fellow once observed that the Moon is a harsh mistress. Humanity's subsequent jaunts up to the place indicated it was a pretty solid hypothesis. The Ritz-Carlton it is not.

Now NASA has the vision of not only returning astronauts back to the orbital dustball in 2020, but establishing a long-term moon base there. Needless to say, there's plenty of arrangements to be made before the moonbuggy pulls into 555 South Pole-Aitken Basin Avenue.

That's why nearly 500 scientists and amateur lunar lovers from gave gathered for an Earth-side conference this week at NASA/Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The first annual Lunar Science Conference aims to discuss what kind of science should be done for our species' return to the moon.

"This is going to open a new era of scientific understanding," said NASA/AMES Director Simon 'Pete' Worden at the conference opening. "We will learn how we can live on another world."

The conference is organized by the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), a fledgling NASA-funded organization made to supplement and extend existing lunar science programs.

NLSI is modeled on the successful NASA Astrobiology Institute, meaning it's a partnership between the US space department and other independent research organizations across the nation working together to help lead research activities.

The institute plans to initially fund about seven competitively selected team investigations in October that will focus on one or more aspects of lunar science. According to Dave Morrison, NLSI interim director, the teams will initially receive between $1m to $2m budgets per year.

"NASA doesn't guarantee funding," warned Morrison. "But we anticipate the same level for four years."

The organization will specialize in utilizing data rather than building the instruments to probe the moon. "We are going to focus on research and the training aspect," said Morrison. It also plans to be the rallying banner for public interest in future moon missions.

While scientists get excited over things like extraterrestrial botanics, applications of lunar dust, and protecting humanity from meteor impacts this week, it's also a celebration of the 39th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

"We're going back, and this time we're going to stay," said Worden. "This will begin the next step of settling the solar system." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?