Feeds

Scientists ponder future Moon mission activities

One of these days, Alice...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.