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The next missions to the moon

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posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 07:53 PM

Originally posted by NGC2736
reply to post by internos

Wonderful images! Great detail. But in your opinion, just how "true" are these 3D images? How much are they "manipulated'?

Another good job. (You're so routine at doing an outstanding job that to save typing time I may have to shorten "great job" to just "GJ"

My first general impression of their way to handle the strips is very good, the result appears to be clean, but is too soon for me to jump to conclusions. We'll have to wait still two years, before seeing the actual results of this mission: they'll keep the data reserved and they'll just release some samples as it happened so far: anyway, i think they know what they're doing
What we are already able to know, is their equipment, which explains many things by himselfs.

[edit on 28/11/2007 by internos]

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 08:26 PM
GJ on everything, including giving your own opinion on the photos' reliability. But because I know you never speak without being reasonably sure, I forgive you.
(And see, I used the "GJ" text to keep my typing work to an acceptable level.


posted on Nov, 30 2007 @ 04:59 AM

I was wondering how long does it take to JAXA to release all the data to the public:
in their F.A.Q. page, we read:

What is the data release plan for KAGUYA?
One year after the end of the nominal operation phase (about two years after the launch), all KAGUYA products will be opened for public access online. During this one year data study period for instrument teams’ data research and validation / verification, sample data will be posted on the homepage for public outreach.

so i emailed JAXA asking for more infos about a VERY important (at least for me) detail.
Very kindly, answered Shin-ichi Sobue, Ph.D, from Satellite Programs and Planning Department (SPPD) of National Space Development Agency of Japan.

My email in box

from Shin-ichi Sobue
to Internos
date 30-nov-2007 5.15 (GMT+ 1)
Subject Re: [SEL_HP:00688] Concerning the KAGUYA Mission

Dear [
Thank you for your message. About KAGUYA product, we plan to open all KAGUYA
products one year after the end of nominal operation (two year after the
launch). Before that,
we only posted sample images visualized from KAGUYA products on the Web
we have to protect our mission instrument teams right to study in prior
to other scientists (first author right)

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards,
Shin-ichi Sobue

There's a "little" difference between the F.A.Q. page explanation and this one [see bold], which despite is succint, speaks loud and clear.
IMHO, almost all the hi res images will be released to the public,
because they aren't what they really needs to hide: i think that they will hide all the data related to the natural resources which will be detected.
For example, a data which will be kept hidden, IMHO, is the one coming from
Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS)

Outline of instrument
A germanium semiconductor crystal cooled to below -180 degrees centigrade by a Stirling cryocooler is employed as a main detector of GRS. GRS has an excellent energy resolution 20 times superior to those used in past lunar missions. Thus, GRS can discriminate the incident gamma-ray energies with high precision and can determine abundances of more than 10 elements in the lunar surface.

Principle of observation

  • Neutrons are produced in the lunar subsurface by irradiation of Galactic Cosmic Ray.
  • Gamma rays with the energy characteristic to each element on the Moon are produced by interactions of those neutrons with surface elements. Natural radioisotopes also emit gamma rays.
  • Elemental composition is determined by measuring the gamma-ray energies from the lunar orbit.

Results expected from GRS

  • GRS will observe chemical abundances of materials (K, U, Th, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ti, Fe, Ca, H, etc.) on lunar surface globally. The results will be highly accurate and will provide clues leading to advancement in research of the origin and evolution of the moon.

  • The observations will contribute to lunar resource exploration, especially for water existence. Water is very essential for human activity in a lunar platform in the future and local supply of water is necessary for the sake of cost performance. GRS can identify gamma rays from hydrogen and can map hydrogen.

Measurement of elemental abundances with excellent precision

Evidence of water - A hydrogen peak is appeared if water exists on the moon.


Nobuyuki Hasebe
Science and Engineering, Waseda Univ.

Data coming from other equipment (for example, from ) Lunar Radar Sounder (LRO) will be kept "partially" hidden imho: of course it will depend on their contents
Basically, i mean, it will be released everything that is not related to the discoveries of natural resources. The release of hi-res-images-never-seen-before-quality could be a precious allied in their propaganda.
IMHO, of course

Edit to add: source

Images sources:

Images credits:

JAXA - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

[edit on 30/11/2007 by internos]

posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 12:01 PM
Damn internos thats a lot of comprehensive information all I can say is when is the book coming out

Just kidding, as always your work can't be faulted and I have given up trying to beat you on the posts, yours look better than mine anyway so have another star for your collection.

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 12:44 AM
Some more stuff from China's Chang'e today, including a 3D image:

Originally posted by NGC2736
It's a good picture. High quality it seems. Let's just hope that there are many more to come.

I thought it would take them longer to put anything out, but I guess they were in a hurry to show that they could do it.

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 01:55 AM

Originally posted by cobain
Some more stuff from China's Chang'e today, including a 3D image:

Well done, cobain !!!

Data from Chinese lunar orbiter available to all
The first three-dimensional image of the lunar surface is presented to the public in the National Science Library (NSL) on Sunday, December 2, 2007. Researchers created the image on the basis of the data sent back from Chang'e-I

Elevation maps of part of the moon's surface taken by Chang'e-I

Close-up pictures of the moon's surface covered in craters taken by Chang'e-I

Pictures of different types of craters on the moon's surface taken by Chang'e-I


China says moon pictures not faked from NASA

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has dismissed Internet gossip that its first photo of the moon taken from a lunar orbiter might have been plagiarised from NASA, local media said on Monday.
The country launched its first lunar probe, the Chang'e 1, in October and released a photo featuring a patch of grey moon surface splotched with craters last week, hailing the mission as a "complete success".
But some Chinese Internet users have questioned its originality after comparing it with an almost identical lunar image from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2005.
"There is absolutely no forgery," Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist for the lunar probe, told the Beijing News.
The Chinese and U.S. lunar images looked similar only because they had aimed at the same area of the moon's southern hemisphere, Ouyang was quoted as saying.
"But a careful examination will tell some small differences," Ouyang said.
There were two craters on a certain spot of the Chinese photo, but there was only one on that same spot of the American picture, the Beijing News quoted him as saying.

Read more here ...


The first image sent back by Chang'e I. China and the United States took the images in the same region. The two pictures look alike but there are some nuances. [Xinhua]

The picture taken by the United States. China and the United States took the images in the same region. The two pictures look alike but there are some nuances. [Xinhua]

[edit on 3/12/2007 by internos]

posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:16 PM
Interesting pictures, internos. As usual. You're too good for us mere mortals.

But why is there so little difference between the pictures, except for the new crater? I realize it could have been a new strike since the last set of photos, but it would seem odd that the orbiter taking the photos would be so close to the original.


posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 02:44 PM

Originally posted by NGC2736
Interesting pictures, internos. As usual. You're too good for us mere mortals.

But why is there so little difference between the pictures, except for the new crater? I realize it could have been a new strike since the last set of photos, but it would seem odd that the orbiter taking the photos would be so close to the original.


In this page i've found the most convincing explanation of all the ones which have been provided so far:
i was wondering which spacecraft took images of the Moon in the year 2005
, since i couldn't find that photo fromSmart - 1: and in the article there's a possible explanation to that question too: most likely they were referring to a Clementine mosaic released in 2005

You can find the area in question on Clementine 2.0
-63°26 Lat
68°59 Lon
zoom 1x800 mt

Update from JAXA
JAXA Image gallery for Kaguya-Selene mission

[edit on 5/12/2007 by internos]

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 02:19 AM
Outstanding thread!

I think the why now question is answered by the fact that many are starting to see the real possibilities of space as a place of commerce, combined with technical advancements particularly in materials science. The interest has always been there in some circles, but the amount of money required to make such ventures happen has been a real showstopper.

Rutans Spaceship 1 flight pointed out what could be done when someone applies money and technology together in the right way.

In the years since Apollo, many plans were made, anyone remember the Space Exploration Initiative? or the plans drawn up by the Shimizu Corporation? or the dozens of small private companies that attempted to launch their own missions, but failed to raise enough capital?

Enough paper studies were drafted to probably reach the moon if stacked atop each another. But the lack of vision and the expense, with little guarantee of return on investment kept most collecting dust with little chance of becoming reality.

The Lunar Underground has been alive and kicking for quite some time, but few have noticed.

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 06:39 AM
SpaceMax, thank you for your interesting (to say the least) post:

your remarks about the economic facets are logical:
i agree, money always played a very important role in space exploration (and not only of course):
it would be enough to take a look to China's general behaviour in the last years to realize how correct is your construction. And it would be interesting to open a thread about the private missions which have been planned in the past: i think that we'll find out that are more than what we'd expect.
A star for you.

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 06:55 AM
LRO: a brief overview

LRO will give us the first submeter resolution images of the Moon, but this is only one of the many facets of the project:

LRO will:

  • Supply information on Lunar radiation environment
  • Evaluating the biological impacts and allowing development of protective technologies
  • Provide the first highly accurate 3D lunar maps
  • Map mineralogy across the whole moon
  • Search for polar volatiles (especially water ice)
  • Provide sub-meter resolution imaging (including permanently shadowed regions)
  • Provide an assessment of features for landing sites

      LRO will spend at least one year in low polar orbit around the Moon, collecting detailed information about the Lunar environment. The LRO payload, comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration, will provide key data sets to enable a human return to the Moon.

      • Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation

      The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) will characterize the lunar radiation environment and determine its potential biological impacts. CRaTER will also test models of radiation effects and shielding, which may enable the development of protective technologies.



      Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation
      CRaTER Instrument Thermal Model Report | 32-04017.02 | Rev 01 [.PDF file]

      • Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment

      The Diviner Lunar Radiometer (DLRE) will provide orbital thermal mapping measurements, giving detailed information about surface and subsurface temperatures (identifying cold traps and potential ice deposits), as well as landing hazards such as rough terrain or rocks.

      Experiment Goals, Team, Status and schedule, The Lunar Thermal Environment, Instrument Overview, Spectral Channels, Mapping Configuration, Data Products

      • Lyman Alpha Mapping Project

      The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) will map the entire lunar surface in the far ultraviolet. LAMP will search for surface ice and frost in the polar regions and provide images of permanently shadowed regions illuminated only by starlight.


      • Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector

      The Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) will create high resolution hydrogen distribution maps and provide information about the lunar radiation environment. LEND can be used to search for evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface, and will provide space radiation environment measurements useful for future human exploration.


      • Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

      The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) will measure landing site slopes, lunar surface roughness, and generate a high resolution 3D map of the Moon. LOLA will also identify the Moon's permanently illuminated and permanently shadowed areas by analyzing Lunar surface elevations.




      • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

      The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) will retrieve high resolution black and white images of the lunar surface, capturing images of the lunar poles with resolutions down to 1m, and will image the lunar surface in color and ultraviolet. These images will provide knowledge of polar illumination conditions, identify potential resources & hazards, and enable safe landing site selection.



      • Mini-RF Technology Demonstration

      The Mini-RF technology demonstration's primary goal will be to search for subsurface water ice deposits. In addition, Mini-RF will take high-resolution imagery of permanently-shadowed regions.
      The mini-RF is a technology demonstration of an advanced single aperture radar (SAR) capable of measurements in X-band and S-band.

    All LRO initial data sets will be deposited in the Planetary Data System (PDS), a publicly accessible repository of planetary science information, within six months of primary mission completion. Thereafter, the data sets will be deposited in the PDS every three months.
    See groundtrack prediction animation here

    [edit on 6/12/2007 by internos]

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:30 AM
Private Company Accepts Google Lunar X Prize Challenge

GOLDEN, Colorado – Odyssey Moon, the first team to complete registration for the Google Lunar X Prize, will unveil its entry today.

The robotic race to the Moon will be kick-started today by an international group seeking to win the $30 million purse established to spark a global, non-governmental rivalry with the aim of landing private spacecraft upon Earth's neighbor.

As a newly established lunar enterprise based in the Isle of Man – located just off the west coast of Great Britain – Odyssey Moon's inaugural mission will involve a small robotic lander designed to deliver scientific, exploration and commercial gear to the surface of the Moon.

Click here to read complete news

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 06:39 PM
reply to post by internos

Really great information and graphics, with links, on this mission. This is the reason I had this thread stickied. This is a resource we can use as data starts coming in.

And I even got a chuckle out of this. LOLA retrieving data of everything reminded me of that old song, "What Lola Wants, Lola Gets", from years ago.

Great job internos. You're a one person reference source.

posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 10:31 AM
NASA: New Mission to Study Moon's Interior is Announced

At a Monday meeting of the American Geophysical Union, NASA's Associate Administrator for Science Alan Stern announced the selection of a new mission that will peer deep inside the moon to reveal its anatomy and history.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission is a part of NASA's Discovery Program. It will cost $375 million and is scheduled to launch in 2011. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail. The mission also will answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon and provide scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

Article with link to press release

posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 10:41 AM
Problems with NASA's Return to the Moon Plan

This past week has given me confirmation of something that has been a growing dread and suspicion by many of us in the space community regarding our latest return to the Moon effort. The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) is being suffocated. It is literally having the life choked out of it.

The vision is simple, a prosperous world of 9.5 billion people in the year 2050 and in 2100. This world will have a large middle class in India, China, Europe, Japan, as well as the United States. The people of the rest of the world have a legitimate right to the same standard of living that we enjoy here in the U.S. today. However, it is clear that the resources of our little planet are inadequate to provide this level of civilization. A few years ago the World Wildlife Federation put out a press release that our global civilization would need the equivalent of two more Earths in order to provide for all of the people that will be alive in the year 2050. In fact we have thousands of worlds in our solar system that are worth untold trillions of dollars that can be developed to provide these resources for our use here on the Earth.

In the book "Guns, Germs, & Steel", the author, Jared Diamond developed the theory that all civilizations are ultimately limited by the resources at their command. This is what led to cannibalism in the pacific islands, the lack of metal technology in New Guinea, Australia, and South America, and conversely the plentiful nature of these resources gave western civilization its head start leading to the current world system. It is my feeling that a prosperous world that is far above our level of civilization in the year 2100 is both a desirable state and an amazing legacy for America to bequeath to our fellow planetary citizens. This is also a vision that will connect with the American people.

Since our victory in the cold war our dreams have been small and we as a people have done nothing but fight each other. It is time for that to end, it is time for us to rise above our differences, and space is the place for that to happen.

Full article here

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 11:02 PM
I think most Americans will see the new space program as a step backwards because the new vehicles cannot land on a runway as the shuttles do now

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:42 AM
UPDATE from Jaxa

Observations using the Spectral Profiler (SP)
December 14, 2007 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) verified the Spectral Profiler (SP) onboard the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) orbiting approximately 100 km above the lunar surface, through initial observations on November 3, 2007, and subsequent data analysis. The obtained data is the world's first continuous reflectance spectra of the far side of the Moon in the visible and near infrared region.

The satellite was confirmed to be in good health through telemetry data received at the Usuda Deep Space Center.

Fig. 1 SP Observation Specification
*To determine the precise SP observation area, SP observation operations always follow the observation operation of MI or TC

Image source:

Fig. 2 First light observation location of SP
Image source:

Fig. 3 First Light Data of SP

These two figures are visualized images produced from SP data normalized at 600 nm with a simple correction to the variation of the overall reflectance of the lunar surface and SP detectors response.

The horizontal X axis of the right figure shows wavelength (600nm-1680nm) and vertical Y axis shows longitude (S19-53 degree - 1000km).

The red part shows relative strong reflectance, while yellow, green and blue show weaker reflectance than the red area, respectively. The color change from green to yellow at around 950nm is expected to correspond with iron-bearing mineral distribution.

Image source:

Fig. 4 SP and MI data near a crater shown in Fig. 2

The pink part on the right figure of the MI data shows the line profiling with SP observation area. SP data is expected to show that fresh rock and soil exist in a small crater or on the slope of a large crater since the color of the profile is longer than 600nm and has changed from yellow-green to blue or black (reflectance of the location is weak in longer wavelengths). However, the other area is experiencing space weathering since the color changed from yellow-green to yellow or red (reflectance of the location is strong).

Image source:

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 12:59 AM
Nasa set to support UK moon probe

Saturday December 15, 2007 12:43 AM

Nasa is set to support plans to send a British probe to the Moon by 2012, it has been reported.

According to the BBC, the US space agency would be keen to use UK expertise to carry out scientific studies.

It also revealed in the future, Britain may also set up observatories on the moon's surface.

Earlier this year, it was reported that UK scientists had developed a proposal, called project MoonLite, to send a probe into lunar orbit.

A study to be published in January has described the MoonLite plan as "inspirational" concluding that it fills the right gap in Nasa's exploration programme.

The report is so positive that the BBC believes Nasa will ask the UK space community to carry out a detailed feasibility study by the end of next summer.

If all goes as expected, Nasa will officially back and become involved in the project next summer. It is also thought the Indian Space Agency will be a partner, although the project will be UK-led.

Read complete article here

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 03:43 AM
So this NASA-UK initiative is outside the ESA then?

posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 06:18 AM
Robotic lander to drill moon surface - India to send second probe in 4 years

Bangalore, Dec. 16: In four years, India plans to land robotic equipment on the moon that will drill the icy lunar surface and explore it for minerals and fuel sources.

The orbiter of Chandrayaan 2, Indian Space Research Organisation’s second moon mission scheduled for 2011-12, will be sending down the robotic lander, now being developed by Russia.

Chandrayaan-1 project director M. Annadurai told reporters the second mission would be a two-week probe unlike Chandrayaan-1, which is a two-year mission to orbit the moon.

One of the exercises involved in the Chandrayaan-1, scheduled for next April, is to send down an impacter to assess whether it strikes a pre-determined location. An impacter is less sophisticated than a lander and just crashes on the surface of a planet or moon.

Read complete article here

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