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Originally posted by Exuberant1
Buzz Aldrin is amazing.
I'm gonna go find the rest of that interview.
Originally posted by infinite
No, he clearly said a "strange structure" on the moon's surface. Buzz Aldrin has, on many occasions, stayed away from the UFO debate and I believe this if the first time he's made reference towards artificial involvement on planetary objects.
During the cooling of a thick lava flow, contractional joints or fractures form. If a flow cools relatively rapidly, significant contraction forces build up. While a flow can shrink in the vertical dimension without fracturing, it cannot easily accommodate shrinking in the horizontal direction unless cracks form; the extensive fracture network that develops results in the formation of columns. The topology of the lateral shapes of these columns can broadly be classed as a random cellular network. These structures are often erroneously described as being predominantly hexagonal. In reality, the mean number of sides of all the columns in such a structure is indeed six (by geometrical definition), but polygons with three to twelve or more sides can be observed. Note that the size of the columns depends loosely on the rate of cooling; very rapid cooling may result in very small (
Optech Incorporated, the global market leader in the development, manufacture and support of advanced, laser-based survey systems, announced today that is has been selected by the Canadian Space Agency to lead the study of a Canadian-led mission to Phobos, the largest moon of Mars. The proposed Phobos Reconnaissance and International Mars Exploration (“PRIME”) mission was selected from among 12 proposals received by the Canadian Space Agency last year to be the object of a concept and feasibility study. ......
The PRIME science team has tentatively selected a specific and compelling feature on the surface of Phobos as the target landing site. Popularly known as the “Phobos Monolith”, it is a building-sized object that appears to be a boulder exposed relatively recently in an otherwise desolate area of the asteroid-like moon. Scientists on the PRIME team are interested in such boulders as they might represent unique opportunities to examine actual samples of Phobos’s bedrock up close. PRIME Deputy Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Hildebrand believes that the Phobos Monolith could hold the answers to the moon’s composition and history. “If we can get to that object, we likely don’t need to go anywhere else,” he advised the science team.
One of the planned Phobos-Grunt experiments is the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment, or LIFE, provided by the U.S.-based Planetary Society. This experiment would carry various microorganisms, as well as a soil colony from the Arctic permafrost, to see how well they endure space travel. The experiment is controversial because of planetary protection issues - scientists hope to find evidence for life on Mars someday, and are careful to sterilize spacecraft so we don't inadvertently carry life there. If Phobos-Grunt should accidentally crash on Phobos or Mars, the life contained in the spacecraft probably would not survive for long in the harsh environment, but most scientists don't want to risk contamination regardless.
The launch of Phobos-Grunt was scheduled to take place this October, but it now seems likely the launch date will be pushed back to 2011 at the earliest. Whenever the mission does launch, it will take 3 years for the lander to reach the small moon, touch down on its surface, and then return its sample to Earth...........
........Another mission headed by Optech Inc. and the Mars Institute, and funded as a concept study by the Canadian Space Agency, is called PRIME, for "Phobos Reconnaissance and International Mars Exploration." The PRIME mission would be composed of an orbiter and lander, and each would carry 4 instruments designed to study various aspects of Phobos's geology. Yet another mission concept, the Phobos-Deimos Sample Return Mission (SRM), is being studied by NASA's Glenn Research Center. This mission would rely on low-cost electric propulsion to land on Phobos and Deimos and bring back samples from the two moons.
These mission studies are proceeding in part on the philosophy that Phobos could be key to the future human exploration of Mars. Not only does the ease of landing and taking off from Phobos make it a good pit stop between Earth and Mars, but because Phobos is tidally-locked, always showing the same face to Mars, it could be a stable location for a Mars communications relay or some sort of monitoring station.
At present, neither PRIME nor the Phobos-Deimos SRM has a projected launch date.