Questions tagged [the-moon]

Questions about Earth's Moon. Also for questions about spacecraft, manned missions, potential missions, etc. related to Earth's Moon.

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What was the temperature of the Apollo 11 moon landing zone?

It's soon 50 years from the Apollo 11 moon landing, so in honor of that event, I decided to post a question here. I understand that moon has due to its long day and long night and also due to the ...
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2answers
2k views

Could the crash sites of the Apollo 11 and 16 LMs be seen by the LRO?

This BBC article mentions that the crash sites of the Apollo 11 and Apollo 16 Lunar Modules are unknown. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has mapped most of the moon’s surface at 100m resolution and ...
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What is Buzz Aldrin's T.O.R. plan? How does it work?

Buzz Aldrin is recently quoted in Ars Technical's Buzz Aldrin is looking forward, not back—and he has a plan to bring NASA along: “This T.O.R. plan may be the most important thing I’ve ever done in ...
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1answer
111 views

How exactly does this Apollo astronaut's tool work? What was it called?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 numbers: Weights and Measures shows the following photo with the caption: The astronauts brought back more than 360kg (790lb) of Moon rocks for study on Earth (...
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Why exactly would “permanently shadowed polar lunar craters… have substantially higher levels of ³He than sunlit lunar surfaces?”

Researching this answer led to ³He in permanently shadowed lunar polar surfaces published in Icarus. The abstract is tantalizing but terse: Abstract Because of their cryogenic temperatures, ...
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1answer
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How long does it take to refresh helium-3 on the moon?

I was reading a science-fiction novel, Limit, by Frank Shätzing. It depicts a near-future with useful helium-3 fusion, and the Americans and Chinese are bumping elbows mining helium-3 on the moon, ...
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1answer
86 views

Space Shuttle Moon Mission? [duplicate]

Theoretically speaking, could the shuttle have performed TLI, LOI, and TEI burns given extra OMS fuel? approximately how much fuel and payload bay space/mass would this take up and might there ...
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1answer
123 views

Moon's South Pole-Aitken basin mass anomaly, how to reconcile “isostatic equilibrium” with “heavy metal not sinking”?

The recent Phys.org piece Mass anomaly detected under the moon's largest crater is a review of a recently published and paywalled Geophysical Research Letter Deep Structure of the Lunar South Pole‐...
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1answer
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How was the Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin mass anomaly discovered?

A large mass has been discovered beneath the largest crater in our solar system -- the Moon's South Pole-Aitken basin -- and may contain metal from the asteroid that crashed into the Moon and formed ...
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1answer
199 views

How do flags behave on the Moon?

I have seen many theories and question/answers on this site touching upon this subject but no focused question. So I would like to ask this as a two part question. Is what we saw in the Lunar ...
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2answers
7k views

Was planting UN flag on Moon ever discussed?

In the planning of the US missions to the moon was planting the UN flag ever discussed? It just seems to me that would have been a great public relations move.
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What tensile strength would be needed for a lunar space elevator?

A space elevator from the Moon's equator, slightly past the L1 Lagrange point and extending into cis-lunar space would have a substantially lower tensile strength requirement than an Earth-based ...
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34 views

Tidal locking of celestial bodies [closed]

Generally moon always faces the same side towards the Earth. People say it is tidally locked. How is any body in space tidally locked and is this forever?
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Why does LRO's laser altimeter telescopes use lenses instead of mirrors?

From Space.com's NASA's Piggyback Experiment on Israeli Moon Lander Could Aid Future Lunar Touchdowns shows an image of the laser altimeter on the LRO. It looks like the "transmit" and "receive" ...
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1answer
87 views

Could Beresheet's retroreflector array (still) be used?

Almost the same question as Could Schiaparelli's retroreflector array (still) be used? except for Beresheet. Some important differences in this case: Beresheet was far less "crashed" than ...
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Convert ICRF to Body-fixed coordinate for Earth or Lunar. (MATLAB)

I want to find the position (x, y, z) of the satellite around the Lunar. I use the gradient of the gravitational potential to get an equation of motion of x, y, and z-direction in inertial coordinate. ...
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1answer
153 views

How radioactive might the Moon's surface water be? Could it be unsafe to drink?

NASA Chief Scientist Jim Greene asks: Can we go (to the Moon) and drink the water? The source of the water in this case would be ice deposits to be found in permanently shaded areas on the Moon. ...
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251 views

Would current computer technology have made the Moon landings any easier?

A few days ago a group of us were discussing the Moon landings (specifically the Apollo programme). Whilst this in itself was incredibly impressive we thought it was particularly impressive given the ...
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2answers
181 views

Will NASA put astronauts into a polar lunar orbit? If so, how?

The NASA news item New Space Policy Directive Calls for Human Expansion Across Solar System says: New Space Policy Directive Calls for Human Expansion Across Solar System and the administration is ...
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67 views

What is the connection (if any) between the new Artemis mission and the two Artemis spacecraft (Themis-B, -C)?

It has been announced that the culmination of Space Policy Directive 1, the goal to land Americans and specifically the first woman on the Moon, at it's south pole in 2024 will be called "Artemis". ...
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3answers
182 views

Why does Blue Origin want to go to the moon?

Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin released their first moon lander, Blue Moon. Have Blue Origin published anything about their reasons for going to the moon?
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1answer
301 views

Agena docking and RCS Brakes in First Man

In the movie, First Man, Neil Armstrong and his colleague David Scott, as part of the Gemini 8 program, attempt to dock with the Agena but it turns out to be disastrous as they go into a continuous ...
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1answer
92 views

Long, low mass data transfer wire options

does anyone have any suggestions for wired communications over long distances on the Lunar surface? The maximum length would need to be around 1km. Distributors like Gore and Axon make great ...
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114 views

At what surface gravity can't astronauts do full steps anymore?

We know that on the Moon in ~1/6 g the Apollo astronauts couldn't make full steps because they jumped with each step. At what surface gravity could you walk more like on Earth and at what gravity ...
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1answer
109 views

Carbon sources on the Moon?

In the answer to this question it is pointed out that while lunar soil may provide nutrients for plants, water and carbon dioxide are also needed. Water seems to be available, but how could there be ...
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180 views

How would a body be stored in a dark hole in the moon?

How well would the human body stay preserved if it was frozen while pressurized and vacuum sealed before being placed in a crater on the Moon? Would the temperature be more reliably stable on the moon ...
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2answers
174 views

What is the lowest latency achievable in reliable Earth - Moon communications?

I know that radio waves travel at the speed of light in vacuum so the minimal latency to communicate between Earth and Moon would be about 1.25 second each way. This latency figure will then increase ...
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2answers
2k views

Can we see the USA flag on the Moon from Earth? [duplicate]

Is it possible one day to see landing site flags on the Moon from Earth or from space without having to land using a telescope as technology progresses? Highly Related: Were the Apollo lunar ...
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262 views

Do we know why communications with Beresheet and NASA were lost during the attempted landing of the Moon lander?

I was watching the livestream of the SpaceIL team when they were attempting to land Beresheet on the Moon. As near as I can remember, at around an altitude of 15km above the surface, the SpaceIL ...
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41 views

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up?

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up to ~290K? Paul Birch in his paper "Terroforming Mars Quickly" calculated a mirror size of: Support Mirror: 2.5 x 10^7m radius 3x 105m wide ...
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ELI5: Why do they say that Israel would have been the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon and why do they call it low cost?

In the news they say that Israel hoped to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have made ...
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1answer
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Going to the Lunar gateway during the upcoming solar maximum! What will the radiation environment be like?

EarthSky.org's What will the sun do next? says: On December 6, 2018, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) reported that two of its scientists have made a prediction for the ...
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192 views

Can you really melt lunar regolith with microwaves?

This answer links to the 2008 Phys.org article with the catchy title NASA's dirty secret: Moon dust. The article says: Luckily, lunar dust is also susceptible to magnets. Tiny specks of metallic ...
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2answers
734 views

How thick does lunar regolith ever get? Has the thickness been measured and mapped by satellite?

Discussion in comments below the question Couldn't we just clear away the Moon Dust? have lead me to wonder if thickness of the lunar regolith is fairly well mapped by some combination of high ...
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1answer
316 views

Couldn't we just clear away the Moon Dust?

I read that "Moon Dust" is ranked by NASA as the number one challenge to building a permanent lunar base. Wouldn't it be possible, though, to send some type of lunar excavators to clear a large zone ...
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4answers
130 views

Is GEO redundant (Geo- and Earth)? Would we call a Lunasychronous Lunar orbit LLO?

I think the title of the question Is it possible to establish a synchronous lunar orbit without using Lagrange points? is absolutely clear; it's an orbit around the Moon that is synchronous to the ...
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Is it possible to establish a synchronous lunar orbit without using Lagrange points? [closed]

I find this interesting, and so far haven't found anything in an internet search.
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1answer
170 views

Is there a crewed moon lander currently in the works

Recently, the US vice president directed NASA to land astronauts on the moon within the next 5 years [source]. While there are big rockets (SLS, Falcon Heavy, etc.), and crew capsules (Orion, Crew ...
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2answers
281 views

Has NASA “gone south”? Why are astronauts needed to explore the Moon's south pole?

Wired: Why America Wants to Send Astronauts to The Moon's South Pole “Before we put boots on the ground at the poles, we urgently need a robotic water ice prospecting mission to the lunar poles,” ...
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What is the state of current plans for a permanent moon base?

With all the news regarding SLS/Commercial Crew and the refocus on Moon then Mars, I was curious as to what we will actually be able to do with these upcoming launch capabilities. I'm familiar with ...
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1answer
123 views

Is post-X-prize Beresheet better than the X-prize candidate?

As mentioned in this question the total budget of the Lunar X-prize was about US \$30 million, and that included some other prizes beside the winner. However the budget of Beresheet post-X-prize ...
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3answers
174 views

Why do countries or companies still bother sending landers/probes to the moon?

Countries like Israel, South Korea, or China most recently and companies like ispace have plans to send landers to the lunar surface. At least according to this list. Is it because there is little ...
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1answer
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Why is Beresheet doing a only a one-way trip?

Why is the SpaceIL Lunar Lander doing a one-way trip? Is that a common project to do nowadays, to send landers to Mars and the Moon without returning them?
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Is Lunar Horizon Glow still a thing? Has the “dust settled” on the topic?

The title gets its inspiration from Is the Flyby Anomaly still a thing? but the topic is different. The Lunar Horizon Glow is a phenomenon observed by some of the Surveyor missions. While the Sun is ...
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1answer
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Why is there no exosphere demonstrating moon dust and particles in the Apollo footage?

I have read dust levitates on the moon's surface extending to 100 miles in the sky (horizon) creating an exosphere. Dust levitates because the surface of the moon and dust particles have become ...
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1answer
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Can anyone find a more recent NASA paid for study on lunar tunnel-boring machine?

The one that I found is from May 5,1988 by Professor Stan Lowy Department of Aerospace Engineering Texas A M University https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890008382.pdf https:/...
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1answer
53 views

How to extract coordinates of an LROC Image?

How can I extract the coordinates from an existing LROC image to search for that area in the LRO Image Search Tool? What coordinates should I enter in this example? http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc/...
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1answer
182 views

What Apollo equipment could be salvaged from the Moon?

If humans returned to the original Apollo landing sites, what previously left-behind equipment could reasonably be salvaged as part of a future mission or colony? That is, is everything that was left ...
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2answers
87 views

Capture protons from solar wind

Could it be possible ( using a reasonable amount of energy and ressources ) to capture protons from solar wind on (ex. the moon) in order to produce water for a long term self-sufficient mission. The ...
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2answers
441 views

Tracking SpaceIL Beresheet Moon lander

Does anybody know if Beresheet orbital data are available on NASA Horizons? Some bodies are listed by reference number, with no name: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons_batch.cgi?batch=1&...