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 science data has been released from Chang'e 4?

Chang'e 4 was the first soft landing on the far side of the moon. What science data has been released from it? That is, in two parts: what science was done and of that, what data has been released to ...
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414 views

How do domes in lunar impact melts develop, and might they be hollow?

On the floors of young craters of the Moon, smoothly rounded domes are visible in some spots. Lalande crater has 4 of them, each around 200 m across. Here are less regular ones on the floor of ...
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Was this the first-ever photo of a full moon very close to lunar new year?

Limiting the concept of "lunar new year" to "Chinese New Year" (since there are many lunar and lunisolar calendars, the latter of which the traditional Chinese one is a widely used example), is this ...
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Is lunar exploration going to need a whole heck of a lot of RTGs? If so, have they started firing up the RTG-making reactors yet?

The November 16, 2021 Northrop Grumman Press Release Highly specialized team to design vehicle for sustainable lunar surface mobility operations begins Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), is ...
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105 views

Dealing with lunar regolith

NASA has announced its intention to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. Various other questions and answers here address the many dangers and difficulties posed by the fine and abrasive particles ...
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238 views

Low energy cements for Mars and Callisto. Waterless cement for the Moon. Any good candidates?

In the non-polar regions of the Moon and Mercury there is a shortage of volatiles, including hydrogen and nitrogen, so they might be regaded as too valuable to be "wasted" to prepare concrete. ...
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44 views

Are changing regolith properties under different thermal conditions a concern for the VIPER rover?

NASA's VIPER mission will send a rover to the lunar south pole, which will drive on sunlit terrain and in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs), which are among the coldest places in our solar system. ...
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164 views

Roughly, how much of our Moon's apparent libration amplitude seen from the Geocenter is due to different effects?

My understanding is that when tidal locking of a body first happens it transitions from a state where the average rotation period is faster than the orbital period to a state where they are the same ...
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171 views

Does the low gravity on Moon eliminate the need for a launch pad/flame trench for a reusable rocket launch?

I'm new to rocket science and I learned how the rockets do not reach full thrust immediately and isn't really stable for the initial couple of seconds - hence the need for "launch clamps" and a ...
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70 views

Official source discussing the stress that Lunokhod operators were experiencing?

I came across this document mentioning the high stress that the Lunokhod operators experienced when teleoperating the rovers back in the 1970s. There is a mention that driving Lunakhod 2 was ...
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Were there backup routes planned for the Apollo LRV?

I just finished reading "A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaikin, an amazing read. For the missions involving the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV, Apollo 15-17), there are some mentions of astronauts ...
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252 views

Would GRAIL be possible on more distant airless bodies such as Mercury and Callisto?

I was thinking for quite a while about sending this question to Maria Zuber's e-mail address (she was the principal investigator of the GRAIL mission to map the Moon's gravity field), but then I ...
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94 views

Has a satellite or spacraft orbiting the Moon or Mars been spotted from the surface of that body?

In reading this question (Lowest possible lunar orbit and has any spacecraft achieved it?), it prompts the question if any orbiting satellite/spacecraft around the Moon or Mars (the only heavenly ...
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273 views

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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182 views

Pool on the Moon?

Hypothetical scenario: There is a dome on the moon containing an Olympic-size swimming pool. Our intrepid hero is receiving a scuba diving lesson at the bottom of the pool (3m) when a hull breach ...
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444 views

Were the Apollo lunar ALSEP transmitter signals ever analyzed or used after the experiments were shut down?

This answer to the question Why were the “perfectly functioning” seismometers placed by Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 astronauts all shut off in 1977? links to a NASA News Release No: 77-47 dated September ...
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Does NASA, or any other group, have any plans to directly explore caves on Mars or the moon?

The importance of Martian caves for life past and present, volatiles being trapped, and for future habitats would seem to put their exploration high on the list but I don't see any missions to do so. ...
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120 views

Is the telemetry from the Apollo Lunar rovers available?

Are there publicly-available datasets of the telemetry from the Apollo lunar rovers? Was rover telemetry even recorded during those missions? If such datasets exist, I would love to retrieve the (...
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What is the closest polar lunar orbit that can be sustained? What are the limiting factors on closest approach?

I'm wondering how close a lunar orbit can get at periapsis to the south pole. I want an orbit that is sustainable for at least ~20 orbits. I'm working on a small sat concept for studying the lunar ...
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83 views

Is Earth's Moon gaining or losing mass?

The Earth gains mass from dust/meteors (and a tiny, tiny bit to increasing temperatures/energy), but loses mass from hydrogen/helium escaping and nuclear reactions. It's estimated to have a net loss ...
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How to get lunar L, B, C parameters from the Moon's 3x3 rotation matrix from the Python package Skyfield?

Answers to What are the “Moon L, B, C” angles shown in this solar eclipse simulation? explain that L and B (or "l" and "b") are the "selenographic coordinates of the Moon's apparent center" (latitude ...
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Does Surrey Satellite's Pathfinder lunar communications relay have customers lined up, or is it "If you build it, they will come"?

After about 24:00 in the BBC podcast Do We Need More Space Stations? BBC reporter Marnie Chesterton talks with Charles Cranston, the project manager for lunar ...
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212 views

(What happened to the) Plans to visit and/or document sites of previous lunar landings? Are any active now?

There are a lot of (now historic) landing sites on the moon. You can see a great review of them in this answer to the question How many extraterrestrial bodies have hosted a “lander” which returned ...
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142 views

If the ISS went to the moon, what would fail first

If the ISS was propelled into an orbit (any orbit) around the moon, what would fail first?
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How many times will the Photon fire its Curie in order to "reach the right spot" to deploy CAPSTONE towards the Moon?

note: it's been a year and a half and Capstone is scheduled to be launched soon, so perhaps there is more information available now? The Verge's How small launcher Rocket Lab plans to pull off its ...
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78 views

Are there any possible proxies for dust accumulation on the retroreflectors on the moon?

New York Times' How Do You Solve a Moon Mystery? Fire a Laser at It links to the new open access paper First two-way laser ranging to a lunar orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to ...
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248 views

Revisiting moon landing sites?

Are there any current plans to return to the moon, preferably close to an existing landing site? After all, it seems like a sound scientific project given that there's talk of human colonization of ...
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105 views

What are the chances that the ISS transits the moon as seen from your house (or headquarters)?

In this answer I tried to do a simple probablistic estimate on the distribution of the ISS's ground track passes over Earth's equator. Recently there is a photo of the ISS passing over SpaceX ...
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191 views

How would we make concrete on the Moon?

Bringing building materials to the moon would be costly. It would be better to just create materials on the Moon.
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How to make diamagnetic lunar simulant that would "float" in a strong enough magnetic field? (for China's 60 cm high field simulator)

Live Science's China builds 'artificial moon' for gravity experiment says: Chinese scientists have built an "artificial moon" research facility that will enable them to simulate low-gravity ...
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Alternative small mass payload transportation from the moon to L5 besides rail gun and mass driver?

This question asks about a low cost transportation from the lunar surface to a space settlement at L5. Moon mining is can be a revolutionary breakthrough in sustaining a space economy, but large scale ...
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How likely is it for Chang'e 5 to wake up after lunar night?

I have been wondering how likely it would be for the Chang'e 5 Probe to wake up. I mean the surveyors did this a few times, but were all relatively simpler in design. Also what gets damaged in the ...
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Building a moon base - cost, weight, and rocket to send pressure vessel

I am trying to validate the following hypothesis in order to simulate the building of a base on the moon (I am starting a video game project ) , I am asking with current technology: What would be the ...
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63 views

What are the nuclear energy challenges specific to the moon?

What are moon specific hurdles to a fission reactor? low gravity no atmosphere Apparently it's more difficult to shed heat in a vacuum. Are some coolants more advantageous on the moon than others? ...
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What magnitude stars were seen from lunar surface?

I've seen a claim* that some of the Apollo astronauts stepped into the shadow of the LM, raised their gold visors, and looked up into the sky to see the stars. If this is true any mention of what ...
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Are there any crewed missions planned or designed for high orbit/cislunar space?

We talk a lot about going to The Moon again, but what about very high Earth orbit, say geostationary and beyond? Are there any plans for crewed missions? If so, what would their goals have been? ...
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Mass of a circumlunar power transmission line?

The most easily available power source on the Moon is solar power. This has the obvious drawback that the night is two weeks long, during which you would probably still need power for a base to ...
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Will it be possible for the crewed Orion spacecraft to fly over the lunar south pole to land the VIPER rover there?

Artemis 2, the planned crewed mission of the Orion spacecraft, will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will then be the first crewed spacecraft to the Moon in 50 years ! VIPER is a lunar ...
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What is the calculation for the distance VIPER can travel without recharging its batteries?

VIPER, the lunar rover NASA has developed to search for water in the permanently shadowed regions near the south pole of our Moon, will be equipped with (rechargeable) batteries to be able to drive, ...
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128 views

What would happen in this cavern on the Moon?

Imagine a large cavern on the moon, around the theoretical size limit determined by Purdue university - about 1.5 kilometers high, and 5 kilometers across on the floor. This cavern is a kilometer or ...
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OTS rechargeable battery for a lunar rover

I've been playing around with ideas for an open source lunar rover. It's based on the Stanford Doggo (video) robot. Are there commercial off-the-shelf rechargeable batteries that might work for such ...
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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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339 views

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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Would there be value in taking tardigrades on a Lunar mission?

China's Chang'e 4 mission recently initiated biological experiments on our moon. There's value in performing those experiments, of course. Now, I'd be curious to see how tardigrades do in the long ...
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Trajectory information for Ranger, Luna, and other early Lunar explorers

Is there a location where I can get remotely reliable information on the trajectories for the old Ranger, Luna, and other lunar explorers? I'm especially interested in the ones that flew by the Moon ...
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67 views

How bright would electrostatically suspended dust above the lunar surface be? Has it ever been measured?

@TomSpilker's answer to Is there any Scientific Benefit to the Lower Albedo levels on the Darkside of the Moon? mentions the potential effect of dust from the lunar regolith being slightly ...
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Which materials make up a Commercial Satellite?

I'm writing a story based on the premise that an already-existing moon base is used to mine, construct, and launch a bunch of commercial satellites to GTO (the lunar surface is way "closer" to GTO ...
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Detection of micrometeoroid impacts on the lunar surface using thermal imaging?

For a student project we are looking into the possibility of detecting micrometeoroid (micrometer-size) impacts on the lunar surface with cubesats equipped with a thermal imaging device. We have found ...
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98 views

Besides mechanical failure, what other systems have failed/deteriorated on Yutu?

Yutu was ferried to Luna by way of Chang`e in December 2013 The Wikipedia article on the mission writes to say the mission duration for the lander, and rover were as follows. Lander: 1 Year Rover: 3 ...
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2answers
416 views

Moon atmosphere after long human presence

What might happen to the lunar atmosphere after a time of major human presence or activity on Earth's natural satellite? After hundreds of touchdowns and flyoffs and disturbances to environment?