Advertisement

Lunar Lander

Space Feature

Leap into the lunar unknown: Fifty years since the landmark launch of Surveyor 1

Space travel can still be dramatic in 2016, but it's a cakewalk compared to half a century ago. Today marks 50 years since the unmanned Surveyor I probe lifted off from Cape Canaveral, and when it landed in the Oceanus Procellarum on June 2, 1966, it was more than the first US soft landing on the Moon, it was a leap into the unknown. Launched at the height of the Space Race and the depth of the Cold War, the stakes for the first of seven Surveyor missions were incredibly high, as NASA wrestled with untried technologies and questions about the basic nature of the Moon that could make or break any hope of a manned landing.Read More

Space

NASA announces partners for lunar lander program

NASA has announced the selection of three US companies to develop a lunar lander to deliver payloads to the Moon’s surface. The three companies, Astrobotic Technology, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express, won’t be receiving any funds, but will negotiate with the space agency for a partnership to exchange technical expertise and help promote the private space sector. Read More

Space

NASA calls for commercial partners on robotic lunar lander initiative

With China successfully landing a robotic rover on the Moon, there’s been speculation in some circles as to whether or not a new space race between China and the United States will start soon. That’s as maybe, but if Space Race Mk II does happen, the American landing craft might be owned and operated by a private firm. Lending strength to this argument is NASA's recent announcement of its Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative, which aims at kickstarting private development of commercial lunar transports through partnerships with the space agency.Read More

Space

China's Chang'e-3 makes successful Moon landing

Following 12 minutes of precise maneuvering which began in lunar orbit, China's Chang'e-3 lunar lander, with the Yu Tu (Jade Rabbit) lunar rover onboard, successfully landed on the Moon's surface at 13:11 UT Saturday night. At this point, Chang'e-3's solar panels were opened to begin charging the rover's batteries for its first drive about the lunar surface, which is expected to begin about seven hours after landing. Read More

Space

Moon Express reveals design for its MX-1 lunar lander

Moon Express, a privately held company driven by a short-term goal of winning the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, and a longer-term strategy of mining the Moon, last week revealed its MX-1 lunar lander at the closing session of Autodesk University in Las Vegas. Not a one-trick pony, the MX-1 is being designed as the first of a series of robotic spacecraft that can carry out a multitude of tasks in Earth orbit as well as in deep space. Read More

Space

Northrop Grumman completes commercial lunar lander study

There are so many private space ventures under development these days that it seems like you need a scorecard to keep track of them all. This week, Northrop Grumman Corporation announced that it has completed a feasibility study on a new lunar lander for the Golden Spike Company as part of a plan to send to people to the Moon within ten years at a cost of US$750 million per person.Read More

Good Thinking

Puerto Rico dominates the 2013 NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

It was Puerto Rico's day at the 20th NASA Great Moonbuggy Race. Teams from that country won first place in both the high school and college division races. More than 90 teams competed in the race, in which lightweight human-powered buggies race over a simulated lunar surface built at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The winning times for this grueling three-quarter mile course were 3:24 for the high school division and 3:32 for the college division.Read More

Space

Russian lunar base gets closer with new moon probe set for 2015 launch

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is planning to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon in 2015, a first step toward the ambitious long-term plan to establish a robotic base on the surface of our largest satellite. The spacecraft, called Luna-Glob ("Moon globe"), will be followed by two more orbiters and two rovers that will study the lunar soil locally and collect samples of rocks and dust, bringing them back to Earth for analysis.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning