New insights into the Moon’s evolution

The Moon rocks from China’s Chang’e 5 lander have been analysed, adding to the story of the Moon’s thermal and chemical evolution. More than 50 years ago, the Apollo program brought 382 kilograms of lunar material back to Earth, including Moon rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust. These samples gave us a glimpse of … Continue reading New insights into the Moon’s evolution

Scientists rewrite lunar geological history

Volcanic rocks collected from the Moon last year are about two billion years old — a billion years younger than the samples returned by previous missions. This new discovery means the Moon was volcanically active much more recently than experts had previously thought. Remote images taken over the past few years had already suggested the … Continue reading Scientists rewrite lunar geological history

Return to the Moon will have to wait

The pandemic, technical difficulties, and a lack of cash means planned return missions to the Moon will be delayed. NASA has revealed “significant challenges” leading to a delay in the development of the spacesuits needed for the journey. Australian companies are vying for the chance to play a role in the Moon to Mars missions. … Continue reading Return to the Moon will have to wait

The Moon’s rocky clues – and what they reveal

Not long after landing on the Moon, Neil Armstrong pocketed the first Moon rock. You can see the regolith brecchia here.  In the end, the six Apollo missions brought back 2,200 samples of Moon rocks, totalling 282 kilograms. Those samples – along with about 300 grams from automated Soviet spacecraft – are kept in a … Continue reading The Moon’s rocky clues – and what they reveal

Driving on the Moon

Nearly obscured by earlier Moon landings – especially Apollo 11 – Apollo missions 15, 16 and 17 had the most significant scientific and exploration return of all their predecessors. Their astronauts stayed longer on the Moon and went further to collect samples and conduct experiments – courtesy of the remarkable lunar roving vehicle, LRV. These … Continue reading Driving on the Moon

Mars and Moon geology: past, present and future

One month after it landed on Mars and beamed back its first “I made it” messages, NASA’s Perseverance rover is limbering up its instruments, testing its wheels, and starting to return pictures of its new home in Jezero Crater. “So far all is going exceedingly well,” Ken Farley, the mission’s project scientist, from California Institute … Continue reading Mars and Moon geology: past, present and future

A shot at the Moon

The lessons we’ve learned through coping as Australians – such as living, working and surviving in remote locations, and communicating over great distances – are the things that give us a place at the table of future space exploration. The dozen apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972 left more … Continue reading A shot at the Moon

Swinburne aims high

Specialists at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology are already working on an interplanetary refuelling station on the Moon and vastly improved satellite-imaging technology: just two of the projects in stream at the university’s new Space Technology and Industry Institute, launched today. The institute will gather world-class capabilities in astrophysics, aerospace, aviation, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence … Continue reading Swinburne aims high

Jupiter’s moon Europa may glow in the dark

In news that is sure to delight every kid with stickers of stars and planets on their ceiling, planetary scientists have discovered that the night-side of Jupiter’s moon Europa may glow in the dark. The illuminating lab simulations, performed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), could help future spacecraft peer deep into the moon’s sub-surface … Continue reading Jupiter’s moon Europa may glow in the dark

It’s confirmed. There is water on the Moon

US researchers have presented the first unambiguous evidence of molecular water on the Moon – and it could be more abundant than previously thought. The discoveries, presented in separate studies in the journal Nature Astronomy, may have direct implications for future Moon missions. For decades after the Apollo missions, the Moon was believed to be … Continue reading It’s confirmed. There is water on the Moon

SpaceWrap: Showtime for OSIRIS-REx

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is ready for business. When it descends toward the surface of Bennu next Tuesday, it will be the first time that a US-led mission has attempted to pick up a sample of pristine material from an asteroid. Since its arrival in December 2018, the spacecraft has been scanning, photographing, measuring and studying … Continue reading SpaceWrap: Showtime for OSIRIS-REx