In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Like in the glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, our big white space neighbor is enjoying the attention of lunar explorers. Only this time, they’re going back to the moon for good. The award-winning 24-minute Google Lunar XPRIZE fulldome planetarium show, Back To The Moon For Good, chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest international incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon. To win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a team must land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, navigate 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send video, images and data back to Earth. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world.
The Mars One project aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2024. With over 200 000 initial applications, the Dutch-based venture has whittled down the most recent shortlist to 100. Nick Hamman on 5fm caught up with Adriana Marais, one of four South Africans left on the list.
Orion blazed into the morning sky at 7:05 a.m. EST on Dec. 5, 2014, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. The Orion crew module splashed down approximately 4.5 hours later in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles southwest of San Diego.
The test marked a major milestone on NASA’s Journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years.
The Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate of NASA recently announced Dr. Ben Bussey will be their Chief Exploration Scientist.
I’m pleased this announcement is out and thrilled to welcome Ben to the intersection of human exploration and space science! Congratulations Ben!
– John Connolly Outgoing Chief Exploration Scientist
Ben J. Bussey is a planetary scientist. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary geology at University College London, England. In 2001, during his post-doctorate work at the University of Hawaii, he joined the ANSMET (Antarctic Search for METeorites) expedition to recover meteorites from the Antarctic glaciers. He worked at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston and the European Space Agency, before joining the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and becoming a senior staff scientist at that facility.
Bussey is specialized in the remote sensing of the surfaces of planets. He participated in the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous-Shoemaker (NEAR) mission as a research scholar at Northwestern University, and co-authored an atlas of the Moon based on data and images from the Clementine mission. He has a particular interest in the lunar poles, using the Clementine images to locate crater cold traps for hydrogen deposits and mapping the so-called peaks of eternal light.