9/08/2013

NASA Plan's For Another Moon Landing; Attempting to Solve Moon Dust Mystery


There hasn't been a moon landing for decades, but due to an increased international interest in the Moon by other countries and private companies planning future landings in upcoming years on the Moon's surface, NASA wants to collect data while it's still in its pristine, natural state.

The $280 million LADEE robotic research mission aims to solve a quandary from 1968's Surveyor 7 mission, when astronauts saw a strange glow on the moon's horizon before sunrise.  Four years later, Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan also caught a glimpse of mysterious lunar "streamers" that were reminiscent of the aurora borealis.


After reaching the moon's orbit in about 30 days, LADEE will stay there for three months, retrieving and analyzing samples from the lunar atmosphere.  The data will be beamed back to Earth before the craft self-destructs, crashing into the moon's surface.