The data beamed back to Earth by radio signal. Then in 1974, NASA cancelled most of the funding for the data analysis project.
However, that didn’t stop the data from collecting for another three years. Now, a Texas Tech University researcher is on a mission from NASA to piece together the long-forgotten data and finish the analysis.
Seiichi Nagihara, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences, received a two-year, $45,000 research grant from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to help the center fully restore, digitally archive and reanalyze the data collected from the geothermal heat-flow instruments placed on the moon during Apollo 15 and 17.
Nagihara and the Goddard team hope to restore the full records of the Apollo heat flow experiments and use modern computers to reanalyze the data to better understand the moon’s internal structure.
That’s easier said than done, though, Nagihara said.
“Right now, it’s a detective story,” he said. “After 1974, NASA’s focus quickly shifted, and it seems that nobody there kept detailed records on who did what with the Apollo heat-flow data obtained from 1975 to 1977. The principal scientist who was involved in the original analysis did not use the data from these years, and he died more than 10 years ago. But, by reading old NASA documents and contacting the people who were involved in the Apollo missions, my collaborators at Goddard and I are tracking down the missing data. We have recovered some pieces of the data, but still have a long way to go.”
Nagihara is an expert in how the Earth releases its heat, which is why he is one of the researchers recruited to reanalyze the moon’s heat-flow data. Once he has found and compiled as much of the “lost” data as he can, he will try to determine why different areas of the moon give off different amounts of heat.
“On Earth, the plate tectonics explain a lot about why and how heat flow is different from one locality to another,” he said. “The moon has no plate tectonics. That makes it more challenging for me.”
Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu.
CONTACT: Seiichi Nagihara, associate professor, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3149, or email@example.com
John Davis | Newswise Science News
Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union
Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it
25.10.2016 | University of California - Santa Cruz
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering