Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Geosciences Professor Reconstructs Data from Apollo Moon Missions

01.03.2010
From 1969 to 1972, astronauts with NASA’s Apollo missions planted on the surface of the moon geophysical instruments that discovered moonquakes and measured the heat released from the interior of the moon.

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 seiichi.nagihara@ttu.edu

John Davis | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ttu.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
22.01.2018 | Duke University

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>