A key area of cooperation under consideration is a mission to understand the Moon’s structure, listen for ‘Moonquakes’ and trial the lunar cell-phone network of the future.
•the development of science instruments and technology needed for mid-term robotic and human exploration activities.
Commenting on the report Professor Keith Mason, CEO Science and Technology Facilities Council and Chairman of the UK Space Board [BNSC governing body], said,’ This joint report represents a milestone in our cooperation with NASA whilst building upon our longstanding collaboration in such highly successful science missions as Swift, Stereo, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Cassini. The proposed missions provide an opportunity to harness the UK’s world-class expertise in small satellite, communication and robotic technologies focused on exploration of the Moon.”
MoonLITE is a proposed UK led small robotic mission to the Moon. It comprises a satellite which would travel to the Moon, enter its orbit and then release three or four ‘penetrators’ - small missile-like vehicles – distributed over the Moon’s surface. Each penetrator would impact at high speed and embed instruments just under the Moon’s surface designed to reveal the interior structure of the Moon. The satellite orbiter would then act as a telecommunications relay station between the surface penetrators and earth during their 1 year life.
MoonLITE would deliver important new science about the Moon’s interior and history while also testing the space communications network needed by future robotic and human explorers. The US and UK have enjoyed a long history of successful space cooperation. MoonLITE would build on this success and allow both partners the opportunity to take advantage of their particular strengths. NASA is considering several technologies and experiments as potential US contributions to the UK mission.
The proposed next steps involve an international scientific ‘peer-review’ and a more detailed technical study of MoonLITE leading to a definitive cost estimate before a decision to go-ahead is taken. The launch date for MoonLITE is scheduled for no earlier than 2012.
Professor Mason added,” This joint report between the UK and NASA, coupled with the UK’s major role in ESA’s Aurora programme of planetary exploration and our involvement in helping to shape a Global Exploration Strategy, means the UK is fully exploiting and strategically maximising its technological and scientific strengths in space exploration”.
The BNSC-NASA JWG originated from a Joint Statement of Intent for Cooperation in the Field of Space Exploration signed by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and UK Director General for Science and Innovation Sir Keith O’Nions on April 19, 2007, in Washington, DC.
Peter Barratt | alfa
New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy