Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lunar exploration – Potential UK and NASA collaboration

15.02.2008
The British National Space Centre [BNSC] and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA ] have today [15th February 2008] issued a report from the Joint Working Group(JWG) on lunar exploration that outlines next steps in possible U.K.-U.S. space exploration cooperation.

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 JWG report identified two potential elements of collaboration:
•the implementation of a UK led robotic lunar mission, such as the Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment (MoonLITE) mission;

•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
Further information:
http://www.stfc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
14.12.2018 | DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

nachricht In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet
14.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>