Earthlings can celebrate 40 years since the first lunar landing by planting their virtual boots back on the moon in Google Earth. Or they can just swoop over the 3-D lunar landscape, Superman-style.
Google unveiled the new "Moon in Google Earth" feature today during a press conference in Washington, D.C. Those in attendance included female space tourist Anousheh Ansari, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and NASA officials.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this image of the Apollo 14 landing site during its lunar tour.
Look, it's the Apollo 11 lunar module! And astronaut footprints left by Apollo 14! Well, you can make them out if you squint. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been honing its camera-hound skills.
The lunar probe captured images from five of six Apollo sites between July 11 and 15, after first reaching lunar orbit on June 23.
Like most visitors to Hawaii, David Wettergreen spent his two-week trip there in the sand. But instead of sunbathing, he was busy putting Scarab, his robotic moon rover, through rigorous test drives in the lunar-like volcanic ash-filled crater at Mauna Kea.
When lunar astronauts flick on their televisions after a long day of prospecting, they’ll have a trashcan-size nuclear reactor to thank for their nightly dose of prime time. NASA, looking past the already daunting task of simply getting humans to the moon by 2020, recently started considering proposals for ways to power lunar habitats. Batteries and fuel cells provide only short-term solutions. Solar power would be limited where a single night lasts as long as 354 hours. So space-agency officials have started making plans to go nuclear.
Using the highest-resolution mapping data of the moon's south pole ever obtained, NASA has created an animation that shows what it would look like to descend to the rim of the Shackleton Crater—which has been proposed as a landing site for a future human mission.