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  • LPI Premieres New Cosmic Exploration Speaker Series
    Dr David A Kring As one of the discoverers of the impact crater that is linked to the extinction of dinosaurs Kring will share his personal search for the impact site He will describe how the impact of the asteroid created a great environmental catastrophe that extinguished most of the life on this planet and will conclude with how this impact could have played a role in the biological evolution

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/speakerseries/rogue_asteroid/ (2016-02-15)
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  • LPI Scientist Writes New Guidebook
    Crater s impact site is arguably the world s best preserved and most dramatic looking impact crater Because of its similarity to lunar terrain NASA used Meteor Crater during the Apollo era as a site for testing equipment that would be used on the lunar surface and to train astronaut crews This site will likely be used again for astronaut crew training during Project Constellation which is designed to put humans back on the Moon before 2020 The book summarizes over 100 years of exploration at the crater and describes how impact cratering processes excavated the bowl shaped cavity that is visible today distributing over 175 million metric tons of rock on the surrounding landscape He explores both the geologic processes that shaped the crater and the biological effects the impact event may have had on an ice age community of mammoths and mastodons The text is augmented by an extensive set of nearly 150 photographs of the crater most of which are in full color Kring s guidebook was first used by members of the Meteoritical Society who visited the crater a few weeks ago The guidebook is certain to be a resource for many years as Meteor Crater

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/crater_guidebook/ (2016-02-15)
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  • LEAG Annual Meeting Presentations Available
    purpose of the workshop entitled Enabling Exploration The Lunar Outpost and Beyond was to bring together academic governmental and private sector interests to discuss progress in lunar exploration share ideas and information and form collaborations The meeting provided an opportunity to integrate diverse interests in lunar exploration to reduce risk and cost of establishing a permanent presence on the Moon through novel and innovative ideas technologies and partnerships The meeting began by identifying its goal which was To define pathways to offset the costs and risks of achieving the next step in space exploration The meeting focused on ten primary topics More than 60 speakers presented their views on these topics and ample opportunity for discussion with the audience was provided LEAG is responsible for analyzing scientific technical commercial and operational issues associated with lunar exploration in response to requests by NASA The analysis group serves as a community based interdisciplinary forum for future exploration and provides analysis in support of lunar exploration objectives and their implications for lunar architecture planning and activity prioritization They provide findings and analysis to NASA through the NASA Advisory Council LEAG will meet annually or as otherwise needed or upon request of the Council

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/leag_2007/ (2016-02-15)
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  • China Ready to Launch First Lunar Satellite
    the Moon The orbiter was designed as one of the stages in China s long term space program Chang e 1 was based on China s Dongfanghong 3 telecommunication satellite platform and reportedly caries a 280 pound payload of science instruments for its one year mission Chang e 1 will be carrying eight primary instruments to photograph and map the lunar surface probe its depth study the regolith s chemical composition and analyze the space environment around the Moon Among the eight instruments Chang e 1 will carry a CCD stereo camera that will produce three dimensional images of the lunar surface by compiling three separate two dimensional views of the target area A laser altimeter will also be onboard to take precise measurements of the lunar surface as well as gamma ray and X ray spectrometers to detect the contents and distribution of a number of chemical elements on the lunar surface In order to reach the Moon Chang e 1 is expected to launch spaceward into a high elliptical orbit that comes within 372 miles 600 kilometers of Earth at its closest point The flight plan then calls for a series of maneuvers to gradually allow it to

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/chang_e/ (2016-02-15)
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  • KAGUYA (“SELENE”) Subsatellite Separation
    honorable elderly woman These nicknames selected from nominations by people related to the SELENE project stem from the Japanese classic story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Taketori Monogatari The name of the spacecraft KAGUYA also comes from the name of one of the characters in that tale Kaguya hime Princess Kaguya In the tale Princess Kaguya was found by an old man Okina in a bamboo and was brought up by the man and his wife Ouna with great care The nicknames are thought to be appropriate because the Relay and VRAD satellites are flying in a higher orbit than KAGUYA as if they are watching over KAGUYA as its guardians KAGUYA is Japan s first large lunar explorer and was launch by the H IIA rocket on September 14 2007 This is the largest mission of its kind since the Apollo program and has been greatly anticipated by many countries The major objectives of the mission are to understand the Moon s origin and evolution and to observe the Moon for the purpose of potential future utilization studies KAGUYA will investigate the entire Moon in order to obtain information on its elemental and mineralogical composition its geography its

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/kaguya/ (2016-02-15)
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  • LPI Announces New Lunar Science and Exploration Website
    has developed a new web based information portal for the lunar science and exploration community This new website provides access to everything lunar from the earliest Apollo era documents to the most recent lunar research reports The site is designed for a broad range of users including exploration architects lunar scientists students and the general public Information is organized under several specific categories 1 Lunar Mission Summaries 2 Apollo Era Documents 3 Lunar Samples 4 Lunar Images 5 Lunar Surface 6 Lunar Meteorites 7 Exploration Strategies 8 Constellation Hardware 9 Landing Site Studies 10 Computational Tools and 11 Educational Products Data can also be accessed through a new LPI Lunar Search Engine which provides links to both USRA LPI documents and information at other lunar related sites This is a living web based system As the exploration initiative grows the content of this portal will expand appropriately providing a one stop source of information Highlights of the website include a new Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery with new views of over 2600 Lunar Orbiter images This photo gallery greatly expands the 675 plate Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon Another new feature is a set of computational tools the

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/lunar/index.shtml (2016-02-15)
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  • LPI Teams Up with Europlanet
    2005 to achieve long term integration of planetary sciences in Europe The aim of Europlanet is to promote collaboration and communication between partner institutions and to support missions to explore our solar system providing an added value to the planetology community Europlanet encourages exchanges between their international and European members and provides support to planetary exploration missions They are also engaged in European outreach activities to increase the public s

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/europlanet/ (2016-02-15)
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  • NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Enroute to Shed Light on Asteroid Belt
    orientation in space and its massive solar array was generating power from the Sun Dawn has risen and the spacecraft is healthy said the mission s project manager Keyur Patel of JPL About this time tomorrow Friday morning we will have passed the moon s orbit During the next 80 days spacecraft controllers will test and calibrate the myriad spacecraft systems and subsystems ensuring Dawn is ready for the long journey ahead Dawn will travel back in time by probing deep into the asteroid belt said Dawn Principal Investigator Christopher Russell University of California Los Angeles This is a moment the space science community has been waiting for since interplanetary spaceflight became possible Dawn s 4 8 billion kilometer 3 billion mile odyssey includes exploration of asteroid Vesta in 2011 and the dwarf planet Ceres in 2015 These two icons of the asteroid belt have been witness to much of our solar system s history By using Dawn s instruments to study both asteroids scientists more accurately can compare and contrast the two Dawn s science instrument suite will measure elemental and mineral composition shape surface topography and tectonic history and will also seek water bearing minerals In addition the

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/dawn/ (2016-02-15)
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