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NASA unveils schedule for 'Artemis' 2024 Moon mission

NASA on Thursday unveiled the calendar for the "Artemis" program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024.

Water formation on the moon

For the first time, a cross-disciplinary study has shown chemical, physical, and material evidence for water formation on the moon. Two teams from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa collaborated on the project: physical ...

Formation of the moon brought water to Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists ...

Gas insulation could be protecting an ocean inside Pluto

A gassy insulating layer beneath the icy surfaces of distant celestial objects could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought. Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating ...

After the Moon, people on Mars by 2033... or 2060

On December 11, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a directive ordering NASA to prepare to return astronauts to the Moon "followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations."

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crash site spotted on moon

SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit organization, is dedicated to landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. Beresheet was their first attempt at meeting this goal. While the spacecraft did land, it first touched the surface ...

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Moon

The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. The average centre-to-centre distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 km, about thirty times the diameter of the Earth. The common centre of mass of the system (the barycentre) is located about 1,700 km—a quarter the Earth's radius—beneath the surface of the Earth. The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days (the orbital period), and the periodic variations in the geometry of the Earth–Moon–Sun system are responsible for the phases of the moon, which repeat every 29.5 days (the synodic period).

The Moon's diameter is 3,474 km, a little more than a quarter of that of the Earth. Thus, the Moon's surface area is less than a tenth that of the Earth (about a quarter the Earth's land area, approximately as large as Russia, Canada, and the United States combined), and its volume is about 2 percent that of Earth. The pull of gravity at its surface is about 17 percent of that at the Earth's surface.

The Moon is the only celestial body to which humans have traveled and upon which humans have performed a manned landing. While the Soviet Union's Luna program was the first to reach the Moon with unmanned spacecraft, the NASA Apollo program by the United States achieved the only manned missions to date, beginning with the first manned lunar mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six manned lunar landings between 1969 and 1972- the first being Apollo 11 in 1969. Human exploration of the Moon temporarily ceased with the conclusion of the Apollo program, although a few robotic landers and orbiters have been sent to the Moon since that time. The U.S. has committed to return to the moon by 2018.

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