Related topics: nasa · earth · spacecraft · saturn · cassini spacecraft

Cassini reveals new sculpting in Saturn rings

As NASA's Cassini dove close to Saturn in its final year, the spacecraft provided intricate detail on the workings of Saturn's complex rings, new analysis shows.

Table salt compound spotted on Europa

A familiar ingredient has been hiding in plain sight on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Using a visible light spectral analysis, planetary scientists at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages ...

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 ...

'Moon Rock Hunter' on quest to track down Apollo gifts

After Neil Armstrong took a "giant leap for mankind" on the Moon nearly 50 years ago and collected rocks and soil along the way, Richard Nixon presented lunar souvenirs to every nation—135, at the time.

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.

Translation of genes more complex than expected

Researchers from Marvin Tanenbaum's group at the Hubrecht Institute have shown that translation of the genetic information stored in our DNA is much more complex than previously thought. This discovery was made by developing ...

Exomoons may be home to extra-terrestrial life

Moons orbiting planets outside our solar system could offer another clue about the pool of worlds that may be home to extra-terrestrial life, according to an astrophysicist at the University of Lincoln.

NASA plans to send equipment to Moon from 2020

For the first time since the 1970s, the United States is planning to send equipment to the surface of the Moon in 2020 and 2021, in anticipation of a crewed lunar mission in 2024, NASA said Friday.

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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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