Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite Impact Observation Teams Chosen

 Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in spring 2009.  Th  spacecraft will collide with the Moon in a permanently shadowed crater near one of the Moon’s poles in hopes of finding evidence of water ice.

Four teams haven been chosen to provide additional data and analysis about permanently shadowed craters to help researchers determine if water exists on the moon and in what form.

The selected proposals are:

— Accessing LCROSS Ejecta: Water Vapor and Particle Size and Composition from Keck, Gemini, and the IRFT Telescopes; principle investigator Eliot Young, Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

— LCROSS Lunar Plume Observations with the Apache Point Observatory; principle investigator Nancy Chanover, New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

— Multi-spectral Imaging of the LCROSS Impact; principle investigator Marc Buie, Southwest Research Institute.

— Searching for Polar Water Ice During the LCROSS Impact Using the MMT Observatory; principle investigator Faith Vilas, University of Arizona in Tucson.

Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission

LCROSS Observation Campaign


The Conrad Foundation and The NSS

The National Space Society and the Conrad Foundation are now partners to support the upcoming Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, the Foundation’s annual educational competition. This is a competition for high school students to create innovative products for use in space or for renewable energy.

The NSS will guide student teams and provide jugdes.  Team Finalist will present their concepts at NSS’s  ISDC in Orlando May 28-31, 2009. – Press Release

Semi-Finalist Team Announcement on Monday—tune in for the LIVE announcement

Tune in on Monday, Feb. 2, at 4:00 p.m. EST / 1:00 p.m. PST for a live video announcement by Major General Charles Frank “Charlie” Bolden, USMC (retired).  He will announce the finalist teams in the Pete Conrad “Spirit of Innovation” Awards.

The teams have been tasked with developing innovative products in the fields of personal spaceflight, lunar exploration and renewable energy; these teams now proceed to the Innovation Generation Summit at NASA Ames Research Center where they will present their products to leaders in industry and academia.  Public votes are also incorporated into the final judging process to select the overall.

The Conrad Foundation’s – Innovation Summit – the most innovative high schoolers unveiled

In Partnership with NASA Ames and the bay area Yuri’s Night celebration, the Conrad Awards final program will be a three day event unveiling the most innovative high school student products in science and technology. More information will be announced in the coming months. 

Conrad Foundation on Facebook

NASA Radar Provides First Look Inside Moon's Shadowed Craters

NASA radar flying aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is giving scientists their first look inside the moon’s coldest, darkest craters. The Mini-SAR instrument, a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar sent back images of the floors of permanently-shadowed polar craters on the moon that aren’t visible from Earth. Scientists are using the instrument to search the insides of the craters for water ice.


Intersting Physics

Here is an Interesting Physics article from New Scientist. I am posting it here for two reasons. First it discusses problems they are having with Gravity wave Physics. Gravity Wave Physics is one area of science which could greatly benefit from access to the lunar environment. Second it quotes my Father, Dr. John Cramer of the University of Washington on Page three.

But even if it isn’t directly space related, the idea that that we basically live in a holographic projection is fascinating.

Our World May Be a Giant Hologram

NASA – Giant Rockets Could Revolutionize Astronomy

Giant Rockets Could Revolutionize Astronomy



The Space Telescope Science Institute’s Marc Postman has been planning a 16-meter segmented optical/ultraviolet telescope called ATLAST, short for Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope. The science from an aperture its size would be spectacular.

ATLAST would be nearly 2000 times more sensitive than the Hubble Telescope.

Even Cooler!!!

Ares V flings shutters open wide on our view of the cosmos. It shakes off the shackles of mass and volume constraints from science missions

A heavy lift vehicle like Ares V would open numerous posibilities for space development and science.