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The lunar surface  (Source: JAXA)
The U.S. and Britain will work together on a moon mission

NASA and the British government plan to work together to launch a British probe to the moon by 2012, the BBC learned. NASA described the Moonlite mission as "inspirational" and it should "fill just the right gap in the U.S. agency's exploration program."

British scientists have also shown interest in creating several scientific observation points on the moon.  The main objective involves launching a satellite that will enter the moon's orbit and then fire four "penetrators" into the lunar surface at 1,080 KPH.  The darts will then activate equipment to monitor "moonquakes" to help scientists learn more about the physical and chemical components of the moon.

"At the moment, it is extremely likely that it will happen," said Alan Smith, project lead researcher at the Mullard Space Sciences Laboratory.  "We've got to get our ducks in order, but I think the plan ticks all the right boxes and it's extremely likely that we will have the first British mission to the moon launched in 2012.

Assuming both sides agree to the terms of tentative deal, NASA will officially hop onboard next summer.   The ambitious India Space Research Organization (ISRO) also may join the U.K.-led space initiative.

The U.S. space agency continues to work alongside international partners, while China remains the only space nation not chosen to work alongside NASA.  More space-ready nations either have launched or plan to launch missions to study the moon and its unique surface -- probes launched by Japan and China already provided images and video of the lunar surface.



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The sun never sets on the British Empire
By Andy35W on 12/19/2007 8:12:11 AM , Rating: 5
Finally Lionel Jeffries in his pith helmet can bag a Clanger to bring home to Blighty.




RE: The sun never sets on the British Empire
By Mitch101 on 12/19/2007 10:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't a clue what you said but it sounded cool. Can you smack Madonna next time you see her for trying to talk like that.

Serious note. I would be interested in hearing of other countries space programs and what they are doing. Never dawned on me growing up that other countries actually had space programs until a rocket blew up and it made the news. Or when Russian cloned the space shuttle and China cloned the Mars rover for $30.00. Whenever I watch world news its just earthquakes, politics, and war. Thanks DT keep the sciene and space going.


RE: The sun never sets on the British Empire
By LogicallyGenius on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
By EntreHoras on 12/19/2007 12:30:22 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously, Is there any way to give a -2 to posts like this?


RE: The sun never sets on the British Empire
By grath on 12/19/2007 9:08:13 PM , Rating: 1
How pefectly apropriate that such a comment comes from someone who calls themself 'LogicallyGenius'

Wish I could reach through the internet and beat the stupid out of you. Please come back and reply with all the typical 'evidence' of the hoax, I could use a good laugh.


By oTAL on 1/7/2008 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please come back and reply with all the typical 'evidence' of the hoax, I could use a good laugh.


Please don't.


By rickon66 on 12/19/2007 10:22:11 AM , Rating: 4
The British throwing darts at the moon, makes perfect sense. I hope they have a couple of pints while they are at it!


Hey
By Dfere on 12/19/2007 9:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
I want to go to the moon too. Who's coming?




RE: Hey
By sirius4k on 12/19/2007 10:10:45 AM , Rating: 2
I don't knoooow.. I mean. I have to go to work tomorrow :P
I think I'll have to skip that one.


RE: Hey
By grath on 12/19/2007 9:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Alice Kramden


RE: Hey
By HercDriver on 12/20/2007 11:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
BANG.....ZOOM! To the moon, Alice!
LOL :) I loved the Honeymooners.


There could be a problem.....
By aethyrmaster on 12/19/2007 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The main objective involves launching a satellite that will enter the moon's orbit and then fire four "penetrators" into the lunar surface at 1,080 KPH. The darts will then activate equipment to monitor "moonquakes"


If you ask me, firing four projectiles into the ground at 1000 KPH each will activate more than just the equipment - it'll artificially activate the moonquakes they are trying to study!




RE: There could be a problem.....
By grath on 12/19/2007 9:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
Not a problem at all. Assuming the penetrators wont be impacting simultaneously, the impact from penetrators 2-4 create seismic waves (moonquakes) that will be used to calibrate and verify operation of the monitors already in place.

Geologists do it on Earth all the time, setting off underground explosions just so they can record the seismic waves and generate maps of the subsurface.

If I recall correctly, weve done it a number of times on the Moon as well by directing jettisoned spacecraft hardware (ie Lunar Module ascent stages) onto impact trajectories to be studied by the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Packages, which operated until the late 70s.


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