Current Missions to the Moon

    There are many past, present, and planned future Solar System Explorations. One of many explorations are missions to the moon. Three present Moon missions are the Chang'e 1, Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter, LCROSS.

    Chang'e 1

    Chang'e 1

    The Chang'e-1 orbiter was designed to make three-dimensional imagery of the lunar surface, study the chemical elements and soil composition of the lunar surface. The orbiter is a precursor to future missions to land a Chinese spacecraft on the Moon and possibly even a robotic sample return mission... Read More

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Goals: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was sent to the Moon to make high-resolution maps of the composition of the lunar surface and seek out potential sources of water-ice that may exist in the bottom of dark polar craters. The spacecraft is seeking potential landing sites and resources for future human exploration of the Moon. LRO was launched with the LCROSS lunar impact mission.

    Accomplishments: One of the mission's first surprising discoveries was the super-cold temperatures in the permanently shadowed craters of the Moon's south polar region. The temperatures,-238°C (-397°F), are among the coldest surface temperatures measured in the solar system, colder even than Pluto... Read More

    LCROSS

    LCROSS

    Goals: The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was launched to determine if water-ice exists in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon's South Pole. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of a crater with back-to-back impacts. The impacts will create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials. The spacecraft was launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.

    Accomplishments: This mission is in flight. Lunar impact is set for 9 Oct. 2009.... Read More

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