Thursday, October 8, 2009

LCROSS Mission

Today NASA is going to conduct an interesting experiment to study the presence of water ice in lunar surface. In the experiment a Centaur rocket will first impact the moon surface near its south pole. The impact will create debris plume. The LCROSS(Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) will fly through the debris plume and collect data. The data will be streamed to the mission operations for analysis. After 4 minutes the LCROSS will also impact the lunar surface creating a second debris plume.
The experiment enables the scientists to observe soil beneath the lunar surface. NASA TV is doing a live broadcast of the experiment and the impact can be observed via telescopes too.
For details you can read the post on NASA Blogs.

Venera-D Mission

Venera-D is a space mission planned by the Russian space research institute IKI. The mission is scheduled for 2016 and aims to explore the Venus. The mission will involve an orbiting spacecraft, multiple air balloons, a surface lander and possibly a wind flyer. IKI has asked for contribution from other European nations for this ambitious project. IKI is planning to hold annual conference on the Venera-D project in the hope of expanding cooperation with the European scientists.
For details you can read this article on the BBC website.