Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential Lunar and Martian bases

Date:
October 22, 2012
Source:
Open University
Summary:
Researchers in the UK have presented plans for an extraplanetary laboratory that will determine whether it will be possible to establish a base on the Moon, or potentially Mars.

Researchers at The Open University have presented plans for an extraplanetary laboratory that will determine whether it will be possible to establish a base on the Moon, or potentially Mars.

Related Articles


The Open University's Planetary and Space Sciences researchers have developed a conceptual Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP) that, if selected for funding, will ascertain whether there are sufficient quantities of water and fuel at the Moon's South Pole to support a future manned research base. Researchers also suggest that L-VRAP could be utilised in a similar mission to Mars.

L-VRAP is a miniature chemical laboratory capable of identifying and quantifying volatiles -- elements and compounds with low boiling points such as nitrogen, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen and methane -- in the Moon's crust and atmosphere.

The device could be fitted to a Lunar or Martian lander and would carry out scientific investigations that are essential to the success of long-term space exploration and could pave the way for an extended human presence away from Earth.

Dr Simon Sheridan, Research Fellow at The Open University and one of the authors of the paper, said: "To date, only a tiny fraction of the Moon's surface has been physically sampled and analysed and all of that activity took place 40 years ago. Our L-VRAP device is a state of the art sampling and analysis package that will determine in situ, the abundance and the isotopic composition of volatiles present in the Moon's atmosphere, surface and sub-surface."

Previously thought to be a dry, barren landscape, recent evidence suggests that the Moon has large pools of frozen water in craters around its poles. By measuring the detailed isotopic composition of key elements, L-VRAP may be able to provide clues to the origin of any water detected on the Moon.

The Lunar Lander mission will be considered at the ESA Ministerial meeting in November 2012. If selected, L-VRAP could launch as early as 2019. Meanwhile, The Open University will be developing L-VRAP in readiness for other space mission opportunities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Open University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Open University. "Potential Lunar and Martian bases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022080359.htm>.
Open University. (2012, October 22). Potential Lunar and Martian bases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022080359.htm
Open University. "Potential Lunar and Martian bases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022080359.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: SpaceX Launches Rocket, Satellites on Board

Raw: SpaceX Launches Rocket, Satellites on Board

AP (Mar. 2, 2015) SpaceX launched it&apos;s 16th Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday night. The rocket was carrying two commercial communications satellites. (March 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) NASA Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts perform their third spacewalk in eight days outside the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Astronauts are ahead of schedule with hardware upgrades to the International Space Station, despite last week&apos;s spacesuit water leak scare. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nitrogen-Based Life Might Swim On Saturn's Largest Moon

Nitrogen-Based Life Might Swim On Saturn's Largest Moon

Newsy (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers at Cornell University theorize life might exist on Saturn’s largest moon as nitrogen-based organisms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins