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.

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 September 21, 2014 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

AFP (Sep. 21, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship blasts off toward the International Space Station, carrying a load of supplies and science experiments for the astronauts living there. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. 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:
from the past week

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