[FPSPACE] FW: NASA: RADAR PROVIDES FIRST LOOK INSIDE MOON'S SHADOWED CRATERS
ljk4 at msn.com
Fri Jan 16 21:30:27 EST 2009
> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:08:13 -0500> From: steve.maran at aas.org> To: steve.maran at aas.org> Subject: NASA: RADAR PROVIDES FIRST LOOK INSIDE MOON'S SHADOWED CRATERS> > THE FOLLOWING RELEASE WAS RECEIVED FROM NASA HEADQUARTERS IN> WASHINGTON, DC, AND IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. (FORWARDING> DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.)> Steve Maran, American Astronomical Society: steve.maran at aas.org,> 1-202-328-2010 x116.> > January 16, 2009> > Contact:> Katherine Trinidad> 1-202-358-1100> katherine.trinidad at nasa.gov> > RELEASE: 09-010> > NASA RADAR PROVIDES FIRST LOOK INSIDE MOON'S SHADOWED CRATERS> > WASHINGTON -- Using a NASA radar flying aboard India's Chandrayaan-1> spacecraft, scientists are getting their first look inside the moon's> coldest, darkest craters.> > The Mini-SAR instrument, a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar, has> passed its initial in-flight tests and sent back its first data. The> images show the floors of permanently-shadowed polar craters on the> moon that aren't visible from Earth. Scientists are using the> instrument to map and search the insides of the craters for water> ice.> > "The only way to explore such areas is to use an orbital imaging radar> such as Mini-SAR," said Benjamin Bussey, deputy principal> investigator for Mini-SAR, from the Johns Hopkins University Applied> Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. "This is an exciting first step for> the team which has worked diligently for more than three years to get> to this point."> > The images, taken on Nov. 17, 2008, cover part of the Haworth crater> at the moon's south pole and the western rim of Seares crater, an> impact feature near the north pole. Bright areas in each image> represent either surface roughness or slopes pointing toward the> spacecraft. Further data collection by Mini-SAR and analysis will> help scientists to determine if buried ice deposits exist in the> permanently shadowed craters near the moon's poles.> > These first images and other information about NASA's Mini-SAR, also> known as Mini-RF, can be found at:> > > > http://www.nasa.gov/mini-rf> > > "During the next few months we expect to have a fully calibrated and> operational instrument collecting valuable science data at the moon,"> said Jason Crusan, program executive for the Mini-RF Program for> NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate in Washington.> > Mini-SAR is one of 11 instruments on the Indian Space Research> Organization's Chandrayaan-1 and one of two NASA-sponsored> contributions to its international payload. The other is the Moon> Mineralogy Mapper, a state-of-the-art imaging spectrometer that will> provide the first map of the entire lunar surface at high spatial and> spectral resolution. Data from the two NASA instruments will> contribute to the agency's increased understanding of the lunar> environment as it implements America's space exploration plan, which> calls for robotic and human missions to the moon.> > Chandrayaan-1 launched from India's Satish Dhawan Space Center on Oct.> 21 and began orbiting the moon Nov. 8. The Applied Physics Laboratory> performed the final integration and testing on Mini-SAR. It was> developed and built by the Naval Air Warfare Center and several other> commercial and government contributors. The Applied Physics> Laboratory's Satellite Communications Facility is Chandrayaan-1's> primary ground station in the Western Hemisphere.> > For more information about the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, visit:> http://m3.jpl.nasa.gov> > For more information about Chandrayaan-1, visit:> http://www.isro.org/Chandrayaan> --------------------------------------------------------------------------> If you do not wish to receive press releases that are forwarded to the> news media by the American Astronomical Society, just reply> accordingly to any incoming press release, or write to> steve.maran at aas.org. Requests for referrals to experts on astronomy> and space exploration should be sent to the same address. Steve Maran,> AAS Press Officer: steve.maran at aas.org, telephone 1-202-328-2010 x116.
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