NASA is preparing to reveal an “exciting” new discovery of the moon on Monday.
The flagship announcement, “Contributes to NASA’s Efforts to Recognize the Moon in Support of Deep Space Exploration,” will be released at 4 pm GMT.
A live broadcast of the event will appear on NASA’s website, as well as on its official YouTube channel, which will also appear on this page.
You can follow all accumulated information and latest estimates here.
For anyone interested, NASA has also announced that it will be holding AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit about its findings tomorrow. Anyone can ask questions on r / space on Tuesday, Oct 27 at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT / 5 PM GMT.
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 14:52
The official NASA Twitter account for Moon News posted a photo of Casey Honeypal aboard Sophia. It looks like Dr Honeyball may be taking center stage with this announcement – is it further confirmation that it is all about discovering water?
Anthony Cuthbertson26 October 2020 14:50
Others have noted that NASA’s announcement of the Moon comes at a time when there are perhaps more pressing issues to address here on Earth.
This comes in the midst of a worsening pandemic, global economic turmoil, and just eight days before the US presidential election. Looking at all of that, maybe this is a welcome distraction?
Anthony Cuthbertson26 October 2020 14:22
There has been a lot of speculation via social media about what the NASA announcement could be.
Alien life, discover a monolith, or what about a death star?
Anthony Cuthbertson26 October 2020 14:14
Not only does a base on the moon need water, it appears to also need a phone signal.
In other NASA announcements related to the moon, Nokia was recently chosen to build the first mobile network there.
The 4G network will allow astronauts to broadcast HD videos and communicate via voice and video calls.
Read the full story here:
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 13:50
The Stratosphere Observatory of Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) used to discover today is an impressive piece of equipment.
From the outside it looks like a Boeing 747 airliner, but this is just a shell with millions of dollars’ worth of telescopes and other scientific equipment.
The Flying Observatory is able to study the Solar System in ways not possible with fixed ground-based telescopes. Topics include asteroids, galaxies, and the birth and death of stars.
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 13:13
Today’s announcement by NASA scientists is not just about what to expect, but also what tools and equipment they used.
NASA’s media advisory reported that the Stratosphere Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sophia) was behind the results.
One of the four people who hosted today’s announcement wrote a doctoral thesis on how to use Sophia to find water on the moon.
“Using data from Sophia, we reported the first direct discovery of a water molecule on the luminous surface of the Moon,” Dr. Honeyball wrote.
The NASA Watch blog also notes that Dr. Honeyball was the lead author of a recent paper, “Telescopic Observations of Moon Moisture: Contrasts and Abundance.”
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 12:32
None of this is hypothetical. Last month, the Japan Space Agency said it would supply hydrogen to space exploration missions extracted from water deposits on the moon.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said generating fuel on the Moon will be cheaper than transporting it from Earth. The hydrogen fuel production process can be powered by solar cells.
Since the 1960s, scientists have speculated that lunar water could exist as ice inside shaded craters at the lunar poles – something NASA seemed to confirm in 2009 and 2018 – as well as in lower concentrations on most of its surface.
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 12:12
So how will water on the moon help us explore deep space?
First, it would make creating a base on the moon much easier, because water is essential for human life. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said that establishing a permanent human presence on the moon could be used as a “test ground” for Mars.
Second, lunar water can be used to make rocket fuel. Future missions to Mars and other parts of the Solar System are likely to be launched from the moon, as there are fewer restrictions in the atmosphere and gravity compared to Earth.
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 11:44
NASA’s media advisory on the announcement also provides an idea of the direction today’s press conference will take.
Anthony CuthbertsonOctober 26, 2020 11:04
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