Technology: NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

TechnologyNASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions

09:55  26 june  2019
09:55  26 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

Apollo moon rocks help transform understanding of the universe

Apollo moon rocks help transform understanding of the universe Moon rocks look rather nondescript -- they are often gray in color -- but for NASA planetary scientist Samuel Lawrence, they are the "most precious materials on Earth." What is certain is that the lunar samples first gathered by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong nearly 50 years ago have helped transform our understanding of the cosmos. Apollo astronauts collected 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of rocks and soil during their six missions to the Moon between 1969 and 1972 and brought it all back to Earth.

[ NASA 's 17 Apollo Moon Missions in Pictures ]. The Apollo collection consists of lunar rocks , core samples , pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. Technology : Techniques are available to examine sealed samples before opening and to open them with minimal terrestrial contamination.

Related: NASA 's Apollo Moon Rocks Still Thrill Scientists 50 Years Later. But NASA has decided that with technological advances and the country's plans to return to the moon , it's time to open up those long- sealed samples . The agency announced its intentions last year. "We feel like we can do that

HOUSTON (AP) — Inside a locked vault at Johnson Space Center is treasure few have seen and fewer have touched.

The restricted lab is home to hundreds of pounds of moon rocks collected by Apollo astronauts close to a half-century ago. And for the first time in decades, NASA is about to open some of the pristine samples and let geologists take a crack at them with 21st-century technology.

NASA's Chris Kraft, who helped build Apollo, dies 50 years after moon landing

NASA's Chris Kraft, who helped build Apollo, dies 50 years after moon landing Christopher Kraft, a key architect behind several early NASA programs and the agency's first flight director, has died at 95.

NASA announced it has selected nine teams to study moon samples collected from Apollo missions and Apollo moon samples have gone untouched for 50 years. Now, NASA plans to study them. NASA is taking a closer look at moon rock samples gathered through the Apollo program, launched

NASA selected nine teams to study untouched moon samples brought back to Earth by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions which have been untouched. The teams have been handed a combined budget of million to study the lunar samples in the hopes of deepening NASA ’s understanding of the Moon .

What better way to mark this summer's 50th anniversary of humanity's first footsteps on the moon than by sharing a bit of the lunar loot.

"It's sort of a coincidence that we're opening them in the year of the anniversary," explained NASA's Apollo sample curator Ryan Zeigler, covered head to toe in a white protective suit with matching fabric boots, gloves and hat.

"But certainly the anniversary increased the awareness and the fact that we're going back to the moon."

With the golden anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's feat fast approaching — their lunar module Eagle landed July 20, 1969, on the Sea of Tranquility — the moon is red-hot again.

After decades of flip-flopping between the moon and Mars as the next big astronaut destination, NASA aims to put astronauts on the lunar surface again by 2024 at the White House's direction. President Donald Trump prefers talking up Mars. But the consensus is that the moon is a crucial proving ground given its relative proximity to home — 240,000 miles (386,000 kilometers) or two to three days away.

NASA would like you to record memories of the first Moon landing

NASA would like you to record memories of the first Moon landing Apollo 11’s big moment turns 50 in July

NASA selected nine teams to study the moon samples and awarded a total of million for their research. "By studying these precious lunar samples Six of the nine teams will study the Apollo 17 sample , delivered to Earth in a vacuum- sealed drive tube that astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Gene

Washington, March 13 (IANS) US space agency NASA has selected nine teams to study untouched samples collected from the Moon by the Apollo missions in That core preserves not just the rocks but also the stratigraphy from below the surface so today's scientists can, in a laboratory, study the

Zeigler's job is to preserve what the 12 moonwalkers brought back from 1969 through 1972 — lunar samples totaling 842 pounds (382 kilograms) — and ensure scientists get the best possible samples for study.

Some of the soil and bits of rock were vacuum-packed on the moon — and never exposed to Earth's atmosphere — or frozen or stored in gaseous helium following splashdown and then left untouched. The lab's staff is now trying to figure out how best to remove the samples from their tubes and other containers without contaminating or spoiling anything. They're practicing with mock-up equipment and pretend lunar dirt.

Compared with Apollo-era tech, today's science instruments are much more sensitive, Zeigler noted.

"We can do more with a milligram than we could do with a gram back then. So it was really good planning on their part to wait," he said.

The lunar sample lab has two side-by-side vaults: one for rocks still in straight-from-the-moon condition and a smaller vault for samples previously loaned out for study. About 70 percent of the original haul is in the pristine sample vault, which has two combinations and takes two people to unlock. About 15 percent is in safekeeping at White Sands in New Mexico. The rest is used for research or display.

Apollo moon rocks may unlock more secrets about our solar system

Apollo moon rocks may unlock more secrets about our solar system NASA hopes modern tools and techniques will bring fresh discoveries from rocks that astronauts collected in 1972.

NASA .gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA missions , watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind.

Some of the lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions are yet to see the light of day, and by now pulling Among the rocky samples to be studied is material collected and vacuum sealed on the Moon by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972, which has remained unexposed to Earth's atmosphere since .

NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions
NASA to open moon rock samples sealed since Apollo missions

Of the six manned moon landings, Apollo 11 yielded the fewest lunar samples: 48 pounds or 22 kilograms. It was the first landing by astronauts and NASA wanted to minimize their on-the-moon time and risk. What's left from this mission — about three-quarters after scientific study, public displays and goodwill gifts to all countries and U.S. states in 1969 — is kept mostly here at room temperature.

NASA executive quits weeks after appointment to lead 2024 moon landing plan

NASA executive quits weeks after appointment to lead 2024 moon landing plan A top NASA executive hired in April to guide strategy for returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 has resigned, the space agency said on Thursday, the culmination of internal strife and dwindling congressional support for the lunar initiative. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The first Apollo mission to get to space was Apollo 7. During the 11-day flight, the crew conducted a number of tests on the spacecraft systems and NASA ultimately changed from an unpiloted, Earth-orbiting mission to a crewed flight around the Moon . Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were

NASA has assigned nine teams to study three untouched samples collected by Apollo missions . NASA said the samples had been brought back to the Earth by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 manned missions , respectively carried out in July 1971, April 1972 and December 1972.

Armstrong was the primary rock collector and photographer. Aldrin gathered two core samples just beneath the surface during the 2 1/2-hour moonwalk. All five subsequent Apollo moon landings had longer stays. The last three — Apollo 15, 16 and 17 — had rovers that significantly upped the sample collection and coverage area.

"Fifty years later, we're still learning new things ... incredible," said the lab's Charis Krysher, holding a clear acrylic marble embedded with chips of Apollo 11 moon rock in her gloved hand.

By studying the Apollo moon rocks, Zeigler said, scientists have determined the ages of the surfaces of Mars and Mercury, and established that Jupiter and the solar system's other big outer planets likely formed closer to the sun and later migrated outward.

"So sample return from outer space is really powerful about learning about the whole solar system," he said.

Andrea Mosie, who's worked with the Apollo moon rocks for 44 years and was a high school intern at Johnson Space Center in July 1969, remembers the Polaroid photos and handwritten notes once accompanying each sample. She sometimes gets emotional when talking to children about the moonshots and does her best to dispel any notion that the rocks aren't from the moon and the lunar landings never happened.

Apollo astronauts celebrate 50 years since first moon landing

Apollo astronauts celebrate 50 years since first moon landing Three astronauts instrumental in the groundbreaking U.S. space program of the 1960s and 70s gathered at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the mission that first put a man on the moon. Walter Cunningham, 87, who was part of the Apollo 7 mission, Al Worden, 87, who flew with Apollo 15, and Charlie Duke, 83, who walked on the moon with Apollo 16, recounted their extra-terrestrial experiences before a captive airshow audience.

NASA to unseal untouched Moon samples of Apollo for 1st time in 50 years. NASA says it has assigned nine technical teams to study several untouched samples from the Moon ’s soil and rock layers which were brought back to the Earth by three Apollo missions to our nearest celestial body

A MOON rock sample collected by NASA 's Apollo 14 astronauts most likely originated on Earth and not the Moon , an astonishing study has revealed. NASA Moon landing: A sample of Moon rock collected in 1971 most likely comes from Earth (Image: NASA ). NASA news: The Apollo 14 mission

"The samples are right here and they're still in a pristine state," she assures young skeptics.

Most of the samples to be doled out over the next year were collected in 1972 during Apollo 17, the final moonshot and the only one to include a geologist, Harrison Schmitt. He occasionally visits the lunar sample lab and plans to help open the fresh specimens.

The nine U.S. research teams selected by NASA will receive varying amounts.

"Everything from the weight of a paperclip, down to basically so little mass you can barely measure it," Zeigler said.

Especially tricky will be extracting the gases that were trapped in the vacuum-sealed sample tubes. The lab hasn't opened one since the 1970s.

"If you goof that part up, the gas is gone. You only get one shot," Zeigler said.

The lab's collection is divided by mission, with each lunar landing getting its own cabinet with built-in gloves and stacks of stainless steel bins filled with pieces of the moon. Apollo 16 and 17, responsible for half the lunar haul, get two cabinets apiece.

The total Apollo inventory now exceeds 100,000 samples; some of the original 2,200 were broken into smaller pieces for study.

Sample processor Jeremy Kent is hopeful that "we will get some more samples here in the lab to work on."

There's space for plenty more.

___

Follow AP's full coverage of the Apollo 11 anniversary at: https://apnews.com/Apollo11moonlanding

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Apollo 11 flag, flight plan page and roll of film used on the Moon are up for auction.
An American flag that was flown into orbit during Apollo 11 is among a host of artifacts from the historic mission that are up for auction this week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The flag is flight-certified signed by Apollo 11 Command Module pilot Michael Collins.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 42
This is interesting!