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Mining the moon could give us rocket fuel to get to Mars

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society. Planning expeditions to Earth's nearest celestial neighbor is no longer just a NASA effort, though the U.S. space agency has plans for a moon-orbiting space station that would serve as a staging ground for Mars missions in the early 2030s. The moon has one-sixth the gravity of Earth, which makes it an attractive alternative base. A team of international students have proposed a plan that uses three different types of rovers to mine ice on the moon, manufacture liquid propellant and transfer it to passing spacecraft.


Mining The Moon For Rocket Fuel To Get Us To Mars

International Business Times

Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society. Planning expeditions to Earth's nearest celestial neighbor is no longer just a NASA effort, though the U.S. space agency has plans for a moon-orbiting space station that would serve as a staging ground for Mars missions in the early 2030s. The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is planning a lunar fueling station for spacecraft, capable of supporting 1,000 people living in space within 30 years. Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Robert Bigelow all have companies aiming to deliver people or goods to the moon.


Vodafone prepares an LTE moon shot

PCWorld

Thanks to Vodafone, the Taurus-Littrow Valley will get its first mobile phone base station next year. It hasn't needed one up to now, as the last visitors drove through in 1972, the year before the mobile phone was invented. Next year, though, it will get the very latest in 4G LTE coverage, when it receives a visit from two very special self-driving vehicles. Taurus-Littrow is the landing site of Apollo 17, where humans last walked on the moon. Next year, an international group based in Berlin plans to send a mission carrying two lunar rovers to explore the site.



Why Audi is backing a trip to the moon

Christian Science Monitor | Science

Forty-five years after the last humans traveled to the moon, a privately-funded Audi team is one of 16 racing to explore the site where Apollo 17 touched down. The Berlin-based Part Time Scientists group announced on Tuesday that it had signed a contract to launch two rovers for a planned moon landing next year. The Audi Lunar quattro rovers are a collaboration between the international team of scientists and their industrial partners, principally Audi, a subsidiary of German automaker Volkswagen. The rover is scheduled to land 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles) from the Apollo 17 landing site and is expected travel to within 200 meters (220 yards) of the site in order to send back high-definition images of the area, Deutsche Welle reported. Google, which is sponsoring the competition, sees exploring the moon as an opportunity to make scientific and technological advances.