This afternoon, NASA revealed they’d discovered something “new” and “exciting” about the Moon. They played a bit coy about said discovery, noting that they’ll spill the whole cup of beans from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) at a conference that’ll take place at 12PM EDT on Monday, the 26th of October, 2020. We’ll be covering that announcement as it happens.
NASA’s “new science results” about the Moon exists within the realm of discovery in service of the NASA Artemis program. The Artemis program aims to use the Moon as a jumping-off point on the way to our eventual human visit to Mars. The current plan with the Artemis mission is to sent astronauts to the surface of the Moon in the year 2024.
It’ll be interesting to see what these professionals have to say about the moon. While humans have taken a few trips to the lunar surface, and we’re fairly sure the makeup of the moon suggests it’s just a big chunk of the earliest bits of Earth, there may be any number of hidden tidbits of new information about the Moon hiding just below the surface.
Could this have to do with the protective magnetic field that the Earth and the Moon once shared? Maybe we’ll learn more about the radiation on the surface revealed in part by China’s Chang’e 4 robotic spacecraft in September.
Perhaps the NASA reveal is all about the rust on the Moon, and how the Moon continues to rust to this day. Better yet, maybe this is all about lava tubes and how we’ll all one day live inside a lava tube! We’ve had plenty of Moon news in the last few weeks to make some offbeat guesses, mobile data coverage on the Moon notwithstanding.
Meanwhile the Artemis Accords were signed by eighth peaceful nations earlier this month. Said accords agreed that the nations would explore our nearest space neighbor in peace, and harmony, for the greater good of humanity.
Announced as participating in the teleconference on Monday are four NASA officials: Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters; Casey Honniball, postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland; Paul Hertz, Astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters, Washington; and Naseem Rangwala, project scientist for the SOFIA mission, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, California.