Moonscapes: Email Newsletter of  The Moon Society

 March 2011

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Potential site for human outpost on the Moon emerges from Chandrayaan-1 data


On February 25, 2011, ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization, released a paper detailing the discovery of a 1.72 kilometre long (5,733 ft.) intact lava tube section in the south western reaches of Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms. 


The data was compiled by Chandrayaan-1's Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), one of the eleven science instruments on board India's first lunar orbiter, launched October 22, 2008. 

"The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generated from the three look angles enables morphometric study of various lunar features, thus furnishing topographic relief and dimensions of various morphological entities.


"Identifying sites for permanent base stations for possible human settlement on the Moon is important for long-term perspective of lunar exploration."




We welcome the new Human-Robonaut Space Age 50 years after Yuri Gagarin launched the Human Space Age

 In late, 2004, after having just been elected President of the Moon Society, I brought up the idea of the Society sponsoring a workshop on "Human-Robotic Synergistics" only to be ridiculed by a newly elected director. Shortly after, he resigned. The point was, and is, that the debate over whether humans or robots should explore space is pointless and absurd. Our respective assets are complementary.

Robotics has come a long way in the past six years! And the promise is becoming real. Robotic assistants can relieve humans of tasks that are dangerous, boring, tiring, repetitious, etc. And they do not need life support, rest, entertainment, or socializing. They will not only pave the way for humans, but work side-by-side with humans after crews arrive, with future settlers also.   





Left: R2 packed for transit. "Patrick" was unpacked on March 17, 2011, St. Patrick's Day

Right: Robonauts and Astronauts will make a great team!


Blogging the Moon,

by Paul Spudis

Blogging the Moon

NASA has been in the news lately for reasons beyond the exciting discoveries of various and vast quantities of water on the Moon. Unfortunately, the long, drawn out repositioning of our national space program has brought the space community to loggerheads, leaving the future of the U.S. manned space program in jeopardy.  The upheaval caused by fights over rocket designs and suppliers, and the "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe" formula being used to select our new space direction, has placed the U.S. space program in peril.

For over two decades Paul Spudis has had a front row seat to the U.S. national space program and has written extensively about space policy and space science.  His opinions and insights recently found a home on the Air and Space Magazine blog.

The Once and Future Moon.



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Enter our Space Tourism Essay Contest

"Where, as a Space Tourist, would you like to go? And why?"

 Space Tourist



Last year, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the successful return of the apparently doomed Apollo 13 crew, we held an Essay Contest: "Manned Space Exploration is Worth the Risk" and received some great entries.

This year, as the Commercial Space Sector continues to grow and become ever more important, our topic is Space Tourism

Where would you like to go? Obviously, many readers will pick the Moon. But some of our readers may also be Mars fans, or interested in other destinations altogether. For this contest, lets rule out destinations beyond our home Solar System.

Give us an itinerary: where you would like to visit, what you would like to do there, what memories you would like to bring home.

What kinds of souvenirs would you want to pick up? Would you be going alone or with a tourist group?

Would you pick a "routine" tour, of something "off the beaten path?"

Would you consider a "working tour group?" That is, to defray costs, would you accept shipboard chores? How about field work?

On Earth, working tours such as archaeological and paleontological "digs" are becoming increasingly popular.

Some tours may have exploration and/or prospecting goals.

How long would you be willing to be away from Earth, from friends, family or your job?

How much would you spend on a lottery ticket for a free tourist experience of the type you are describing?

Where would such a tour rank in your personal "pipe dream" list? In your "bucket list"?

The contest is open to members, former members, visitors, and in short to anyone who hears about it, anywhere in the world.




Moon Society Publications and Free Downloads  Frontlines: President's monthly report: click on the image link below the Moon Society announcements list on our Homepage


Chapter Events:

Moon Miners Manifesto India Quarterly: MMM India

Moonbeams Science Fiction:

MMM Classics:

MMM Theme Issues:



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