Woman Wins Moon Dust

A Chicgao area woman who purchased a bag of Moon dust that was put up for auction inadvertently by the US government has won the right to own the artifacts. The bag was stolen by Max Ary, former president of a space museum in Kansas and was seized by the government. The back was accidentally put up for auction by the US Marshal service and Nancy Carlson purchased it. NASA tried to reclaim it when she sought their assistance in verifying the bag and dust.
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SpaceX Targets Moon Launch 2018

Elon Musk has announced plans to put two humans into orbit around the Moon in 2018. Two private citizens have already placed a significant deposit for the flight, which will be the furthest any humans have traveled from Earth since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Musk hasn’t announced the names of the astronauts who will fly to the moon aboard a Falcon Heavy.
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Fly Me to the Moon

California’s Moon Express has become the first private company to receive permission to land a private spacecraft on the Moon. The company plans to place a robotic lander on the Moon in 2017 as part of an effort to exploit lunar resources for commercial purposes.
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New “Moon”

NASA has announced the discovery of an asteroid, 2016 HO3, which has been caught by Earth’s gravitational field and orbits Earth at a distance of 14 million kilometers. The asteroid, which was discovered on April 27, is believed to have been captured by Earth about a century ago and is described as a “stable quasi-satellite,” rather than a moon.
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New Rock on Moon

The Chinese Yutu rover, which has been exploring the moon for two years, has discovered a new type of lunar rock. The basalt rock was found in the bottom of Zi Wei crater in Mare Inbrium, which was exposed by the formation of the crater. The find may indicate that lunar composition is more diverse than previously believed.
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Apollo 16 Booster Found

In April, 1972, John Young and Charles Duke landed on the moon in the Lunar Module Orion. NASA scientists also arranged to have the third stage booster of the Saturn V rocket that propelled them to the moon to crash into the moon so measurements could be taken of the reverberations. Although the impact of the rocket could be measured, its location was never found until Jeff Plescia of Johns Hopkins University discovered its location.
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Jade Rabbit at Rest

China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover, also known as Yutu, suffered a potentially mission ending breakdown which prevents it from hibernating during the 14-day long lunar night. If it does not enter hibernation mode, the rover may cease to function. The Chinese space agency issued a light-hearted news release, written as if by the rover, to announce the issue.

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China Joins Lunar Community

China landed the Chang’e 3 probe on the Moon at Sinus Iridium on December 14 at 8:11 a.m. EST. The probe carries the lunar rover Yutu and makes China the third country, along with the US and the Soviet Union, the successfully send probes to the Moon. This is the first soft landing on the moon since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 landed in 1976. China launched Chang’e 3 on December 2 and it has been in Lunar orbit since December 7.

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Lunar Probe Found

Images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter may show the crash site of the Lunar Orbiter 2, which helped map potential landing sites for Apollo missions in 1967. After completing its mission, NASA instructed the LO2 to crash into the farside of the moon, although the exact location of its crash was unknown. The LRO was launched in 2009 to fully map the lunar surface and create 3D maps for a potential return to the moon. The LRO has previously mapped all six Apollo landing sites and has found evidence of volcanism on the moon.

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Missing Lunar Dust Found

A speck of lunar dust about the size of a finger nail, which has been missing since shortly after it was brought back to Earth by the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, has been recovered by NASA and the US Attorney’s Office from an auction house in St. Louis. Originally lifted from a film canister, the dust was sold in 2001 to a German collector whose widow was trying to sell it. When informed of the dust’s provenance, she returned it to the US government.

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