China May Provide Data For NASA Spacecraft

By  //  December 17, 2013

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NASA could see 'potentially interesting science'

NASA.gov — After sending 12 humans to the moon’s surface during the Apollo Program, NASA remains committed to lunar science.

Artist’s concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer in orbit above the moon as dust scatters light during the lunar sunset. (NASA.gov image)

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer in orbit above the moon as dust scatters light during the lunar sunset. (NASA.gov image)

Building on modern missions such as Clementine and Lunar Prospector and recent missions like LCROSS and GRAIL, NASA science has helped to map the moon, determine the presence of water ice and understand our satellite’s irregular gravity field.

NASA’s current missions to the moon are helping the agency understand our solar system better, informing future exploration efforts to other planetary bodies, and bringing us closer to the technologies we’ll need to explore future destinations like an asteroid and Mars.

DATA WILL BE MADE AVIALABLE TO INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE COMMUNITY

Scientists using four NASA spacecraft currently studying our lunar neighbor may get an opportunity to gather new data from the Dec. 14 landing of the Chang’e 3 lunar rover.

U.S. and international researchers view the pending arrival as a new scientific opportunity that could potentially enhance studies and observations of the lunar atmosphere.

Artist concept of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA.gov image)

Artist concept of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA.gov image)

The robotic lander will arrive as NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and two probes called the Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) continue their science missions.

Although there is no cooperation between the U.S. and China on these missions, U.S. researchers could see potentially interesting science from the landing.

The data will be made available to the international science community.


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