On the 26th October at 4pm, NASA held a live stream to make a huge announcement about the Moon that could potentially open up options for how we can study the Moon and space as a whole. However, before we get into that, let us speak a little bit about when man first walked on the Moon. As well as any other interesting facts.


Mission to the Moon

Fact about the Moon

Nasa Announcement

My Thoughts 

1969, Mission to the Moon

The Apollo 11 team which was made up of three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. , Started their mission to the Moon on 16th July being launched into space in a rocket called "Saturn V" (The rocket was about the height of a 36-story-tall building). Once in space the team has orbited Earth 1 1/2 times in the lunar module as they prepared to separate from the Saturn V rocket and made some manoeuvres to set a path towards the Moon.

The lunar module (nicknamed Eagle) carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on to the surface of the Moon while Michael Collins would stay orbiting around the Moon in the command module (aka. Columbia) making sure Eagle was not damaged as it passed by. The astronauts were excited as well as fearsome about the landing, especially as the early concerns of the moon is that the soil covering the surface would be something akin to quicksand.

Credit | YouTube Channel: NTD

This was when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would become the first ever humans to set foot onto the Moon (20th July). Other than being full of glee and excitement the pair would plant an American Flag on the surface of the Moon (due to the lack of protective atmosphere, the flag would be faded and completely white by now). In addition to this, the pair would conduct numerous science experiments - collecting a hefty sample of Moon rock! They would also use a reflecting array device called the LR-3 to lasers to the Earth and back in order to learn the Moon's distance and how it orbits around our planet. To this day, the LR-3 still transmits data to Earth.

After conducting research and taking many photos, they went back into obit to join the command module then made their journey back to the Earth. Then finally four days later they managed to safely return to Earth and landing in the Pacific Ocean. They was not done just yet. Upon their return back to the Earth, the Apollo 11 astronauts had to spend three weeks in quarantine (feels like nothing compared to the 2020 lockdowns) to make sure no harmful germs or something foreign to Earth scientists would unleash a weird Moon plague on the Earth.

Someone had the hard job of explaining to President Nixon that no, he cannot have a celebratory dinner with the Apollo 11 astronauts on the same evening they returned.

The United States was the first country to walk on the Moon, but this was a huge celebration for the World as a whole. Even today it is regarded as one of humanities greatest achievements.


Did you know this about the Moon?

  • The Earth when it was younger it did not have its own Moon. The reason why the Earth has a Moon now is that long ago a planet struck the Earth vaporising some of the planet, causing a cloud to rise and orbit the Earth forming Moonlets that would eventually combine to create Moon.
  • It takes 27.3 Earth days for the Moon to spin on its own axis (or one orbit of Earth). This means the moon is synchronised in such a way that it will always show the same face to the Earth. That is where the term dark side of the Moon comes from; it is in reference to the side of the moon always facing away from the Earth.
  • The shape on the Moon changes depending on where the Sun is in relation to the Earth, for example a full Moon appears when the sun is directly behind the Earth. Likewise, if the Sun is behind the Moon it will be a solar eclipse.
  • The Moon's gravitational pull on the Earth is the main reason for the Oceans rising and falling tides.
  • There is no continental drift on the moon, because of this the moon is covered in rubble created by the constant bombardment of meteoroids, asteroids and comets.
  • From looking at the ages of the lunar rocks, it is known that the Moon is about the same age as the Earth, being 4.6 billion years old.
  • Contrary to popular belief the Moon is not in fact made of cheese, easy mistake to make - even Wallace and Gromit were fooled.

The big announcement

Okay, I cannot stall any longer, you have all come here for the huge announcement NASA have made so here it is:

SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) has detected water molecules (H20) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon's southern hemisphere. Previous observations of the Moon's surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). Data from this location reveal water in concentration of 100 to 412 parts per million - roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water - trapped in a cubic metre of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy."

-Quoted directly from the NASA press release, click HERE to see the full article. (Credits NASA.gov)

So why is this so amazing?

Water on the Moon would help with exploring even deeper into space. With the presence of water on the Moon, setting up a lunar base would be easier due to water being essential to us and to quote the NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine "establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon could be used as a 'proving ground' for Mars". In addition to this, lunar water will help us set up future missions as the water can be used for rocket fuel to help launch directly from the Moon, because of less atmospheric and gravity constraints. 

It is planned to send another pair of people in 2024 to the Moon to prepare for the human exploration of Mars as early as the 2030s.

Bonus Fact!

Nokia has been selected by Nasa to build the first 4G mobile network tower on the Moon allowing for high-definition communication. As well as allowing robots to navigate and communicate with sound and video. Not even a single building on the Moon yet and it will already a mobile network!

My Thoughts,

I hope you are just excited about this as I am, the discovery of this has created huge potential with space travel and research, hopefully paving the way for humans to reliably explore space. Or in the future opening up space travel to citizens (that would be a long ways off). NASA are already planning to send more people to the Moon in 2024, it will be interesting to see how they will build the lunar base on the Moon. Even that process will be fascinating to see.

Any updates will be added onto this article.

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