German Mission Plans To Revisit Apollo 17 Landing Site

Posted: Nov 30 2016, 10:03pm CST | by , Updated: Nov 30 2016, 10:52pm CST, in Latest Science News


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German Mission Plans to Revisit Apollo 17 Landing Site
Apollo 17 mission Credit: NASA

The private company is hoping to send its rovers to the moon for inspecting the Apollo 17 landing site

A private space mission has announced its plans to send a pair of rover to moon's surface that will inspect the Apollo 17 landing site. The site is abandoned since 1972 when NASA’s probe completed it scientific research, including geological survey and sampling of materials and features in an area of the moon known as Taurus-Littrow valley. No manned mission has been sent to the moon since then.

A German-based group, called Part-Time Scientists, is aiming to revisit the site using its two rovers. The group is one of the 16 teams participating Google’s Lunar X Prize. The winning team will be the one that will put a privately funded rover on the moon first. The winner will get $20 million while the runner-up will be awarded with $5 million.

Apollo 17 site will get its first visitor in 44 years if a rover arrives there. During the trip, the rover will check out the moon buggy left behind by NASA astronauts and report its condition.

“Has it been ripped to shreds by micrometeorids, or is it still standing there like on the day they left?” Karsen Becker, the PT Scientists rover driver told New Scientist. “This is scientifically a very interesting site for us.”

The pair of rover will travel within 200 meters of the Apollo site and beam back live high definition pictures to the Earth via its camera equipped with three lenses. The camera will allow researchers to take close-up images of the buggy at different angles.

Inspecting the current state of site should have long-term consequences. It will enable scientists learn more about the effects of extended exposure to extreme conditions on moon surface and possibly help find the ways to deal with it.

The launch is expected to take place by late 2017 on a SpaceX Falcon rocket but the details have yet to be confirmed.

Becker tells in an online briefing. “We are very confident that it will be a Falcon 9, but we cannot say that it will be a Falcon 9 just yet, because spaceflight needs to confirm it with their other customers and spaceX.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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