What if astronauts were to return to the moon? Decades after man first landed on the moon, Space.com is reporting that it’s possible.
A space policy expert told the website that plans are in the works by NASA to travel back to the vicinity of the moon and create a manned outpost there in order to learn more about future deep-space travel. The manned outpost could eventually be used as a staging area for future missions to the moon. This morning on "Early Start," fmr. Astronaut and International Space Station Commander Leroy Chiao explains.
The specific location NASA has in mind for this outpost is an area of space beyond the moon called the "earth moon libration point" or E-M-l-2... The spot is further than any manned mission has gone before. Chiao explains that “a libration point is the point where all the forces on a space craft or an object are pretty much in balance and so it would take very little fuel to keep an object in that area.” “If you’re gonna build a station at one of the points between the earth and the moon, or beyond the moon,” Chiao says, “you would pick a libration point.”
But this location would be far more dangerous to an astronaut's health. “The radiation environment is much, much harsher,” and “you worry about solar flares...which could be acutely lethal.” So Chiao thinks building a manned tended base on the moon makes more sense.
The challenges in having a base beyond the moon are biomedical issues and figuring out “how do you keep astronauts healthy in that environment.”
“A station like that would help you to study that, but you’d also get the same effect on the moon,” Chiao says. “If you build a crew-tended base on the moon, you could also test other operational things. You could test your hardware, your habitats, your space suits, your rovers, operations concepts.”
This option would be more expensive though, Chiao notes. Tax payers would pay for the manned station. “NASA’s budget historically has been right around or less than 1% of the federal budget,” Chiao explains, however. “Even with that we’re able to do what we do.”
(CNN) - The space shuttle Endeavour is being moved to the California Science Center Friday, its final resting place.
The move, which started early Friday, from the Los Angeles International Airport will take about two days, as it negotiates 12 miles of Southern California's infamous roads and highways, NASA officials say.
Once at the Los Angeles science museum, the shuttle, which had its first launch in 1992, will be on display for posterity.
Endeavour, along with Discovery, Enterprise and Atlantis, became a museum piece after NASA ended its 30-year shuttle program in July 2011. All four shuttles have been permanently retired from service.
This morning on "Early Start," John Zarrella reports on shuttle Endeavour's last 'road trip' through Los Angeles to its new home at California Science Center.
READ MORE: Endeavor makes its final move
In just a few weeks, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft will launch from Russia to the International Space Station and an American astronaut will be aboard. NASA’s Kevin Ford will be join the Russian team as the Expedition Commander of its during their five month stay at the ISS. The expedition will mark Ford's second space flight, and his first aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Ford comes to “Early Start” this morning live from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star city, Russia, where he and his crew mates have been preparing, to talk about the upcoming mission to the ISS.
Ford says the plan is “to carry out a lot of science.” “We’ve had a lot of training on maybe 30 or 40 crew-intensive science projects that we’ll do on board that have to do with fluid dynamics, combustion, medicine, human science, various kinds of things, osteoporosis,” he explains. “They’re all very involved when you do them in zero g.”
Having travelled to space before, Ford contrasts this upcoming trip to his previous experience. This one will land on ground instead of water and will spin throughout the entire re-entry. Ford says the Soyuz is a “very different system of transportation but one that I’m really confident and I’m looking forward to riding in. He says “it should be a great experience.”
After traveling for more than eight months and 352 million miles, NASA's rover "Curiosity" landed on Mars early this morning.
Immediately after touching down, the rover began sending images back to mission control, sparking more celebration and tears from NASA scientists.
Jim Garvin, chief scientist from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses the significance of the mission and explains what's next for "Curiosity."
A one ton rover named "Curiosity" is slated to touch down inside a crater on Mars' surface Monday in what scientists are calling the most harrowing landing ever attempted on the martian surface.
NASA administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden breaks down the complexities of "Curiosity's" mission on Early Start this morning.