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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

July 20, 2009

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will send back unprecedented information about our closest cosmic neighbor.


Exploring the moon. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Forty years after Apollo 11 first landed on the moon, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter promises to usher in a new generation of lunar science and exploration. Noah Petro is a lunar geologist at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center. He says the orbiter’s precision lasers will map the topography of the moon. High-resolution cameras will take extremely detailed photographs, and other instruments will measure the chemical abundance of various elements.

NOAH PETRO (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center):
One of the most important elements that we’re looking for is hydrogen, in hopes of finding water at the poles of the moon. For a long time, it was thought that the moon was bone dry. Well, it turns out, there may be more water than we had ever anticipated.

He says finding water on the moon would make it much easier to one day sustain research stations on the moon. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.