UCL News


Photo probe will pave way for manned moon mission

12 February 2006

NASA is to launch a probe that will photograph the moon in 50cm sections, giving a full picture of the lunar surface for the very first time.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is due to take off in 2008 and will spend at least a year taking various photographs of the surface of the moon, including the landing sites of the four manned Apollo moon landing missions. …

The search for water on the moon has excited the international scientific community, said Professor Ian Crawford [UCL Physics & Astronomy], an academic working on the European space programme.

"This will be the highest resolution ever attempted," he said. "It is not certain that there is ice on the moon, but the moon's surface is billions of years old - it could have water there from the start of the solar system."

Crawford said the US's aim of sending a new manned mission to the moon by 2015 had created a "new excitement about lunar science".

Jenifer Johnston, 'Sunday Herald' (Scotland), 12 February 2006