Astrobotic Technology is an American privately held company that is developing space robotics technology for planetary missions. It was founded in 2008 by Carnegie Mellon professor Red Whittaker and his associates, the company is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As of August 2012, the company was partnered with Carnegie Mellon University, International Rectifier, Ansys, AGI, Alcoa, as of November 2015, the company partnered with German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt. As of June 2016, the company partnered with Airbus Defence and Space, the team articulated an ambitious goal from the start in 2008, they hope to be the first to land their spacecraft Red Rover on the Moon, using the lander, named Artemis Lander. Since its formation, Astrobotic has maintained a spot in the top three rankings for Evadots third-party Google Lunar X Prize Scorecard. The companys first running prototype of Red Rover was completed the same year, in 2009, Astrobotic began to receive a series of Small Business Innovation Research funding from NASA totaling over $795,000 to investigate prospecting for lunar resources.
As of February 2011, both the descent stage and the lunar rover are now unnamed and we have to sell a lot of payload to make the economics work. The customers will decide where we go, the rover continued to be called Red Rover and the lander was now called Griffin. Astrobotics Technologies Enabling Exploration of Skylights, Lava Tubes, and Caves, was a phase one selection for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, in May 2012, David Gump left the position of President of Astrobotic and John Thornton took the reins. On April 30,2014, NASA announced that Astrobotic Technologies was one of the three selected for the Lunar CATALYST initiative. NASA is negotiating a 3-year no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreement, the Griffin Lander may be involved. On June 2,2016, Astrobotic Technology announced a new design of its lunar lander, along with two new industry partners. For us at Airbus Defence and Space, the moon is an important topic, said Bart Reijnen, senior vice president of on-orbit services. Astrobotic is what we see as being the frontrunner in the world of commercial lunar transportation, Astrobotic announced a separate partnership with shipping company DHL, which will serve as the official logistics provider for Astrobotic.
DHL will provide shipping for components of the spacecraft, and for the completed Peregrine lander from Astrobotics facilities to the launch pad and he said that could include supporting extraterrestrial logistics in regard to moon projects of the future. In December 2016 Astrobotic slipped their estimated launch date to 2019, as of April 2011, Astrobotic had raised the payload price and made a distinction between payload fixed to the lander and payload carried on the lunar rover. The revised baseline prices are $1,200,000 per kilogram for lander payload and $2,000,000 per kilogram for rover payload, in April 2011, Astrobotic contracted with SpaceX for a Falcon 9 launch on a lunar mission for as early as December 2013. The mission was intended to deliver a lander, small rover, a payload users guide for researchers on preparation of their instruments was released in early March 2011
Space exploration is the ongoing discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by means of continuously evolving and growing space technology. While the study of space is carried out mainly by astronomers with telescopes, Space exploration has often been used as a proxy competition for geopolitical rivalries such as the Cold War. The early era of exploration was driven by a Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States. With the substantial completion of the ISS following STS-133 in March 2011, constellation, a Bush Administration program for a return to the Moon by 2020 was judged inadequately funded and unrealistic by an expert review panel reporting in 2009. In the 2000s, the Peoples Republic of China initiated a successful manned spaceflight program, while the European Union, from the 1990s onwards, private interests began promoting space tourism and public space exploration of the Moon. After the war, the U. S. used German scientists, the first scientific exploration from space was the cosmic radiation experiment launched by the U. S.
on a V-2 rocket on 10 May 1946. The first images of Earth taken from space followed the year while the first animal experiment saw fruit flies lifted into space in 1947. Starting in 1947, the Soviets, with the help of German teams, launched sub-orbital V-2 rockets and their own variant and these suborbital experiments only allowed a very short time in space which limited their usefulness. The first successful launch was of the Soviet unmanned Sputnik 1 mission on 4 October 1957. The satellite weighed about 83 kg, and is believed to have orbited Earth at a height of about 250 km and it had two radio transmitters, which emitted beeps that could be heard by radios around the globe. Analysis of the signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere. The results indicated that the satellite was not punctured by a meteoroid, Sputnik 1 was launched by an R-7 rocket. It burned up upon re-entry on 3 January 1958, the second one was Sputnik 2. Launched by the USSR on November 3,1957, it carried the dog Laika and this success led to an escalation of the American space program, which unsuccessfully attempted to launch a Vanguard satellite into orbit two months later.
On 31 January 1958, the U. S. successfully orbited Explorer 1 on a Juno rocket, the first successful human spaceflight was Vostok 1, carrying 27-year-old Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961. The spacecraft completed one orbit around the globe, lasting about 1 hour and 48 minutes, gagarins flight resonated around the world, it was a demonstration of the advanced Soviet space program and it opened an entirely new era in space exploration, human spaceflight. The U. S. first launched a person into space within a month of Vostok 1 with Alan Shepards suborbital flight in Mercury-Redstone 3, orbital flight was achieved by the United States when John Glenns Mercury-Atlas 6 orbited Earth on 20 February 1962. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, orbited Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963
Google Lunar X Prize
The Google Lunar XPRIZE, sometimes referred to as Moon 2.0, is an inducement prize space competition organized by XPRIZE, and sponsored by Google. In 2015, XPRIZE announced that the deadline would be extended to December 2017 if at least one team could secure a verified launch contract by 31 December 2015. Two teams secured such a contract, and the deadline was extended. As of 2017,5 teams remain in the competition, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Team Hakuto, having secured verified launch contracts for 2017. All teams must launch by the end of 2017, the Google Lunar XPRIZE was announced at the Wired Nextfest on 13 September 2007. The first team to do so will claim the US$20 million grand prize, additionally, a US$1 million diversity award may be given to teams that make significant strides in promoting ethnic diversity in STEM fields. The Chinese Change 3 probe landed on the Moon in December 2013, however, in November 2013, as the launch of the probe approached, it was agreed between the organizers and the teams to drop this rule.
In 2015, XPRIZE announced that the deadline would be extended to December 2017 if at least one team could secure a verified launch contract by 31 December 2015. Two teams secured such a contract, and the deadline was extended. XPRIZE announced 5 finalists on January 24,2017, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus and Hakuto having secured verified launch contracts for 2017. All other teams had until the end of 2016 to secure a verified launch contract, the Google Lunar XPRIZE expires when all constituent purses have been claimed, or at the end of the year 2017, whichever comes first. At the time the prize was announced, the last operational vehicle on the Moon had landed in 1976, even then, it will be at a large expense, and probably with little public involvement. The Google Lunar XPRIZE was announced in 2007, similar to the way in which the Ansari XPRIZE was formed, the Google Lunar XPRIZE was created out of a former venture of Peter Diamandis to achieve a similar goal. Dr Diamandis served as CEO of BlastOff, corporation, a commercial initiative to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon as a mix of entertainment and space.
Although it was unsuccessful, the BlastOff. Initiative paved the way for the Google Lunar X Prize, initially, NASA was the planned sponsor and the prize purse was just US$20 million. As NASA is an agency of the United States government, and thus funded by US tax money. However, budget setbacks stopped NASA from sponsoring the prize, Peter Diamandis presented the idea to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, at an XPRIZE fundraiser
Human spaceflight is space travel with a crew or passengers aboard the spacecraft. The first human spaceflight was launched by the Soviet Union on 12 April 1961 as a part of the Vostok program, humans have been continuously present in space for 16 years and 153 days on the International Space Station. All early human spaceflight was crewed, where at least some of the passengers acted to carry out tasks of piloting or operating the spacecraft, after 2015, several human-capable spacecraft are being explicitly designed with the ability to operate autonomously. Since the retirement of the US Space Shuttle in 2011, only Russia and China have maintained human spaceflight capability with the Soyuz program, all expeditions to the International Space Station use Soyuz vehicles, which remain attached to the station to allow quick return if needed. The United States is developing commercial crew transportation to facilitate access to ISS and low Earth orbit. While spaceflight has typically been an activity, commercial spaceflight has gradually been taking on a greater role.
NASA has played a role to stimulate private spaceflight through programs such as Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, the vehicles used for these services could serve both NASA and potential commercial customers. Commercial resupply of ISS began two years after the retirement of the Shuttle, and commercial crew launches could begin by 2017 and these rockets were large enough to be adapted to carry the first artificial satellites into low Earth orbit. The USSR launched the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin into an orbit in Vostok 1 on a Vostok 3KA rocket. The US launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard on a flight aboard Freedom 7 on a Mercury-Redstone rocket. Unlike Gagarin, Shepard manually controlled his spacecrafts attitude, and landed inside it, the first American in orbit was John Glenn aboard Friendship 7, launched 20 February 1962 on a Mercury-Atlas rocket. The USSR launched five more cosmonauts in Vostok capsules, including the first woman in space, the US launched a total of two astronauts in suborbital flight and four in orbit through 1963.
US President John F. Kennedy raised the stakes of the Space Race by setting the goal of landing a man on the Moon, Geminis objective was to support Apollo by developing American orbital spaceflight experience and techniques to be used in the Moon mission. They were able to launch two orbital flights in 1964 and 1965 and achieved the first spacewalk, made by Alexei Leonov on Voskhod 2 on 8 March 1965, but Voskhod did not have Geminis capability to maneuver in orbit, and the program was terminated. In July 1969, Apollo 11 accomplished Kennedys goal by landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon 21 July, a total of six Apollo missions landed 12 men to walk on the Moon through 1972, half of which drove electric powered vehicles on the surface. The crew of Apollo 13, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise, survived a catastrophic in-flight spacecraft failure, the USSR secretly pursued human lunar orbiting and landing programs. On losing the Moon race, they concentrated on the development of stations, using the Soyuz as a ferry to take cosmonauts to.
They started with a series of Salyut sortie stations from 1971 to 1986, after the Apollo program, the US launched the Skylab sortie space station in 1973, manning it for 171 days with three crews aboard Apollo spacecraft
Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, known as the Change program after the Chinese moon goddess Change, is an ongoing series of robotic Moon missions by the China National Space Administration. The program incorporates lunar orbiters, landers and sample return spacecraft, a proprietary ground application system is responsible for downlink data reception. He currently serves as the chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, another scientist, Sun Jiadong, was assigned as the general designer, while scientist Sun Zezhou was assigned as the deputy general designer. The leading program manager is Luan Enjie, a second orbiter, Change 2, was launched on 1 October 2010. Change 3, which includes a lander and rover, was launched on 1 December 2013 and it will be followed by a sample return mission, Change 5, scheduled for 2017. Such a mission may occur in 2025–2030, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program is divided into three main operational phases, with each mission serving as a technology demonstrator in preparation for future missions.
The first phase entailed the launch of two orbiters, and is now effectively complete. The probe mapped the abundance and distribution of chemical elements on the lunar surface as part of an evaluation of potentially useful resources. Change 2, launched on 1 October 2010 aboard a Long March 3C rocket, reached the Moon in under 5 days, compared to 12 days for Change 1 and it left lunar orbit and headed for the Earth–Sun L2 Lagrangian point in order to test the TT&C network. Having done that it completed a flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis on 13 December 2012, the second phase is ongoing, and incorporates spacecraft capable of soft-landing on the Moon and deploying lunar rovers. Change 3, launched on 2 December 2013 aboard a Long March 3B rocket and it carried with it a 140 kg lunar rover named Yutu, which was designed to explore an area of 3 square kilometres during a 3-month mission. Change 4, originally scheduled for 2015, was a back-up for Change 3, however, as a result of the success of that mission, the configuration of Change 4 was adjusted to test equipment in advance of the next mission.
The final phase will entail a lunar sample return mission, Change 5-T1 was launched on 23 October 2014. It was designed to test the lunar return spacecraft, Change 6, expected to launch in 2020 aboard a Long March 5 rocket, will build on the success of the Change 5 mission. The biggest challenge in Phase I of the program was the operation of the TT&C system, chinas standard satellite telemetry had a range of 80,000 km, but the distance between the Moon and the Earth can exceed 400,000 km when the Moon is at apogee. In addition, the Change probes had to carry out many attitude maneuvers during their flights to the Moon, the distance across China from east to west is 5,000 km, forming another challenge to TT&C continuity. At present, the combination of the TT&C system and the Chinese astronomical observation network has met the needs of the Change program, the complexity of the space environment encountered during the Change missions imposed strict requirements for environmental adaptability and reliability of the probes and their instruments.
The high-radiation environment in Earth-Moon space required hardened electronics to prevent electromagnetic damage to spacecraft instruments, the Change 1 and Change 2 probes were first sent into highly elliptical Earth orbits
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
Rover (space exploration)
A rover is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other celestial body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew, Rovers usually arrive at the planetary surface on a lander-style spacecraft. Rovers are created to land on another planet, besides Earth, to find out information and they can collect dust and even take pictures. Rovers have several advantages over stationary landers, they examine more territory, if they are solar powered, they can place themselves in sunny positions to weather winter months. They can advance the knowledge of how to perform very remote robotic vehicle control which is necessarily semi-autonomous due to the speed of light. Their advantages over orbiting spacecraft are that they can make observations to a microscopic level, Rovers arrive on spacecraft and are used in conditions very distinct from those on the Earth, which makes some demands on their design. Rovers have to high levels of acceleration and low temperatures, dust, cosmic rays.
Rovers are usually packed for placing in a spacecraft, because it has limited capacity and they are attached to a spacecraft, so devices for removing these connections are installed. For example, sending a signal from Mars to Earth takes between 3 and 21 minutes, giving a rover some rudimentary visual identification capabilities to make simple distinctions can allow engineers to speed up the reconnaissance. Other rover designs that do not use wheeled approaches are possible, mechanisms that utilize walking on robotic legs, rolling, etc. are possible. The Soviet rover was intended to be the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon, the Lunokhod 1 rover landed on the Moon in November 1970. It was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on any celestial body, the Soviet Union launched Lunokhod 1 aboard the Luna 17 spacecraft on November 10,1970, and it entered lunar orbit on November 15. The spacecraft soft-landed in the Sea of Rains region on November 17, the lander had dual ramps from which Lunokhod 1 could descend to the lunar surface, which it did at 06,28 UT.
From November 17,1970 to November 22,1970 the rover drove 197 m and it analyzed the lunar soil. The last successful communications session with Lunokhod 1 was on September 14,1971, having worked for 11 months, Lunokhod 1 held the durability record for space rovers for more than 30 years, until a new record was set by the Mars Exploration Rovers. NASA included Lunar Roving Vehicles in three Apollo missions, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17, the Lunokhod 2 was the second of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of the Lunokhod program. The rover became operational on the Moon on January 16,1973 and it was the second roving remote-controlled robot to land on any celestial body. The Soviet Union launched Lunokhod 2 aboard the Luna 21 spacecraft on January 8,1973, the spacecraft soft-landed in the eastern edge of the Mare Serenitatis region on January 15,1973
Lunokhod 1 was the first of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program. The Luna 17 spacecraft carried Lunokhod 1 to the Moon in 1970, Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled robot rover to freely move across the surface of an astronomical object beyond the Earth. Lunokhod 0, the previous and first attempt to do so, launched in February 1969, Lunokhod 1 was a lunar vehicle formed of a tub-like compartment with a large convex lid on eight independently powered wheels. An X-ray spectrometer, an X-ray telescope, cosmic ray detectors, the vehicle was powered by batteries which were recharged during the lunar day by a solar cell array mounted on the underside of the lid. To be able to work in vacuum a special fluoride based lubricant was used for the mechanical parts, during the lunar nights, the lid was closed and a polonium-210 radioisotope heater unit kept the internal components at operating temperature. Lunokhod 1 was intended to operate through three days but actually operated for eleven lunar days.
Luna 17 was launched on November 10,1970 at 14,44,01 UTC, after reaching earth parking orbit, the final stage of Luna 17s launching rocket fired to place it into a trajectory towards the Moon. After two course correction maneuvers, it entered orbit on November 15,1970 at 22,00 UTC. The spacecraft soft-landed on the Moon in the Sea of Rains on November 17 at 03,47 UTC, the lander had dual ramps from which the payload, Lunokhod 1, could descend to the lunar surface. At 06,28 UT the rover moved onto the Moons surface, the rover would run during the lunar day, stopping occasionally to recharge its batteries via the solar panels. At night the rover hibernated until the sunrise, heated by the radioactive source. 1970, November 17 –22, The rover drives 197 m, returns 14 close up pictures of the Moon and 12 panoramic views and it conducts analyses of the lunar soil. Attempts to re-establish contact were finally discontinued and the operations of Lunokhod 1 officially ceased on October 4,1971, during its 322 Earth days of operations, Lunokhod 1 travelled 10,540 metres and returned more than 20,000 TV images and 206 high-resolution panoramas.
In addition, it performed 25 lunar soil analyses with its RIFMA x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the final location of Lunokhod 1 was uncertain until 2010, as lunar laser ranging experiments had failed to detect a return signal from it since 1971. On March 17,2010, Albert Abdrakhimov found both the lander and the rover in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image M114185541RC, on April 22,2010 and days following, the team successfully measured the distance several times. The intersection of the described by the measured distances pinpoint the current location of Lunokhod 1 to within 1 meter. APOLLO is now using Lunokhod 1s reflector for experiments, as they discovered, to their surprise, according to a NASA press release, APOLLO researcher Tom Murphy said, We got about 2,000 photons from Lunokhod 1 on our first try. After almost 40 years of silence, this still has a lot to say
Change 3 is an unmanned lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration, incorporating a robotic lander and Chinas first lunar rover. It was launched in December 2013 as part of the phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The missions chief commander was Ma Xingrui, the spacecraft was named after Change, the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology, and is a follow-up to the Change 1 and Change 2 lunar orbiters. The rover was named Yutu following a poll, after the mythological rabbit that lives on the Moon as a pet of the Moon goddess. Change 3 achieved lunar orbit on 6 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013, on 28 December 2015, the discovery by Change 3 of a new type of basaltic rock, rich in ilmenite, a black mineral, was reported. In January 2004, Chinas lunar orbiter project was formally established, the first Chinese lunar orbiter, Change 1, was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 24 October 2007 and entered lunar orbit on 5 November.
The spacecraft operated until 1 March 2009, when it was crashed into the surface of the Moon. Data gathered by Change 1 were used to create an accurate and high-resolution 3D map of the lunar surface. Change 1s successor, Change 2, was approved on October 2008 and was launched on 1 October 2010 to conduct research from a 100-km-high lunar orbit, in preparation for Change 3s 2013 soft landing. Change 2, though similar in design to Change 1, was equipped with improved instruments, in 2012, Change 2 was dispatched on an extended mission to the asteroid 4179 Toutatis. In March 2012, China began manufacturing the body and payload of the Change 3 lander, like its orbiting predecessors, the Change 3 mission is seen as a precursor to further robotic lunar exploration missions, including Change 5, a sample return mission planned for 2017. Following these automated missions, a landing may be conducted around 2025. The official mission objective is to achieve Chinas first soft-landing and roving exploration on the Moon, as well as to demonstrate and develop key technologies for future missions.
The county authorities had moved 160,000 people to safety before the liftoff, the expected wreckage zone for Long March rockets is 50 to 70 kilometres long and 30 km wide. Change 3 entered a 100 km -high circular lunar orbit on 6 December 2013,9,53 UTC, the orbit was obtained after 361 seconds of variable thrust engine braking from its single main engine. Later, the adopted a 15 km ×100 km elliptic orbit. The landing took place one week later, on 14 December, at periapsis, its variable thrusters were again fired in order to reduce its velocity, descending to 100 m above the Moons surface. The landing sequence took about 12 minutes to complete, topographic data from the Change 1 and 2 orbiters were used to select a landing site for Change 3
An astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that current astronomy has demonstrated to exist in the observable universe. In astronomy, the object and body are often used interchangeably. Examples for astronomical objects include planetary systems, star clusters and galaxies, while asteroids, moons and stars are astronomical bodies. A comet may be identified as both body and object, It is a body when referring to the nucleus of ice and dust. The universe can be viewed as having a hierarchical structure, at the largest scales, the fundamental component of assembly is the galaxy. Galaxies are organized groups and clusters, often within larger superclusters. Disc galaxies encompass lenticular and spiral galaxies with features, such as spiral arms, at the core, most galaxies have a supermassive black hole, which may result in an active galactic nucleus. Galaxies can have satellites in the form of dwarf galaxies, the constituents of a galaxy are formed out of gaseous matter that assembles through gravitational self-attraction in a hierarchical manner.
At this level, the fundamental components are the stars. The great variety of forms are determined almost entirely by the mass, composition. Stars may be found in systems that orbit about each other in a hierarchical organization. A planetary system and various objects such as asteroids and debris. The various distinctive types of stars are shown by the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram —a plot of stellar luminosity versus surface temperature. Each star follows a track across this diagram. If this track takes the star through a region containing a variable type. An example of this is the instability strip, a region of the H-R diagram that includes Delta Scuti, RR Lyrae, the table below lists the general categories of bodies and objects by their location or structure. International Astronomical Naming Commission List of light sources List of Solar System objects Lists of astronomical objects SkyChart, Sky & Telescope Monthly skymaps for every location on Earth
Apollo 17 was the final mission of NASAs Apollo program, the enterprise that landed the first humans on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the first night launch of a U. S. human spaceflight and it was a J-type mission which included three days on the lunar surface, extended scientific capability, and the third Lunar Roving Vehicle. Evans took scientific measurements and photographs from orbit using a Scientific Instruments Module mounted in the Service Module, Cernan and Schmitt returned to Earth on December 19 after a 12-day mission. Apollo 17 is the most recent manned Moon landing and was the last time humans travelled beyond low Earth orbit, the mission broke several records, the longest moon landing, longest total extravehicular activities, largest lunar sample, and longest time in lunar orbit. Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and former X-15 pilot Joe Engle were assigned to the crew of Apollo 14. Engle flew sixteen X-15 flights, three of which exceeded the 50 mi border of space, following the rotation pattern that a backup crew would fly as the prime crew three missions later, Cernan and Engle would have flown Apollo 17.
Harrison Schmitt served on the crew of Apollo 15 and. However, Apollo 18 was cancelled in September 1970, following this decision, the scientific community pressured NASA to assign a geologist to an Apollo landing, as opposed to a pilot trained in geology. In light of pressure, Harrison Schmitt, a professional geologist, was assigned the Lunar Module Pilot position on Apollo 17. Scientist-astronaut Curt Michel believed that it was his own decision to resign, after it became clear that he would not be given a flight assignment, that mobilized this action. Subsequent to the decision to assign Schmitt to Apollo 17, there remained the question of which crew would become prime crew of the mission. NASA Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton ultimately assigned the crew of Apollo 14, along with Schmitt. The Apollo 15 prime crew received the backup assignment since this was to be the last lunar mission, when the Apollo 15 postage stamp incident became public in early 1972 the crew was reprimanded by NASA and the United States Air Force.
Robert F. Overmyer Robert A. Parker C, three white stars above the red bars represent the three crewmen of the mission. The background includes the Moon, the planet Saturn and a galaxy or nebula, the wing of the eagle partially overlays the Moon, suggesting mans established presence there. The gaze of Apollo and the direction of the eagles motion embody mans intention to further destinations in space. The patch includes, along with the colors of the U. S. flag, the image of Apollo in the mission insignia is a rendering of the Apollo Belvedere sculpture. The insignia was designed by Robert McCall, with input from the crew, since Apollo 17 was to be the final lunar landing of the Apollo program, high-priority landing sites that had not been visited previously were given consideration for potential exploration
The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth, being Earths only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, following Jupiters satellite Io, the Moon is second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known. The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400 km, the Moon is thought to have formed about 4.51 billion years ago, not long after Earth. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earths sky, after the Sun and its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, art. The Moons gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and this matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moons linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.82 ±0.07 centimetres per year, since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by uncrewed spacecraft.
The usual English proper name for Earths natural satellite is the Moon, the noun moon is derived from moone, which developed from mone, which is derived from Old English mōna, which ultimately stems from Proto-Germanic *mǣnōn, like all Germanic language cognates. Occasionally, the name Luna is used, in literature, especially science fiction, Luna is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of our moon. The principal modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, a less common adjective is selenic, derived from the Ancient Greek Selene, from which is derived the prefix seleno-. Both the Greek Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia, the names Luna and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune and selenocentric. The name Diana is connected to dies meaning day, several mechanisms have been proposed for the Moons formation 4.51 billion years ago, and some 60 million years after the origin of the Solar System.
These hypotheses cannot account for the angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system. This hypothesis, although not perfect, perhaps best explains the evidence, eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, and Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists, You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to computer, do whatever you have to. Dont come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moons birth, at the 1984 conference at Kona, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most popular. Afterward there were only two groups, the giant impact camp and the agnostics. Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System, computer simulations of a giant impact have produced results that are consistent with the mass of the lunar core and the present angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system