Moon 101

I stumbled upon an excellent lecture series called "Moon 101 - A Course in Lunar Science for non-specialists", which was presented by Dr. Paul Spudis and other lunar experts to NASA Johnson Space Center employees from June-October 2008. The lectures cover a range of topics related to lunar geology and exploration in a form that's easy to understand. They are available both in video and PDF slide forms. Although the website says the videos only work with Internet Explorer or Netscape, I found that they worked just fine in Firefox on a Mac (not Safari though).

A recent video provides a nice overview why many people think in situ lunar resources are plentiful and could provide resources to support a lunar base or even a lunar economy. In particular, it speculates that the detection of hydrogen in permanently shadowed craters near the lunar poles could be due to the presence of water. The LCROSS mission is just 44 days away from its planned impact with one of these craters to see if any water is really there. That is, if it doesn't run out of fuel first.

It's been a few years since I kept current on the latest research in this area, but I'm hoping that taking an Extraterrestrial Resources course this semester will help me learn more about the state-of-the-art on the subject. Classes start this week, and I'm looking forward to another stimulating semester in the UND Space Studies program.


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