Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Moon News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















MOON DAILY
Surviving the long dark night of the Moon
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Mar 27, 2017


A high-definition image of Earth taken by Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter in November 2007. To browse further images click here. Image courtesy JAXA/NHK.

Designers of future Moon missions and bases have to contend with a chilling challenge: how might their creations endure the fortnight-long lunar night? ESA has arrived at a low-cost way of surviving.

During prolonged night, when the surface is lit only by blue Earthlight, temperatures dip below -170+ C. Some locations at higher latitudes have shorter nights, though others have much longer or even permanent darkness.

Numerous robotic missions have perished during this prolonged cold. Russia's Lunokhod-2 rover, for instance, failed to make it through the night in May 1973, its radioactive heater having gradually run down after four months of exploring.

The Apollo manned missions stayed on the surface only a few days at a time, and all during the early lunar morning. But future lunar settlers will have to live in the night as well as the day, bearing in mind that vital solar energy and heat would be unavailable during the 14 days of darkness.

"Up until now, radioactive heat and power sources have been the preferred solution for lunar habitats," explains ESA's Moritz Fontaine. "But these would multiply the cost and complexity of any expedition.

"So we're exploring a more sustainable solution, using the capacity of moondust to absorb and store energy when hit by sunlight, then releasing this energy during the lunar night."

Driven by the temperature difference, this heat engine would be kept running directly by the heat of the Sun during the day - illuminated surface temperatures rise well above 100+ C at the equator - while simultaneously storing excess heat in the soil.

Once night falls, the heat engine would be kept running in turn by the gradual release of the energy from the heated soil.

"The principle has been worked out in detail," adds Moritz. "The next step, being undertaken through ESA's General Studies Programme, is to perform numerical and simulation studies to put values on the heat storage and electricity provision the system would enable.

"The results should then allow the construction of a small demonstrator to test the concept in practice."

MOON DAILY
Team Indus To Send Seven Experiments To The Moon Including Three From India
Bengaluru, India (IANS) Mar 17, 2017
Seven teams, including three from India, have qualified for the country's first private moon mission in December, space technology start-up TeamIndus said on Wednesday. "Teams Callisto, Ears and Kalpana from India, Space4Life from Italy, Lunadome from Britain, Killa Lab from Peru and Regolith Revolution from the US have qualified to fly their experiments to the lunar surface in our spacecr ... read more

Related Links
Lunar exploration at ESA
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

MOON DAILY
Mars Volcano, Earth's Dinosaurs Went Extinct About the Same Time

Breaks observed in Curiosity rover wheel treads

Does Mars Have Rings? Not Right Now, But Maybe One Day

ExoMars: science checkout completed and aerobraking begins

MOON DAILY
Cassini Sees Heat Below the Icy Surface of Enceladus

Enceladus' south pole is warm under the frost

Farewell to Mimas

Experiments Show Titan Lakes May Fizz with Nitrogen

MOON DAILY
ANU leads public search for Planet X

Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status

ESA's Jupiter mission moves off the drawing board

NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper'

MOON DAILY
NASA's hybrid computer enables Raven's autonomous rendezvous capability

Trump, NASA and a rare consensus: mission to Mars

COBALT Flight Demonstrations Fuse Technologies to Gain Precision Landing Results

Spacewalking French, US astronauts begin upgrade to orbiting lab

MOON DAILY
Scientists created nanopowders for the synthesis of new aluminum alloys

3-D printing turns nanomachines into life-size workers

Light-controlled gearbox for nanomachines

Researchers develop new method to program nanoparticle organization in polymer thin films

MOON DAILY
N.Korea rocket test shows 'meaningful progress': South

MAXUS - Europe's largest sounding rocket to be launched from Esrange

Spaceport America sets new record for student launched sounding rocket

Satellite launch shelved over strikes

MOON DAILY
China Develops Spaceship Capable of Moon Landing

Long March-7 Y2 ready for launch of China's first cargo spacecraft

China Seeks Space Rockets Launched from Airplanes

Riding an asteroid: China's next space goal

MOON DAILY
Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age

New study maps space dust in 3-D

Molecular 'treasure maps' to help discover new materials

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement