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RE: Moon soil
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A NASA instrument on board Chandrayaan has discovered iron resembling minerals on the moon. Indias first mission to the moon had 11 payload that included several payloads from the US and Europe.
Moon was long believed to have rich minerals in abundance, but it is only the first time that it has been scientifically proved that the moon surface has some minerals like iron.

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Pyroxene
The pyroxenes are a group of important rock-forming silicate minerals found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks. They share a common structure comprised of single chains of silica tetrahedra and they crystallise in the monoclinic and orthorhombic systems.

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Moon Dust
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The research being conducted by NASA, and the Pacific International Space Centre for Explorative Systems (PISCES), has given scientists hope that oxygen may be able to be produced from the moons dust.
The dust was found to have had half of its content made up of oxygen particles, which is also found in the moons rocks. If the tests being conducted are successful, it may provide active life support from a location we once thought of as completely desolate, boosting efforts to create the first fully functional moon base.

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RE: Moon soil
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Different wavelengths of light provide new information about the Orientale Basin region of the moon in a composite image taken by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, a guest instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

The composite image consists of a subset of Moon Mineralogy Mapper data for the Orientale region. The image strip on the left is a colour composite of data from 28 separate wavelengths of light reflected from the moon. The blue to red tones reveal changes in rock and mineral composition, and the green colour is an indication of the abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. The image strip on the right is from a single wavelength of light that contains thermal emission, providing a new level of detail on the form and structure of the region's surface.

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The next generation of astronauts may soon be able to manufacture their own oxygen and water supplies, turning lunar rocks and soil literally into thin air.
A slew of scientists, engineers and researchers began field tests this year on a NASA system to drill for metal-rich soil, chemically extract the hydrogen and oxygen components, and form water and oxygen.

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Fridge-sized tape recorder could crack lunar mysteries
A 1960s tape recorder the size of a household fridge could be the key to unlocking valuable information from NASA's Apollo missions to the moon.
An archiving error by NASA has meant 173 data tapes have sat in Perth for almost 40 years, holding information about lunar dust that could be vital in expanding science's understanding of the moon.

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As India is planning the Chandrayan-1 flight to the moon on October 22, 2008, (costing 4000 million rupees), just to orbit around the moon and collect scientific data, it is interesting to consider, as to the photographs of the terrain the mission will transmit to earth. Ancient Sanskrit scriptures state Chandramahi krishnam, meaning the colour of the moon rock is black, and the 1969 Nasa Apollo mission to the moon, has proved them to be correct. In fact, considerable quantities of rocks from the moon, known as moon rocks have been brought to earth by the American astronauts.

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Moon Dust
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The Apollo Moon missions of 1969-1972 all share a dirty secret. The major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust, says Professor Larry Taylor, Director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee. Fine as flour and rough as sandpaper, Moon dust caused lunar hay fever, problems with space suits, and dust storms in the crew cabin upon returning to space.

Taylor and other scientists will present their research on lunar dust at the Living on a Dusty Moon session on Thursday, 9 October 2008, at the Joint Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) in Houston, Texas, USA. NASA will use these findings to plan a safer manned mission to the Moon in 2018. Taylor will also deliver a Pardee Keynote Session talk on Sunday, 5 October 2008 entitled Formation and Evolution of Lunar Soil from An Apollo Perspective.

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RE: Moon soil
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 U.S. scientists analysing methods used to process lunar image data have found one technique is far superior to others.
In past studies, researchers used data from a gamma-ray spectrometer aboard NASA's Lunar Prospector to investigate the distribution of thorium on the lunar surface. The resulting data revealed the moon has distinct geochemical provinces, a factor that influences theories of the moon's formation history and evolution.


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Moondust
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Scientists and engineers figuring out how to return astronauts to the moon, set up habitats, and mine lunar soil to produce anything from building materials to rocket fuels have been scratching their heads over what to do about moondust. It's everywhere! The powdery grit gets into everything, jamming seals and abrading spacesuit fabric. It also readily picks up electrostatic charge, so it floats or levitates off the lunar surface and sticks to faceplates and camera lenses. It might even be toxic.
So what do you do with all this troublesome dust? Larry Taylor, Distinguished Professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee has an idea:
Don't try to get rid of it--melt it into something useful!

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Moon soil
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Scientists are investigating the possible threat posed to astronauts by inhaling lunar dust.
A study suggests the smallest particles in lunar dust might be toxic, if comparisons with dust inhalation cases on Earth apply.
Teams hope to carry out experiments on mice to determine whether this is the case or not.
Nasa has set up a working group to look into the matter ahead of its planned return to the Moon by 2020.

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