Reaching the Moon

Agenda | Participants | Resources | Notes | Evaluation Responses | Steering Committee

March 9, 2008
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Houston, Texas


NASA Lunar Web Sites

Why we are going to the Moon and what we hope to gain? This site presents NASA’s current planning and engineering for lunar exploration. Video clips, images, and articles highlight upcoming missions, lunar vehicles, and the preparation underway for Mission: Moon!

The Exploration Mission Directorate develops capabilities and technology to make human and robotic exploration of our solar system possible – and safe.  Find out the latest in exploration engineering!

NASA’s Lunar Precursor Robotic Program oversees robotic missions to the Moon that provide more information about the lunar environment  including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation & Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).

The research of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate focuses on understanding the origin, evolution, and nature of our solar system, including our Moon. 

NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Science pages provide an overview of past, present, and future lunar missions, as well as a Moon FAQ and fact sheet, images, and related books and articles.

Mission Web Sites

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission will return detailed information about the surface of the Moon and the lunar environment, in preparation for future human habitation of the Moon.

NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) missionwill travel with the LRO and impact one of the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon, while part of the mission observes the impact and debris cloud to measure the water concentrations.

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is one of NASA’s instruments aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandryaan-1 spacecraft. It will map the entire lunar surface, and reveal the minerals of which it is made. 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's KAGUYA (SELENE) missionis gathering gravitational, magnetic, and compositional data from the Moon to help scientists better understand how the Moon formed and has changed through time and to support future exploration.

China’s Chang’e-1 mission is currently orbiting the Moon, imaging the surface and investigating the elements.

European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft orbited the Moon for three years, collecting spectra to characterize the composition of the lunar surface and provide chemical data that would help scientists understand how our Moon formed.

The Clementine Mission was a joint venture between the Department of Defense and NASA to test instruments in long-term space environment and to acquire a global multi-spectral map of the Moon’s surface.

NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft orbited the Moon, acquiring a global map of lunar resources, gravity, and magnetic fields.  The education section offers a teachers guide, lesson plans and a multitude of other resources.

NASA’s Galileo Mission made two passes by the Moon, providing the first multi-spectral images

Education Resources

NASA Quest Cratering the Moon Challenge
Paralleling the LCROSS Mission, students are challenged to design a lunar impact simulator and determine the optimal impact angle to give the most information from the crash.

Exploring the Moon NASA Educator Guide
Has many hands-on activities and background information on lunar geology and more. This site contains teacher activities appropriate to be done in the classroom for middle school and high school students.

Planetary Science Research Discoveries
Archive of articles about formation and evolution of the Moon and the lunar environment.

Moon Mineralogy Mapper Education Web site
A suite of hands-on inquiry based activities engage middle-school students in understanding and interpreting reflectance spectra from Earth and Moon rocks.  These activities are part of a suite of educational resources that investigate the geologic history of our Moon, the Chandrayaan-1 Mission, spectrometry, and future lunar exploration.

LCROSS Education Web Pages
Links to many of NASA’s educational activities and resources on the Moon.

LRO Education Web Pages
Games, feature stories, media resources, and a monthly newsletter for librarians.

Lunar Sample Disks
Description and contacts for the educational disk program, in which educators can borrow plexiglass disks containing actual Moon samples.

Educator Resources
Hands-on activities, background information, and presentations explore lunar phases and eclipses, formation of the Moon, lunar processes, and future lunar outpost sites. 

Exploring Planets in the Classroom
A suite of hands-on activities and supporting materials investigate lunar landforms, regolith formation, and more.

Explore with Science: About the Moon and LRO
The Lunar and Planetary Institute’s website contains information and activities suitable for children ages 8 and up about the Moon and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission.

The Moon Project
Put together by several science teacher-educators to teach their pre-service students about science in general. The site offers Moon Phase calendars and additional Moon web links. Suitable for adults.

College notes: Geology Dept of Union College
Compiled information regarding the Moon’s geological features. There are pictures and descriptions of the different elements that make up the moon such as Anorthosite, Basalt, and Highland soil. This site contains information geared for undergraduate students.

Other Educational Resources

Exploring the Moon at LPI
Presented by the Lunar and Planetary Institute, offers extensive imagery and information associated with every lunar mission — manned and remote. Discussion of the history of Moon exploration and future missions, as well as products, materials, and links to other lunar Web sites, complements this resource.

NASA Lunar Curatorial website
 Rocks and Soils from the Moon

NASA’s Apollo Program and

Spudis’ Lunar Resources
Papers, PowerPoints, images, and editorials compiled by Dr.  Paul Spudis, to advocate using the Moon to learn how to live and work productively in space.

Inconstant Moon
Offers pictures, calendars, and music that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Fourmilab Switzerland
An interactive site created by John Walker that allows you to view the Moon from Earth, our Sun and the night side. It also gives descriptions and details of lunar formations. This site is suitable for all ages.

Lunar Map Catalog
The Lunar and Planetary Institute offers a number of lunar maps and catalogs.

StarDate Online
Enables older children and young adults to view frequently asked questions about Moon phasing. An comprehensive list of Moon-related topics is presented, including lunar phases, full Moon names, lunar folklore from cultures around the world, and eclipses. Also available from this site is a glossary of lunar terminology and Moon-related products.

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Offers an extensive reference list of books, articles, and Web sites pertaining to our Moon.

Pat Rawlings Illustrations
Space artist Pat Rawlings’ illustrations share a vision of what it will be like to live and work on the Moon – and other places in our solar system.

Adler Planetarium – Our Moon in Ancient Myth
Short stories about the Moon from a variety of different cultures.

Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Other Products

Moon (and other!) Globes

Simulated lunar regolith, used by NASA to create a Moon-like environment during equipment and space suit testing, makes a great comparison to soils found on Earth.  Sciencemall-USA or Planet LLC

Last updated
July 18, 2008