First tomatoes and peas harvested from Mars-like soil

If we want to have a permanent or long-term mission to Mars, then growing crops locally would be very useful.

GeoPicture of the Week: The Moon’s Geology

It’s absolutely baffling that we’ve reached a level where we can not only study the geology of the Earth, but also that of other bodies in the solar system – in this case, the Moon. This is a false color mosaic constructed from a series of 53 images taken through three spectral filters by Galileo’s imaging system as the spacecraft flew

China Rover Releases HD Pictures of the Moon

China’s National Space Administration released a trove of images from their lunar rover and they’re spectacular. We’re talking hundreds of tantalizing, HD and never-before-seen images of the Moon! You can set up an account on China’s Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration website and have a look for yourself, view and download all the pictures you like – but

The moon’s phases affect rainfall, says first-of-its-kind study

The moon does more than cause tides and delight lovers – according to a new study, it can also affect how much rainfall falls down on the ground.

The first lunar lander in 40 years discovers new type of rock on the moon

Chinese researchers say their lunar rover found a new type of lunar rock unlike anything the Americans or Soviets had brought home before.

How the Moon got its tilt

Astronomers describe that the present-day tilt of the Moon is likely a result of collision-free encounters of the early Moon with small planetary bodies.

Russia wants to fight gender inequality by hilariously planning an all-female mission to the moon

Russia is locking up six women together to simulate a trip to the moon and back. But no one is taking this too seriously, it seems.

Geopicture of the Week: Brilliant new high-resolution maps of the Moon released

If you’ve ever wanted to plan a hiking trip on the Moon, now you have the perfect opportunity: a gorgeous pair of new lunar maps – the Image Mosaic and Topographic Maps of the Moon – is now available online for everyone to see and download. To me, it’s mind blowing that we have so high quality maps of the Moon – it’s

ESA and Russia join forces to put man back on the moon

The last time humans set foot on the moon was 1972. Feeling confident it had clearly showed its superiority over Russia, the US felt no more reason to prove itself and immediately shut down subsequent missions. Once with funding gone – and its budget has been thinning since – NASA had to settle for less ambitious goals, and it’s not like we can blame them. Building on outpost on the moon, versus say the International Space Station, is not only a lot more expensive, but also impractical. Recent findings, however, suggest there’s a lot to gain from having an outpost on the moon, of some sorts at least. That’s because the interest has shifted from prestige, or at least not only, to the potentially bountiful economic activities. Minerals, helium-3 (fuel) or precious metals can all be mined from the moon, trillions worth. But before you can shuttle minerals back from the moon, you at least need a footing of some sort. Understanding this, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos banded together to send a robotic probe to an unexplored region of the moon. The ultimate goal, they say, is to prepare the ground for humans.

Japanese soft drink company asks SpaceX to put a can on the moon

A company from Japan wants to become the first to advertise a product on the moon. The sports drink producer, Pocari Sweat, has contacted SpaceX – an American company that regularly ferries cargo to the International Space Station and is close to sending astronauts to the International Space Station – to land a canned sports drink. This would mark a milestone in human history: the first ad on the moon – both disturbing and interesting at the same time. Maybe any kind of interest in moon exploration (who knows what happens when you try to land a can on the moon?) in this moment is welcomed. Maybe.

NASA captures images of the dark side of the Moon – as it passes by Earth

We call it the “dark side” of the Moon, but that’s a rather improper name – a better one would be the “far side”, because it’s not dark at all. As if to prove that point, NASA just released images of the moon that would be impossible to capture from Earth, highlighting the far side illuminated completely.

Lucky shot: Photographer catches space station racing past the moon

Dylan O’Donnell, an amateur photographer, took one of the luckiest shots ever: the International Space Station past the moon. Any astro buff would be envious.

This is how the Moon looks under the microscope!

The Apollo program returned 380.05 kg of lunar rocks and soil, and most of the samples are stored at the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility. The samples of rocks, breccias, and regolith were polished into thin sections, allowing for optical geologic studies to be performed on them.

The Moon is shrouded by a dust cloud, and a mystery still stands

The Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere, but it is surrounded by a thick dust cloud; the dust constantly falls down to the lunar surface, but new dust constantly jumps to replenish it. The pattern of dust falling back to its home “in due time … will fill in craters,” says the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Mihaly Horanyi, who led the team

Bizarre swirls on the moon’s surface likely made by comet impact

The nature of bright swirl patterns, some extending for hundreds of kilometers, on the moon’s surface has eluded researchers for years. Now, the mystery seems to have been solved after a computer simulation suggests these were made following comet impacts. The tails of the comet, through made up of light-weight ice particles, likely blew off the upper, dark layer of the moon’s surface, leaving behind a bright trail.

China wants to be the first to land on the Dark Side of the Moon

According to the Chinese Central Television, China wants to land rover on the far side of the moon, also know as the dark side of the moon, by 2020. This would make it the first nation to land a spacecraft of any sort there. First, the rover will orbit the moon piggy-bagged by the Chang’e 4 spacecraft then later deployed to a launch site. The rover will carry out some scientific missions, but the main goal really is to test China’s space launching capabilities, but also as a show of force. Flex those muscles, sort to speak. Some analysts, however, speak out that there might be more to it, namely a bid for the moon’s resources.

Japan wants to land a rover on the Moon by 2018

Good news for space exploration: Japan’s space agency JAXA revealed plans to land a rover on the Moon by 2018, joining a very small club of nations that directly explored our planet’s satellite. “This is an initial step and a lot of procedures are still ahead before the plan is formally approved,” a JAXA spokesperson told reporters. Of course, there are

AstroPicture of the Day: An Eclipse at the End of the World

A total solar eclipse took place on November 23, 2003; the Moon elegantly set itself in between the Sun and the Earth, but this was only visible from the Antarctic region. But that didn’t stop an enthusiastic group of photographers who went on to take some stunning pictures, including the one you see above. The image, pictured as an APOD,

There’s an ancient Earth within a new Earth, new geochemistry findings suggest

Billions of years ago, our ancient planet collided with a Mars-sized object called Theia. The impact released tremendous amounts of energy which is thought to have produced a whole mantle magma ocean, which should have erased pre-existing chemical heterogeneities within the Earth. Following the onslaught, a new Earth formed, along with the moon. New geochemical findings hint that the impact didn’t completely melt the whole planet, leaving clumps and patches intact. This ancient past is thought to still ripple in Earth’s mantle.

An animated glimpse of the Dark Side of the Moon

Because the moon is tidally-locked to Earth, we’re used to seeing our cosmic neighbor like a stationary lonesome figure. Now, NASA released an animated simulation of the moon’s phase from its so-called dark side, offering an insightful glimpse from the other side of the coin. Far side of the moon – not so dark after all Contrary to popular belief,