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USGS Shoemaker Center for Astrogeology Dedication

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt giving his dedication speech

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Around 300 guests were in attendance for the dedication of the new Shoemaker Center for Astrogeology building here in Flagstaff, Arizona. Guest speakers included Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt, Carolyn Shoemaker, Donald Beattie, Gordon Swann, and USGS Director Chip Groat. After the ceremonies, visitors took tours of the new building, chatting Astrogeology scientists and staff, and meeting old friends.


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U.S. Clears Way for First Commercial Lunar Flight

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

TransOrbital, Inc. has become the first private company in the history of space flight to win approval from the U.S. government to explore, photograph, and land on the moon. The company expects to launch its Trailblazer Mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the next 9-12 months. Once launched, the Trailblazer will provide stunning, high-definition (HDTV) video and maps of the lunar surface (at 1 meter resolution), as well as new images of earth-rises over lunar craters. The mission will culminate with the delivery of a time capsule containing personal cargo from Earth (such as messages and photographs), and a final "barnstorming" video as the probe impacts the lunar service. The media collected during the mission will provide TransOrbital with an array of content vital to future scientific and exploratory endeavors, as well as educational and entertainment uses.

More: TransOrbital, Inc. Press Release - Landmark Decision Clears Way For First Commercial Lunar Flight

More: Discovery Channel - First Commercial Moon Mission

Link: TransOrbital, Inc.


James Webb Space Telescope

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

NASA moves forward with plans to build the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, named in honor of NASA's second administrator James Webb. The new telescope is scheduled for launch in 2010 aboard an expendable launch vehicle, and will travel 940,000 miles or 1.5 million kilometers in space for about three months before reaching its destination at the second Lagrange Point or L2.

More: NASA - NASA Announces Contract for Next-Generation Space Telescope Named After Space Pioneer

Link: NASA - James Webb Space Telescope mission page

Link: NASA - James E. Webb biography