moon stories

 
Russia has been sending Soyuz capsules into space since the late 1960s. As spaceships go, they're simple, cheap, and dead nuts reliable, but the design is old enough that taking a Soyuz capsule much beyond Earth orbit isn't really an option. We've just heard that Russia has finalized the design for a new spacecraft that will be able to take humans all the way to the Moon.
 
For the past year, two spacecraft the size of washing machines have been orbiting the Moon in formation, mapping out gravitational anomalies by precisely measuring the distance between them. Now they're all done, and to celebrate, NASA is about to slam 'em both into a lunar mountain at a couple thousand miles an hour.
 
We've known since February that the leading candidate for NASA's next major manned mission is a station located at the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrange Point out beyond the far side of the moon. The latest rumors suggest that this mission was probably approved by the Obama administration, and now that he's been reelected, it has a good chance of actually happening.
 
You've got to give credit to China: when it decides to do something, it really pulls out all the stops. Just a month after throwing house party for its brand new space station, China has announced that it's planning to send a lander and a rover to the Moon by the end of next year.
 
On Saturday, May 5, photographers all around the world were presented with a bright, tempting target in the much anticipated "supermoon," which occurs when the moon's elliptical orbit brings it closer to the Earth while full. In other words, it's the largest the moon can look to us terrans, though whether or not our earthbound eyes can actually detect the difference is up for debate. Thankfully, cameras allow us to choose how we want to see and present the world, so here's a collection of photos that show the supermoon as it should be: massive. Check it out in our gallery below.

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