181 things to do on the Moon

Science@NASA: 181 Things To Do On The Moon

There are quite a few interesting things on there, i.e., it’s a good enough list that I couldn’t find anything to make fun of during a five-minute search (and yeah, I tried, I’m that kind of guy). I wonder who you could talk to that is on the committee that narrows the list. I’ve always got my eye on things that could possibly benefit the ol’ student group (especially considering I got my job because of them):

mEOR2.2: Allocate space on government missions for university-built payloads, to engage students directly with exploration activities.

Is this something SEDS could do as a contest, even before selection begins? Say, ask a few basic questions to a responsible NASA official — mass, power, volume — and then run a contest to see who could develop the best payload. Impose CubeSat-like rules: 1kg, 10cm x 10cm x 10cm. Run two divisions: high school and university. Get your board of advisers to do the judging. The top, say, three concepts get a little bit of cash to build.

etc., etc., etc.

The real challenge: keep the astronaut running the experiment from mashing it.

Where is Voyager?

The Voyager web site hasn’t been updated since November, albeit for good reason: it’s an aging spacecraft running a few esoteric instruments that chirp back to Earth at vastly small levels. It’s Sputnik at the edge of the solar system (“Ah, I see you have the machine that goes ping.”)

But I really do love Voyager. I’d like to know where it is and how fast it is going and what’s going on out there at the cold edge of nothing we really know personally. It’s not exciting, but it’s fascinating: what’s it like out there? It’s possible to see where Cassini is — why not Voyager? Perhaps a similar image is out there on the web where I haven’t found it?

I don’t know. I’ll add this to my list of things that interest me but I don’t have the focus to follow-up. Maybe once I get Frozen Sun rolling, I can double back on Voyager as a project that I can set up for students. At the least, I’d like to interview Ed Stone and see how he manages to keep a fidgety budget from axing such a small project. Perhaps we can take over the Voyager web site and update it? SEDS has loads of volunteer resources in the form of students.