Buckle up for “an exciting new discovery about the moon.” NASA teased a Monday teleconference to share new science results from its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), an airplane equipped with a telescope. “This new discovery contributes to NASA’s efforts to learn about the moon in support of deep space exploration,” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
The news is expected to tie in with the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon in 2024 while also developing a moon presence as a stepping stone to the more distant destination of Mars.
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NASA isn’t dropping many details about the announcement, but you can tune in for a live audio broadcast of the media teleconference on Monday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. PT via the NASA Live website.
Sofia is a high-flying, customized 747 airplane. “Flying above 99% of the atmosphere’s obscuring water vapor, SOFIA observes in infrared wavelengths and can pick up phenomenon impossible to see with visible light,” NASA said.
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NASA has been busy investigating water ice around the lunar south pole, which could be a valuable resource to have on site as astronauts live and work around the moon. The space agency is also interested in lava tubes, spacious caves that could provide shelter for visiting humans.
We’ll have to wait for the announcement to get all the juicy details, but there are some topics it probably isn’t about. Despite some entertaining speculation on social media, don’t expect any bombshells about alien life or cheese.
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