This past weekend (Saturday, September 10th to be exact), NASA launched a new mission to the Moon, and officials say this is the most important Moon mission since the original. After all, the original only got us information about the Moon’s surface; this time, we’re going to learn about what’s inside.
Two probes, named GRAIL A and GRAIL B, will orbit the Moon, carefully measuring its gravitational field. From this data, scientists can determine what’s inside. Does the Moon have magma under its crust, like Earth, or is it solid all the way through? What elements are in its core, and are they different than what’s found on Earth? And most importantly, where is all that green cheese we were promised?
But the really cool part of this mission is that middle schoolers from all over the US get to participate. NASA has set up a program for schools that allows students to select sites on the lunar surface to photograph.
The United States is not doing a great job with science education. I believe science fiction writers can help by writing stories children enjoy with a sprinkling of real science added in. But this program, which is called MoonKAM, is even better because it allows children to get involved in the scientific process and experience the thrill of discovery first hand.
For more on MoonKAM, click here.