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Lunar Landing Project Wins First Place in the Nation...and Beyond
Commack's ExMASS winnersThe science research team of Karen, Delina, and Pragati took first place in the Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) Competition, and are invited to present their research at the NASA_Lunar Exploration Science Forum 2017 in July.

Their research project “Mapping Possible Locations for Lunar Ice Mining Using Topographic, Economic, and Elemental Data,” determined feasible locations to mine lunar H2O ice. “It was observed that the highest concentrations of hydrogen and oxygen were located at the lunar poles. Seven appropriate areas were pinpointed between the North and South Poles on the moon, and determined to be the most feasible to mine.” They gathered data from lunar missions, mapped the data using ArcGIS software, and did a cost/benefit analysis of the type of rocket and landing area to determine the best location to mine lunar ice.

Lunar ice mining could potentially support both future deep-space travel and a potential scientific lunar base. Liquid O- and H- is commonly used for rocket propellant. Launching a rocket from the moon would use only 1/6th of the energy as launching from earth, and both energy and costs could be saved due to a source of fuel already located on the moon. In addition, the H2O ice could be used as a coolant or to create breathable oxygen for a scientific lunar base that supports human life.”

The students’ were assisted by research mentors Dr. Tabb C. Prissel from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University, and Dr. Jennifer Whitten from the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

“This team of sophomores has conducted research that brings us one step closer to deep space travel and to a potential solution to the challenges of lunar colonization. Karen, Delina and Pragati successfully approached this challenge from multiple angles, collaborating with professional scientists to carry out an authentic study with real-world (or ‘other-world’) applications. Our research program, under the direction of Mr. Richard Kurtz, continues to produce innovative projects that allow our Commack students to shine,” shared Director of Science, Dr. Alison Offerman-Celentano. “We could not be prouder of the work they accomplished working alongside NASA scientists.”
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