Thursday 29 September 2016

Stunning Nasa image reveals 'dark side' of the moon

Published 07/08/2015 | 02:30

The far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away. Reuters/NASA/NOAA/Handout
The far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away. Reuters/NASA/NOAA/Handout

THIS extraordinary picture released by Nasa shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC)) and the Earth - one million miles away,.

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The lunar far side lacks the large, dark, basaltic plains, or maria, that are so prominent on the Earth-facing side, Nasa said.

Yesterday, the space agency also revealed that it has extended its contract with Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station due to budget cuts that have delayed commercial US alternatives.

Extending the contract through 2017 will cost the USA about $490m (€448m), Nasa chief Charles Bolden wrote in a letter to Congress.

The deal for US taxpayers to pay Moscow more than $80m (€73m) per seat on a Soyuz rocket comes at a time when Washington is ratcheting up sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.

NASA retired its space shuttles in 2011. It is partnering with privately owned SpaceX and Boeing to develop space taxis that can ferry astronauts to and from the station.

Irish Independent

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