British space exploration lives on! MoonLITE probe heading Moon-wards in 2012

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moonlite-moon-probe-british.jpgOnly about 35 years after the last American stood on the Moon, Britain is going back – with a decidedly non-thrilling unmanned probe.

Designed by mainly British scientists – with complicated navigational bits provided by NASA – the £100m MoonLITE probe will hopefully be on its way by 2012.

Technology’s come on quite a bit since the Apollo lot went up there to play golf and drive buggies around, so it’s hoped that the new generation of lunar probes will tell us more – by firing three or four darts into the Moon’s surface from orbit.

The unmanned nature means more risks can be taken, with MoonLITE hopefully travelling to/over bits of the Moon the American’s didn’t leave a load of Coke cans and burger wrappers over, like the dark side and the polar regions.

(Via Reuters)

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Gary Cutlack