Meanwhile, Moon based research projects are not exactly encouraging. From this week’s Nature News briefing:

Lunar losses: India formally abandoned its first lunar orbiter on 30 August, after scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) abruptly lost radio contact with the probe. Chandrayaan-1 , launched last year to map the Moon, ended its mission 14 months early, but the ISRO said it had met most of its scientific objectives. Meanwhile, NASA ‘s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) accidentally burned up most of its spare fuel on 22 August. Mission managers say it remains on track to smash into the Moon on 9 October, in the hope of kicking up evidence of ice.