NASA wants an extra $1.6 billion in fiscal 2020 to support its new timeline to send Americans back to the surface of the moon. This is where additional tidal stress from Earth's gravity causes a peak in the total stress on the Moon's crust, making slippage along the thrust faults more likely. Apparently, the moon is aging the same way. Instead, the Moon would contract as it loses heat, causing the land to rift and crack along faults.
Six out of the eight tectonically active moonquakes occurred when the Moon was at or close to its apogee, the point where it's most distant from Earth and where the diurnal and recession stresses create the most compression near the tidal axis.
The Moon is shrinking as its interior cools and, in doing so, records earthquakes. Scientists know the Moon is too cold and still to have plate tectonics, like Earth, which keeps our whole crust sliding around in giant, continent-sized pieces.
This prominent lunar lobate thrust fault scarp is one of the thousands discovered in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images. Returning to the Moon is a national priority not only because it can help us learn more about our own planet, but because it will allow us to explore its resources and conduct groundbreaking research. But 28 of those quakes were relatively shallow and powerful - one had a magnitude of 5.5, according to a NASA factsheet.
Over the past several million years, the Moon has shrunk by 150 feet or 50 meters.
From the data analysed and algorithms used, researchers were able to determine eight of the 28 shallow quakes recorded were within 30 kilometres of faults and were visible in lunar images.
Only 12 people - all American men - have walked on the surface of the Moon, as part of the Apollo missions. The orbiter has taken photos of more than 3,500 of them since 2009. In addition, the agency is seeking to partner with commercial organizations like Boeing and SpaceX to provide the tech to make the landing happen. And because of shrinking, the moon actively produces moonquakes along the faults.
Similarly, tracks are apparent on slopes where boulders have been dislodged from perches on higher ground. A large landslide on South Massif that covered the southern segment of the Lee-Lincoln scarp is further evidence of possible moonquakes generated by fault slip events. A new analysis of the data has tracked eight of the quakes to proposed epicenters near known lunar geological features known as fault scarps.
He wrote: "Under my administration, we are restoring NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars".
"They use a lot of statistical arguments, and I think they do good science, but I wouldn't say it's definitely there", Ceri Nunn of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, not involved in the study, tells Mann.