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20071215

England is teaming up with NASA to provide an unmanned moon probe mission. The mission will fire four "penetrator" missile darts that will probe the moon and return research data back to Earth. Some of the data the penetrator darts will look for are moonquakes which may provide additional information on the physical structure and composition of the moon. The mission may be ready to launch by 2012.

The mission may leave equipment on the moon for further studying. This moon mission may provide the basis for setting up observatories on the moon.

Europeans have been studying and probing the moon the past several years so this is not their first moon probe mission.

There was a similar announcement earlier this month on bombing the moon. Not clear at this point whether the two are related.

Given the recent reawakening interest in the moon, one might wonder why now? Is this part of a new space race between the West and China? Is the moon being sought after for it's potential mining properties?

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