* Astronomy

Members Login
Post Info
TOPIC: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
LCROSS Mission
Permalink  
 


Sometime between May and August 2009, depending on launch dates, the booster stage for NASA's LCROSS probe will deliberately crash into a permanently-shadowed lunar crater at 9,000 km/hr, producing an explosion equivalent to about 2,000 pounds of TNT (6.5 billion joules). The blast will jettison material out of the crater into broad daylight where astronomers can search the debris for signs of lunar water.

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Permalink  
 


Nasa is planning to smash a spacecraft into the south pole of the Moon in order to discover whether there is water at the location.
The US space agency will launch two satellites in October, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater and Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
LCROSS mission
Permalink  
 


Hawaii will have a front-row view for a spectacular rocket crash on the moon in early 2009, say those planning the project at the NASA/Ames Research Centre.
The launch is being timed for optimal viewing conditions from Mauna Kea's telescopes. Isle residents also should be able to see the moon show with a "modest telescope".

"It's really an exploration mission.  We're going to a place we've never been before, to impact a dark crater whose floor has never seen the light of sun for 2 to 3 billion years" - principal investigator Anthony Colaprete.

The 4,500-pound rocket will slam into the crater on the moon's south pole at 5,600 mph, making a hole the size of a tennis court.

Read more


__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Permalink  
 


NASA MOON-IMPACTOR MISSION PASSES MAJOR REVIEW

NASA's drive to return astronauts to the moon and later probe deeper into space achieved a key milestone recently when agency officials approved critical elements of a moon impact mission scheduled to launch in October 2008. NASA's unmanned Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, will strike the moon near its south pole in January 2009. It will search for water and other materials that astronauts could use at a future lunar outpost.
Scott Horowitz, associate administrator of the agency's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, led a confirmation review panel that recently approved the detailed plans, instrument suite, budget and risk factor analysis for the satellite.
NASA's Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California, manages the mission. The mission is valued at $79 million, excluding launch costs. The mission will help NASA gain a new foothold on the moon and prepare for new journeys to Mars and beyond.
The confirmation review authorized continuation of the lunar impactor project and set its cost and schedule. Another mission milestone, the critical design review, is scheduled for late February. That review will examine the detailed Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite system design. After a successful critical design review, the project team will assemble the spacecraft and its instruments.

"The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite project represents an efficient way of doing business by being cost capped, schedule constrained and risk tolerant" - Daniel Andrews, project manager at Ames for the lunar impactor mission.

The lunar impactor will share a rocket ride into space with a second satellite, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. After the orbiter separates from the Atlas V launch vehicle for its own mission, the LCROSS will use the spent Centaur upper stage of the rocket as a 4,400-pound lunar impactor, targeting a permanently shadowed crater near the lunar South Pole.
According to scientists, the Centaur's collision with the moon will excavate about 220 tons of material from the lunar surface. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite will observe the plume of material with a suite of six instruments to look for water ice and examine lunar soil. The satellite will fly through the plume, also impacting the lunar surface. That second impact will be observed from Earth.
The prime contractor for the satellite is Northrop Grumman Space Technologies of Redondo Beach, California

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Permalink  
 

NASA has given the award of launch services for the LRO mission to Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services Inc. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during a launch window that opens on Oct. 31, 2008.
Once launched, payload instruments will be in a power-off state during the launch and injection phase. The cruise phase begins when the spacecraft separates from the launch vehicle and ends prior to Lunar orbit injection (LOI).
A smaller secondary payload spacecraft will travel with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) satellite to the Moon on the same Atlas-Centaur rocket to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. A team from NASA Ames proposed the secondary payload mission, which will be carried out by the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
The 'secondary payload,' LCROSS spacecraft will arrive in the lunar vicinity independent of the LRO satellite. On the way to the Moon, the LunarCROSS spacecraft's two main parts, the Shepherding Spacecraft (S-S/C) and the Centaur Upper Stage will remain coupled.

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Permalink  
 

Russian scientists, lead by Igor Mitrofanov, plan to send a water detector to the moon onboard an American space probe scheduled for launch in 2008.
The Russian LEND neutron detector, which will search for water on the moon, and five United States research instruments are to be sent into orbit around the moon on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter built by the US space agency Nasa.

Water could theoretically exist as concentrations of ice in craters at the earth satellite's poles, which are not irradiated by sunlight.
Ice deposits located at either pole would be the logical site for the eventual construction of a manned lunar station.

Energy could be generated using solar panels on sunlit areas of the moon and used to melt ice to produce hydrogen fuel for space ships.
An earlier design of the LEND device has searched for water on Mars for the past four years.

Nasa will use the relatively cheap Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to measure the moon's exact surface area.

Surveying equipment will be among the US units on the probe.



Whether a moonbase will turn out to be feasible hinges largely on the question of water. Colonists need water to drink. They need water to grow plants. They can also break water apart to make air (oxygen) and rocket fuel (oxygen+hydrogen).
Furthermore, water is surprisingly effective at blocking space radiation. Surrounding the 'base with a few feet of water would help protect explorers from solar flares and cosmic rays.

The problem is, water is dense and heavy. Carrying large amounts of it from Earth to the Moon would be expensive. Settling the Moon would be so much easier if water were already there.

Astronomers believe that comets and asteroids hitting the Moon eons ago left some water behind, (Earth received its water in the same way). Water on the Moon doesn't last long. It evaporates in sunlight and drifts off into space.
Only in the shadows of deep cold craters could you expect to find any, frozen and hidden. And indeed there may be deposits of ice in such places. In the 1990s two spacecraft, Lunar Prospector and Clementine, found tantalizing signs of ice in shadowed craters near the Moon's poles--perhaps as much as much as a cubic kilometre.
The data were not conclusive, though.
Link:

__________________
«First  <  112 13 14 | Page of 14  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard