Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests

Date:
June 25, 2008
Source:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Summary:
Engineering teams are conducting final checkouts of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, that will take a significant step forward in the search for water on the moon.

Artist's conception of LCROSS spacecraft above the Moon's surface.
Credit: NASA

Engineering teams are conducting final checkouts of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, that will take a significant step forward in the search for water on the moon.

The mission's main objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region. A major milestone, thermal vacuum testing of the LCROSS spacecraft, was completed June 5 at the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, Calif.

To simulate the harsh conditions of space, technicians subjected the spacecraft to 13.5 days of heating and cooling cycles during which temperatures reached as high as 230 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 40 degrees. Previous testing for the LCROSS spacecraft included acoustic vibration tests. Those tests simulated launch conditions and checked mating of connection points to the Atlas V rocket's Centaur upper stage and the adapter ring for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, known as LRO.

The satellite currently is undergoing final checkout tests. After all tests are complete, the LCROSS spacecraft will be prepared for delivery to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch processing and integration onto the Atlas V as a secondary payload to LRO. Both spacecraft are scheduled to launch from Kennedy in late 2008.

"The spacecraft steadily has taken shape since Ames delivered the science payload in January," said Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "It is a testament to the hard work, perseverance and expertise of the NASA and Northrop Grumman teams that the spacecraft has completed these critical tests ahead of schedule."

After launch, the LCROSS spacecraft and the Atlas V's Centaur upper stage rocket will execute a fly-by of the moon and enter into an elongated Earth orbit to position the satellite for impact on a lunar pole. On final approach, the spacecraft and the Centaur will separate. The Centaur will strike the surface of the moon, creating a debris plume that will rise above the surface. Four minutes later, LCROSS will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume. Scientists will observe both impacts from Earth to gather additional information.

LCROSS is a fast-paced, low-cost mission that is leveraging existing NASA systems, commercial-off-the-shelf components and the spacecraft design and development expertise of integration partner Northrop Grumman Space Technologies. The LCROSS and LRO missions are components of the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. The program manages pathfinding robotic missions to the moon for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

For more information about the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite, visit: http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov

For more information about the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program, visit: http://moon.msfc.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624214709.htm>.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2008, June 25). Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624214709.htm
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624214709.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins