Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Mission To Seek Water Ice On Moon Heads To Florida For Launch

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
NASA/Ames Research Center
Summary:
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, is enroute from Northrop Grumman's facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a spring launch. The satellite's primary mission is to search for water ice on the moon in a permanently shadowed crater near one of the lunar poles.

Engineers at Northrop Grumman check final paperwork in preparation for shipment of the LCROSS spacecraft to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credit: NASA, courtesy of Northrop Grumman

NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, is enroute from Northrop Grumman's facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a spring launch.

The satellite's primary mission is to search for water ice on the moon in a permanently shadowed crater near one of the lunar poles. LCROSS is a low-cost, accelerated-development, companion mission to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. At Kennedy, the two spacecraft will be integrated with an Atlas V launch vehicle and tested for final flight worthiness. LCROSS and LRO are the first missions in NASA's plan to return humans to the moon and begin establishing a lunar outpost by 2020.

After launch, the LCROSS spacecraft and the Atlas V's Centaur upper stage rocket will fly by the moon and enter into an elongated orbit to position the satellite for impact. On final approach, the spacecraft and Centaur will separate. The Centaur will strike the chosen lunar crater, 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 striking the moon's surface and creating a second debris plume. Scientists will use data from the debris clouds to determine the presence or absence of water ice.

"The LCROSS project has had to work within very challenging cost-cap and schedule-cap constraints," said Dan Andrews, LCROSS project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "The shipping of our spacecraft is a testament to our balanced approach and the great people working on this project."

To remain within budget and a short schedule of 26 months, the LCROSS project team developed a simple yet innovative spacecraft that uses existing NASA systems, commercial-off-the-shelf components modified to survive the harsh conditions of space, and the spacecraft design and development expertise of integration partner Northrop Grumman Space Technologies.

"LCROSS delivers a high science value per dollar," said Steve Hixson, vice president for advanced concepts at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach. "With its versatile, fast and cost efficient architecture, the LCROSS spacecraft serves as a pathfinder for future low-cost Earth and space science missions."

Ames manages the LCROSS mission and will conduct mission and science operations. Northrop Grumman designed, built, integrated and tested the spacecraft. The LCROSS and LRO missions are components of the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 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 Observation and Sensing Satellite, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lcross

For more information about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lro


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Ames Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Ames Research Center. "NASA Mission To Seek Water Ice On Moon Heads To Florida For Launch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218133019.htm>.
NASA/Ames Research Center. (2009, February 18). NASA Mission To Seek Water Ice On Moon Heads To Florida For Launch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218133019.htm
NASA/Ames Research Center. "NASA Mission To Seek Water Ice On Moon Heads To Florida For Launch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218133019.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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