Map spacecraft safely delivered to Luna H-NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Map ready for transport from Luna H-ASU Tempe Campus to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. From left to right: Joe Dubois, Nathaniel Sturbel, Craig Hardgrove, Tyler O’Brien. Credit: ASU

The ASU-led team that built NASA’s monthly hydrogen mapper (“LunaH-Map” for short) is NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a planned launch later this year on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). We have safely delivered the spacecraft to the Space Center. ) Artemis I’m a rocket.

The LunaH-Map is a fully functional interplanetary spacecraft that is the size of a large serial box and weighs about 30 pounds. This is the first mission led, designed, assembled, integrated, tested, and offered by the ASU Tempe Campus.Its destination is in orbit MonthFrom there, map the water ice in the permanently shaded area of ​​the Moon’s South Pole.

To begin the journey from ASU to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the spacecraft was first placed in a double-sealed, nitrogen-filled, electrostatically safe bag. It was then carefully placed in a case lined with crush-proof and dust-proof foam.

Four tickets from Phoenix to Orlando were purchased by a commercial airline. Three are for human members of the Luna H-Map team, and one is for a spacecraft located in the middle seat of the two team members.

When the LunaH-Map team arrived at the Kennedy Space Center, they unpacked the spacecraft, confirmed that it was not shaken during transportation, or collected dust or debris, and took pictures for documentation. .. After installing the set of handles and carefully removing the “remove before flight” cover plate, I slid the spacecraft into a flight dispenser launched by the SLS rocket. Then I carefully closed the flight dispenser door and latched it.

“From there, we handed over the operations to NASA,” said Nathaniel Struebel, ASU’s Luna H-Map Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Machine Leader at AZ Space Technologies, and Patrick Hailey, Operations Leader at Qwaltec. It states as follows. Transported the spacecraft to its destination, Florida.

When Artemis I, including the Luna H-Map, is launched later this year, it will carry about 12 small spacecraft called CubeSats. These will be the secondary payload of the Artemis I mission.

Artemis I’s main mission is to test NASA’s Space Launch System. It is designed to lift more than existing rockets. The rocket will also perform a lunar flyby to return to Earth, transporting the Orion spacecraft, which will carry the human crew into space for future missions. The ring that connects the Orion to the SLS has space for the CubeSat payload to be sent into deep space during the mission.

When Artemis I is launched and the Luna H-Map is deployed, the spacecraft will enter lunar orbit using a series of lunar flybys and their ion propulsion systems. At low altitudes, a new type of compact neutron spectrometer begins its scientific mission to measure the abundance of hydrogen in the permanently shadowed region of the Moon’s South Pole.

We have known for decades Moon exploration Luna H-Map seeks to determine how much and where these enrichments are, as there are enrichments of water ice in certain areas around the poles of our moon. They may contain enough water to change our view of the formation and evolution of the Moon, or they contain enough water to support future human and robotic exploration of the solar system. It may be.

The total mission lasts about a year, and the spacecraft performs nearly 300 laps of the moon. During this period, Luna H-Map will be operated from the Mission Operations Center in Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 on the ASU Tempe Campus, where the spacecraft was built. The team communicates directly with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Deep Space Network to send commands sent to the spacecraft.

Map spacecraft safely delivered to Luna H-NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Map Principal Investigator Craig Hardgrove with a spacecraft flying to Luna H-NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Credit: ASU

“The delivery of spacecraft to NASA and the Artemis program represents a major achievement, the culmination of many years of dedicated work by the ASU LunaH-Map team and many vendor and contractor partners across the country,” Luna H- Map Deputy Senior Researcher Jim Bell said. , A planetary scientist and a professor at ASU’s Faculty of Earth and Space Exploration. “This is a milestone for ASU as a whole and will help pave the way for many of the equally exciting future CubeSat missions for ASU students, faculty and staff.”

Along with Hardgrove and Bell, the Luna H-Map team includes many ASU staff and students, representatives of two local Tempe engineering companies (AZ Space Technologies and Qwaltec), and representatives of other US commercial space companies and NASA centers. Is included. The spacecraft includes a top plate with the signatures of the people who worked on the Luna H-Map and the names of friends and family.

Now that the spacecraft has been delivered, the team will use the spacecraft engineering model at ASU to develop and test the spacecraft activity required after the Luna H-Map flight. This model contains all the components of a flying spacecraft that has just been delivered to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

“Luna H-Map and all other Artemis I CubeSats pave the way for a new type of space exploration mission that leverages the strength of combining professional engineering staff with university staff and students,” said Hardgrove. increase. “These missions are part of the first mission in which a very small spacecraft tested the new technology needed to complete a scientific mission in deep space.”

Following the success of these missions, Hardgrove believes that CubeSats will become increasingly involved in high-risk, high-paying scientific missions in combination with the larger NASA spacecraft. This ability allows them to be sent to unexplored regions of the solar system, perform independent operations, and collect scientific data that is too risky for key missions to acquire.

Lunar IceCube has passed important tests at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Quote: The map spacecraft safely delivered to Luna H-NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (July 21, 2021) is https: // Obtained from -kennedy.html on July 21, 2021

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Map spacecraft safely delivered to Luna H-NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

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