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NASA technology contributes to soft moon landing, government agency scientific research underway

NASA technology contributes to soft moon landing, government agency scientific research underway

 


Editor's note: This release was updated on February 23, 2024 to include images from the press conference and participant titles.

Following the initial success of NASA's CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative, demonstrations of new scientific instruments and technologies are operating on the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years.

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lander, called Odysseus, completed a seven-day journey into lunar orbit and landed near Malapart A in the lunar south pole region at 5:24 p.m. CST on February 22. Performed the procedure for a soft landing. Stay healthy, collect solar power, and send data to mission control at a company located in Houston. This mission marks the first commercial unmanned landing on the moon.

It carried six NASA science research and technology demonstrations, as well as other customer payloads, and all NASA science instruments completed transit checkout en route to the Moon. NASA's precision landing technology demonstration also provided critical final support to ensure a soft landing. As part of NASA's Artemis campaign, the delivery to the moon will take place in a region where NASA will send astronauts to explore for water and other lunar resources later this decade.

For the first time in more than half a century, America returned to the moon. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulates Intuitive Machines for landing the Odysseus lunar lander carrying NASA's scientific instruments on the moon's south pole, where no man or machine has gone before. . This feat by Intuitive Machines, SpaceX, and NASA demonstrates the promise of American leadership in space and the power of commercial partnerships under his NASA CLPS initiative. In addition, this success opens the door to new voyages under Artemis that will send astronauts to the Moon and then to Mars.

During the trip to the moon, NASA instruments will measure the amount of cryogenic engine fuel used, and while descending toward the lunar surface, the team will collect data on the interaction of the plume with the surface and perform precision Tested landing techniques.

Odysseus ground operations are underway and are expected to run until Thursday, February 29th.

New lunar science and technology

The NASA Navigation Doppler Lidar for NASA's Precise Speed ​​and Distance Sensing (NDL) guidance system ultimately played a key role in supporting the successful landing. Hours before landing, Intuitive Machines encountered a problem with the navigation system's sensors, and he relied on NASA's guidance system to assist in a precise landing. NASA's instrument works on the same principle as radar, using pulses from a laser beamed through three optical telescopes. Accurately measure speed, direction, and altitude during descent and touchdown.

Now that they have reached the moon's surface, NASA's instruments will focus on studying lunar surface interactions and radio astronomy. The Odysseus lander also carries a retroreflector array that will contribute to a network of position markers on the moon for communication and navigation for future autonomous navigation technologies.

Additional NASA hardware onboard the lander includes:

Lunar Node 1 Navigation Demonstrator: A small CubeSat-scale experiment that demonstrates autonomous navigation for future landers, ground infrastructure, and astronauts to interact with other spacecraft, ground stations, and probes on the lunar surface. Check your relative lunar position digitally. movement. Laser Retroreflector Array: A collection of eight retroreflectors that enables precision laser ranging. This is a measurement of the distance from the orbiting or landing spacecraft to the lander's reflector. This array is a passive optical instrument that will serve as a permanent position marker on the Moon for decades to come. Radio Frequency Mass Meter: A technology demonstration to measure the amount of propellant in a spacecraft tank in a low-gravity space environment. The gauge uses sensor technology to measure the amount of cryogenic propellant in the Nova-Cs fuel and oxidizer tanks, providing data that helps predict fuel usage on future missions. Photoelectronic sheath radio observations on the lunar surface: This instrument will make radio frequency observations of the lunar surface environment, showing how natural and anthropogenic activities near the surface interact and interfere with the science being conducted there. Determine whether it is possible. Stereo Camera for Lunar Plume Surface Study: A set of four small cameras to capture images showing how the Moon's surface changes as a result of interaction with the spacecraft engine's plume during and after descent. Sweet.

NASA is committed to helping U.S. commercial vendors meet the challenges of sending science and technology to the Moon's surface.

“In order to boldly confront one of humanity's greatest challenges, Intuitive Machines created the entire lunar program and has been a leading company for more than 50 years,” said Steve Altemus, CEO of Intuitive Machines. “We have ventured farther than the United States' mission to the moon.” This humbling moment reminds us that pursuing the extraordinary requires both boldness and resilience.

For more information about CLPS, please visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/clps

-end-

Faith McKie / Karen Fox Headquarters, Washington [email protected] / [email protected]

Nilufar Ramji / Laura Sorto Johnson Space Center, Houston 281-483-5111 [email protected] / [email protected]

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.nasa.gov/news-release/nasa-tech-contributes-to-soft-moon-landing-agency-science-underway/

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