March 11, 2008
Lunar Pathfinder Getting Ready
image by Greg Redfern (click for larger version)
It has been 10 years since NASA's last lunar mission - Lunar Prospector. NASA's drought in lunar missions is about to change in a very big and capable way. Slated for launch October 28, 2008, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is being built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. LRO will be the pathfinder mission to prepare to return humans to the Moon by 2020. LRO's instrument package is designed to definitively answer the question of whether there is water ice at the South Pole of the Moon, map the lunar surface in unprecedented detail and assess the lunar environment with regard to its affect on humans. A fly-along companion mission, Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will actually impact the South Pole and be observed by an array of amateur and professional telescopes as well as LRO.
Greg Redfern, NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador
Nikon 5700 DSLR
Lunar Prospector-related LPODs: Gravity Eyes PKT & sinuous rilles? Sharper Th
Yesterday's LPOD: A Hill in the Middle
Tomorrow's LPOD: Crater Rings, Spots and Rays During Full Moon
1) Greg - thanks - this will be a very exciting mission - especially with the LCROSS bang. I went to the Kaguya press conference today and saw more of the wonderful results they are getting - I'll be happy when we start getting data from Chang'e and LRO too!