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Lunar Flashlight, Mapping lunar water
pitcapuozzo
post Nov 19 2014, 04:45 PM
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In 2017, NASA's Lunar Flashlight probe will piggyback a ride on the Space Launch System's first flight. The probe, a CubeSat with an 80 sqm solar sail made out of Kapton, will orbit 20 km above the Moon. Its goal will be to map the moon's polar regions, searching from water ice deposits over the course of 80+ orbits. The probe will reflect light off its solar sail and onto the surface of the moon and then it will analyze it using reflectance spectroscopy.

Lunar Flashlight will be followed by the Resource Prospector Mission (RPM), a rover which will liftoff aboard a private rocket in 2018. The rover will land in one of the sites studied by Lunar Flashlight. RPM will last around a week and will look for hydrogen using a spectrometer capable of penetrating 1 m into the ground.

(excuse me for my bad English)
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Phil Stooke
post Nov 19 2014, 05:20 PM
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Right... Lunar Flashlight is approved for development and will fly.

The Resource Prospector mission is - as far as I know at the moment - not yet approved and is so far only being studied. It is from the Human Exploration side of NASA, not the Science Mission Directorate. It may use a Canadian rover. The Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) did an assessment of it a while ago and concluded it needed a lot more work before it was ready to fly. 2018 is probably too soon for it to launch, but we will see.

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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pitcapuozzo
post Nov 19 2014, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the info!! I really hope it will get funding.
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