NASA's water-scouting CubeSat is now poised to hitch a ride to lunar orbit. Not much bigger than a shoe box, Lunar IceCube's data will have an outsized impact on lunar science.
The satellite is integrated into the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and ready to journey to the Moon as part of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, launching this year.
Orbiting the Moon, Lunar IceCube will use a spectrometer to investigate lunar ice. Earlier missions revealed water ice on the Moon, but Lunar IceCube will further NASA's knowledge about lunar ice dynamics.
Scientists are interested in the absorption and release of water from the regolith - the Moon's rocky and dusty surface. With Lunar IceCube investigating this process, NASA can map these changes as they occur on the Moon.
Lunar IceCube will also study the exosphere - the very thin atmosphere-like volume surrounding the Moon. By understanding the dynamics of water and other substances on the Moon, scientists will be able to predict seasonal changes for lunar ice that could impact its use as a resource in the future.
This will all be achieved from an efficient and cost-effective CubeSat that only weighs 31 pounds. Lunar IceCube is one of several CubeSats catching a ride to the Moon aboard Artemis I. These small satellites, along with future Artemis missions, will increase our knowledge for living and working on the Moon and eventually Mars.
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Momentus First Demonstration Mission Status Update #4
San Jose CA (SPX) Aug 03, 2022
Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS), a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, today provided its fourth Mission Update on its inaugural Vigoride mission that launched on May 25. Since the Company's last update on June 29, Momentus has successfully deployed four additional customer satellites. Momentus initially deployed two customer satellites from its Vigoride-3 Orbital Transfer Vehicle on May 28. The most recent deployments of four a ... read more