Thursday / 31 July 2014

SLS Maiden Voyage To Deliver Cubesats To Moon


11 Cubesats Will Be Delivered To Cislunar Space On First Uncrewed Mission Of SLS Rocket / Orion Capsule In Late 2017; 3 Missions Have Already Been Selected Including Lunar Flashlight; Led By Barbara Cohen Of NASA Marshall SFC; Mission Will Utilize 80m² Solar Sail To Navigate Into A Highly Elliptical Lunar Polar Orbit That Passes Near Moon South Pole, Solar Sail Will Then Be Redirected To Shine 50kW Of Sunlight Into Shaded Craters While On-Board Spectrometer Measures Surface Reflection & Composition; Data Will Identify Sites With Ample Volatiles Near Surface Ideal For More Expansive Lander / Rover / Human Missions

Image Credit: NASA, Rob Staehle