Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Wed, Jun 25, 2008

Moon-Bound NASA Spacecraft Passes Major Preflight Tests

LCROSS Probe Nears Late 2008 Launch

Engineering teams are conducting final checkouts of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, that will take a significant step forward in the search for water on the moon.

The mission's main objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region. A major milestone, thermal vacuum testing of the LCROSS spacecraft, was completed June 5 at the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, CA.

To simulate the harsh conditions of space, technicians subjected the spacecraft to 13.5 days of heating and cooling cycles during which temperatures reached as high as 230 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 40 degrees. Previous testing for the LCROSS spacecraft included acoustic vibration tests. Those tests simulated launch conditions and checked mating of connection points to the Atlas V rocket's Centaur upper stage and the adapter ring for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, known as LRO.

The satellite currently is undergoing final checkout tests. After all tests are complete, the LCROSS spacecraft will be prepared for delivery to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch processing and integration onto the Atlas V as a secondary payload to LRO. Both spacecraft are scheduled to launch from Kennedy in late 2008.

"The spacecraft steadily has taken shape since Ames delivered the science payload in January," said Daniel Andrews, LCROSS project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. "It is a testament to the hard work, perseverance and expertise of the NASA and Northrop Grumman teams that the spacecraft has completed these critical tests ahead of schedule."

After launch, the LCROSS spacecraft and the Atlas V's Centaur upper stage rocket will execute a fly-by of the moon and enter into an elongated Earth orbit to position the satellite for impact on a lunar pole. On final approach, the spacecraft and the Centaur will separate. The Centaur will strike the surface of the moon, creating a debris plume that will rise above the surface. Four minutes later, LCROSS will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume. Scientists will observe both impacts from Earth to gather additional information.

LCROSS is billed by NASA as a fast-paced, low-cost mission that is leveraging existing NASA systems, commercial-off-the-shelf components and the spacecraft design and development expertise of integration partner Northrop Grumman Space Technologies.

FMI: http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/, http://moon.msfc.nasa.gov/, www.nasa.gov/exploration

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 05.25.16: Canada SeaPlane Regs, Blimp Downed, Citation Longitude Mated

Also: USAF Hassled, Hummel UltraCruiser, Helo Limits, FAA Video, Greg Connell Accident, Medical Helo Suit, Bombardier's 100th VistaJet Canada is proposing changes to their seaplane>[...]

Icon Steps Back, Admits Curtailed Production Plan

Finally Talking (And Still Hyping), Icon Production Plans Take A Big Hit The following is the text of a release from Icon Aircraft (bluster and all)... ANN Analysis and industry re>[...]

Solar Impulse 2 Is En Route To Lehigh Valley, PA

Atlantic Crossing Next Major Hurdle Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) departed Dayton (OH) International Airport with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, this morning at 0402 local time (UTC-4).>[...]

Icon Controversy Continues, But Icon Has Yet To Speak Up

The Company That Won't Answer Questions, May Finally Have To Do So ANN has been bombarded with info and reports concerning the health and well-being of the Icon Aircraft program...>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.26.16)

Safety Management System (SMS) This FAA website was created as a public resource for those seeking to learn more about SMS within the aviation industry and the FAA.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC