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 06.29.15

Airborne 06.30.15

Airborne 07.01.15

Airborne 07.02.15

Airborne 06.26.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 06.29.15

Airborne 06.30.15

Airborne 07.01.15

Airborne 07.02.15

Airborne 06.26.15

 

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 07.02.15: Bell 525 Flies!, Archer DX Delivers, Boss 182 Upgrade

Also: Wingfoot@AirVenture, Airbus On Pilot Training, XPrize, EFD1000H PFD For Bell, Atlanta Warbird Weekend, Lee Bottom Flying Field, Air Canada/Unifor, National Air Cargo Fined Ju>[...]

Airborne 07.01.15: Hexacopter Shot, E Hampton Airport, Eclipse 'Special Edition'

Also: Airport Discrimination, Jeff Skiles, EAA Chapters, NBAA's Quiet Guidelines, United Consolidates, Dreamliner Display, Iraqi General F-16 Loss Whether it’s federal regula>[...]

Airborne 07.02.15: Bell 525 Flies!, Archer DX Delivers, Boss 182 Upgrade

Also: Wingfoot@AirVenture, Airbus On Pilot Training, XPrize, EFD1000H PFD For Bell, Atlanta Warbird Weekend, Lee Bottom Flying Field, Air Canada/Unifor, National Air Cargo Fined Ju>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (07.03.15)

T-6 Driver This website was built 'to help current and aspiring T-6A pilots find the information that they need.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.03.15): Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC)

The average distance from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC