Friday, July 27, 2012

Scientific Preparations for Lunar Exploration with the European Lunar Lander

Working schematic of the ESA Lunar Lander [Astrium].
James Carpenter, et al
ESA

Abstract - Recent Lunar missions and new scientific results in multiple disciplines have shown that working and operating in the complex lunar environment and exploiting the Moon as a platform for scientific research and further exploration poses major challenges. Underlying these challenges are fundamental scientific unknowns regarding the Moon’s surface, its environment, the effects of this environment and the availability of potential resources. The European Lunar Lander is a mission proposed by the European Space Agency to prepare for future exploration. The mission provides an opportunity to address some of these key unknowns and provide information of importance for future exploration activities.

Approach and Landing Profile The baseline design of the ESA Lunar Lander mission is unchanged since development began in 2010. In addition to real world testing and evaluation of robotic navigation, terminal descent and hazard avoidance, the array of on-board experiments and instruments eventually carried to the lunar surface in 2018 have continually been updated to match the growing knowledge base accumulated by an international fleet of spacecraft. The Carpenter study details the surface mission as projected in July 2012 [Astrium].
Areas of particular interest for investigation on the Lunar Lander include the integrated plasma, dust, charge and radiation environment and its effects, the properties of lunar dust and its physical effects on systems and physiological effects on humans, the availability, distribution and potential application of in situ resources for future exploration. A model payload has then been derived, taking these objectives to account and considering potential payloads proposed through a request for information, and the mission’s boundary conditions. While exploration preparation has driven the definition there is a significant synergy with investigations associated with fundamental scientific questions.

This paper discusses the scientific objectives for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission, which emphasize human exploration preparatory science and introduces the model scientific payload considered as part of the on-going mission studies, in advance of a formal instrument selection.

Download arXiv study 1207.4965.pdf

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I just remembered few of my physics class here. great preparation of the lunar. Thanks for the share. and congrats. Research Statements