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LunaH-Map

NSSDCA ID: LUNAH-MAP
COSPAR ID: 

Description

The Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) is a cubesat mission designed to orbit the Moon and determine the amount of water ice in the permanently shadowed lunar polar craters. Its primary science objective is to use a miniaturized neutron spectrometer to count epithermal neutrons and map water abundance in the south polar craters from low altitude (8-20 km). It is scheduled to launch on the Space Launch Sytem Artemis 1 mission no later than November 2021.

Spacecraft and Subsystems

LunaH-Map is a 6U cubesat, 10 x 20 x 30 cm with a mass of 14 kg. It is powered by a 90 W solar array, built into the side panels and mounted on two wings, and a 56 W-hr lithium-ion battery. Propulsion is provided by an ion engine, a Busek BIT-3 ion thruster, using iodine, stored as a solid, as a propellant. Communication will be via X-band (8.4 GHz) through the Deep Space network. A flight computer mounted inside the bus handles guidance, navigation, and control. The only science instrument is the neutron spectrometer, which will detect epithermal neutrons from 8-20 km altitude over the south polar regions.

Mission Profile

LunaH-Map will be launched as a secondary payload on the Artemis 1 mission no later than November 2021. After it is deployed from the Space Launch System it will use lunar flybys and its ion propulsion to enter lunar orbit, then will shape the orbit to achieve its nominal 4-hour elliptical orbit with a perilune of 8 km. Communication and downlink will take place every 3-5 days. The mission is scheduled to last a minimum of two months making neutron measurements. At end of mission when the propellant runs out, it will be targeted for a lunar impact.

LunaH-Map was selected as a SIMPLEx (Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration) opportunity. SIMPLEx missions are under 180 kg in mass and launch as secondary payloads with other NASA spacecraft. For more information on LunaH-Map, see:

https://lunahmap.asu.edu/

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Image credit: Arizona State University

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 2021-11-01
    Launch Vehicle: 
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
    Mass: 14 kg

    Funding Agency

    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)

    Discipline

    • Planetary Science

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams

     

    Personnel

    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Dr. Craig HardgroveMission Principal InvestigatorArizona State Universitycraig.hardgrove@asu.edu
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