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Masten Mission 1 (TO 19C)

NSSDCA ID: XL1-LANDR

Description

The Xelene lander mission (TO 19C, or Masten Mission 1) is designed to bring eight payloads to the lunar surface near the south pole and operate them for 14 days. Science objectives include studying plume-surface interactions, regolith geophysical properties, the surface radiation environment, polar regolith thermal properties, mineralogy, and hydrogen content, and composition of the lunar exosphere, possibly including volatiles from ices. The lander mission was selected through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, in which NASA contracts with a commercial partner, in this case Masten Space Systems, that provides the launch and lander.

The Xelene lunar lander, in the XL-1 configuration, has a dry mass of 675 kg and carries about 2000 kg of propellant. It has 6 main engines and 12 auxiliary thrusters. The has eight payloads, comprising nine science and technology instruments. The payloads are the Lunar Compact Infrared imaging System (L-CIRiS), the Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer (LETS), the Heimdall Camera, the Mass Spectrometer observing Lunar operations (MSoLo), the Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS), the Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA), the Sample Acquisition, Morphology Filtering, and Probing of Lunar Regolith (SAMPLR) robotic arm. It also carries the MoonRanger micro rover, with a neutron spectrometer to measure hydrogen content of the local surface regolith. Commercial payloads may also be added.

The lander will launch from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX booster sometime in 2023 and go into lunar orbit. It will then descend to land near the rim of Haworth crater near the south pole, operating for about 12 days before lunar nightfall. Objectives of the mission include assessing the composition of the lunar surface, evaluating the radiation environment, and testing precision landing technologies.

For more on NASA's CLPS program and missions, see:

https://www.nasa.gov/content/commercial-lunar-payload-services

Image credit: Masten

Alternate Names

  • TO 19C
  • XL-1 Lander
  • XL1Lander
  • Xelene

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 
Launch Vehicle: 
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 675 kg

Discipline

  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

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

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. John GruenerProject ScientistNASA Johnson Space Centerjohn.e.gruener@nasa.gov
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