Center for Meteorite Studies

A spacecraft the size of a shoebox with Arizona origins will soon be orbiting our nearest neighbor to create a map of water-ice on the Moon.

The NASA-selected CubeSat will be designed, built, and operated at Arizona State University, and is one piece of the agency’s larger mission to fully characterize the water content at the lunar South Pole in preparation for exploration, resource utilization, and improved understanding of the Moon’s geologic history.

The spacecraft, called the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper, or “LunaH-Map” for short, will produce the most detailed map to-date of the Moon’s water deposits, unveiling new details about the depth and distribution of the ice that has been tentatively identified from previous missions. Confirming and mapping those deposits in detail will help NASA understand how much water might be available and will help inform NASA’s strategy for sending humans farther into the solar system.

The ability to search for useful assets, such as hydrogen, can potentially enable CubeSatastronauts to manufacture fuel and other provisions needed to sustain a crew for a journey to Mars, reducing the amount of fuel and weight that NASA would need to transport from Earth.

This is the third major space project for which NASA has selected ASU in the past year, and it is the first planetary science spacecraft mission that will be led by ASU. It represents a major achievement for planetary geologist Craig Hardgrove, the School of Earth and Space Exploration postdoctoral research associate who proposed the mission and will be overseeing it as principal investigator.

An ASU-built CubeSat about the size of a shoebox will be used to produce a map of the water resources on the moon for future space exploration. It is the first ASU-led interplanetary mission.  Photo by: Sean Amidan/ASU/SpaceTREx

Read the full story here!

Nikki Cassis
School of Earth & Space Exploration

Category: CMS News

Comments are closed.

Sign Up for Center Updates!

Be the first to learn about CMS events and news; sign up for email updates here!


Facebook
Twitter
YouTube


Upcoming Events

January 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
December 25, 2016 December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016
January 1, 2017 January 2, 2017 January 3, 2017 January 4, 2017 January 5, 2017 January 6, 2017 January 7, 2017
January 8, 2017 January 9, 2017 January 10, 2017 January 11, 2017 January 12, 2017 January 13, 2017 January 14, 2017
January 15, 2017 January 16, 2017 January 17, 2017 January 18, 2017 January 19, 2017 January 20, 2017 January 21, 2017
January 22, 2017 January 23, 2017 January 24, 2017 January 25, 2017 January 26, 2017 January 27, 2017 January 28, 2017
January 29, 2017 January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017 February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to find the answers to the most common questions asked of the Center for Meteorite Studies!


Meteorite of the Month

Lost City

January’s meteorite of the month is Lost City, an (H5) ordinary chondrite that fell in Oklahoma, USA, January 3, 1970, at 8:14 PM.   The many witnesses described the associated …


CMS News

Catch up on all the latest news from the Center for Meteorite Studies!