NASA’s water-scouting CubeSat is currently poised to affix a ride to lunar orbit. Very little larger than a shoe box, Lunar IceCube’s data could have an outsized effect on lunar science.
The satellite is built-into the area Launch System (SLS) rocket and prepared to journey to the moon within the uncrewed Artemis I mission, launching this season.
Orbiting the moon, Lunar IceCube use a spectrometer to research lunar ice. Earlier missions revealed water ice on the moon, but Lunar IceCube will further NASA’s understanding of lunar ice dynamics.
Scientists want in the absorption and release of water from the regoliththe moon’s rocky and dusty surface. With Lunar IceCube investigating this technique, NASA can map these changes because they occur on the moon.
Lunar IceCube may also study the exospherethe thin atmosphere-like volume surrounding the moon. By understanding the dynamics of water along with other substances on the moon, scientists can predict seasonal changes for lunar ice which could impact its use as a resource later on.
This can all be performed from a competent and cost-effective CubeSat that only weighs 31 pounds. Lunar IceCube is one of the CubeSats catching a ride to the moon aboard Artemis I. These small satellites, alongside future Artemis missions, increase our knowledge for living and focusing on the moon and finally Mars.
Citation: NASA’s moon-observing CubeSat is ready for Artemis launch (2022, August 8) retrieved 9 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-nasa-moon-observing-cubesat-ready-artemis.html
This document is at the mercy of copyright. Aside from any fair dealing for the intended purpose of private study or research, no part could be reproduced minus the written permission. This content is provided for information purposes only.