Draper will land NASA equipment on the far side of the Moon
The company Drape just got a new one NASA contract. It will be sending 3 scientific instruments of the agency on the far side of the moon. This mission will be carried out within the framework of a payload delivery program by private companies.
According to the announcement made by NASA on July 21, the American space agency has selected a team of companies led by Draper for the mission to be launched in 2025. The destination will be the Schrödinger basin, a basin created by an impact, and which has a diameter of about 320 km. This site is located on the far side of the Moon, near the lunar South Pole.
According to information, the contract was awarded through the program CLPS or Commercial Lunar Payload Services and is worth around 71.5 million euros.
A great first
This Draper mission is the 8th that NASA awards under the CLPS program. However, it is the first time the agency has targeted the far side of the Moon. So far, only the China was able to land an aircraft in this area. This took place in January 2019 during the mission Chang’e-4. The Chinese lander touched down in the Von Karman crater before deploying the rover Yutu 2.
According to NASA CLPS program manager Chris Culbert, the payload delivery location is all new to them. However, operations from the far side of the Moon will help improve their way of tracking activities in this area to achieve scientific objectives. It will also be an opportunity to collect data using the instruments.
Draper’s lander is named SERIES-2. It will transport in the Schrödinger Basin three experiments which will collect seismic data, measure the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the lunar subsurface, but also measure the electromagnetic phenomena created by the interaction of solar wind and plasma with the surface.
Like the far side of the Moon is out of sight of Earththe lander will need spacecraft to relay communications. According to Draper, the company Blue Canyon Technologies will build two satellites that will be deployed before landing on the Moon. These satellites will then be operated by AdvancedSpacewhich is also in charge of the cubesat NASA CAPSTONE.
Several other companies will take part in the mission and each will have its role to play. It is known that Draper will be the prime contractor and will handle systems engineering, testing and quality assurance work. It will also provide the guidance, navigation and descent control system for the lander.
The lander is based on a design by the US subsidiary ofspace. This is a Japanese company working in the design of lunar landers. Systima Technologiesa division of Karman Space & Defense, will be in charge of the manufacture of the lander. Ultimately, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems will be responsible for payload integration and testing.
SOURCE: space news