Concepts and instruments of UK moonlite & moonraker missions

Gao, Yang and Phipps, Andy and Taylor, Mark and Crawford, Ian A. and Ball, Andrew J. and Wilson, Lionel and Smith, Alan and Parker, Dave and Sweeting, Martin and Da Silva Curiel, Alex and Davies, Phil (2007) Concepts and instruments of UK moonlite & moonraker missions. In: International Astronautical Federation - 58th International Astronautical Congress 2007. International Astronautical Federation - 58th International Astronautical Congress 2007 . UNSPECIFIED, IND, pp. 1037-1045. ISBN 9781605601502

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Returning to the Moon has been advocated by a number of planetary scientists in order to answer several key scientific questions. The UK has an active lunar science community keen to support (robotic) lunar exploration. However, for several years, these interests have been eclipsed by the drive to Mars. Recently there is a renewed global interest in the Moon, demonstrated by the Vision for Space Exploration in the USA, the evolving Global Exploration Partnership, and new lunar missions from Europe, Japan, China and India. The ESA Aurora programme may also broaden its focus to embrace the Moon as well as Mars - realising that many of the major technical challenges that are faced by Mars missions could be de-risked by relatively inexpensive and timely lunar precursors. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) and Surrey Space Centre (SSC) have been preparing a 'smallsat' approach to achieving a low-cost lunar mission for more than a decade - including various activities, such as Phase B study of LunarSat funded by ESA and a current hardware contribution to the Chandrayaan-1 mission. With the recent successes in GIOVE-A, TOPSAT & BEIJING-1, alongside participation in Aurora & Chandrayaan-1, Surrey has developed capabilities for providing affordable engineering solutions to space exploration. In 2006, SSTL/SSC was funded by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) (now included within the UK Science & Technology Facilities Council) to undertake a study on low-cost lunar mission concepts that could address key scientific questions. This paper presents some major results from this study (Phipps and Gao, 2006) and provides preliminary definitions of two down-selected mission proposals. Copyright IAF/IAA. All rights reserved.

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22 Jun 2019 01:03
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19 Sep 2023 03:31