Lunar add-on payload announced

SpaceRef has very brief article announcing NASA’s plans to tag on a robotic lunar lander mission as a secondary payload to the 2008 launch of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Details however are scant at this time.

NASA managers, engineers, and scientists have been reviewing secondary spacecraft proposals that take advantage of the payload capability of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, the rocket that will launch the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in October 2008.

A briefing will be held live on NASA TV which will announce and discuss the winning proposal. The article also mentions that Raytheon has submitted a proposal for the lander. How many other proposals and who holds the winning design was not, however mentioned.

Hopefully information on the proposal will include things like location of landing site, sicence packages aboard the lander and other little tidbits of the like.

“Exploration Systems managers will brief news media at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, April 10, about plans to conduct high risk and high return research of the lunar surface using a new spacecraft. The press conference will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington.”

3 thoughts on “Lunar add-on payload announced

  1. It certainly won’t be a lander. That’s not one of the four finalists. Maybe an impactor.

  2. This points to the one thing I’ve found the hardest in trying to blog news. If you post to soon on a subject the story is bound to change as soon as you do.

    On the other hand, if you delay to make doubly sure your sources have it right, it will most likely not be news any more.

    I don’t want that to sound like whinning or excuse making, actually lander was the story going around at the time I posted, 4 or 5 days later, it certainly seems and certainly makes more sense, that it will be a polar impactor attempting to kick up some dust (or snow and ice) as it were, in a similar fashion as the pospector mission.

    This will be a good use of the extra payload with the LRO there to take a good look at the results.

    Mark

  3. It IS an impactor, but I was wrong – one of the finalists was a lander/hopper. I’m not surprised it wasn’t selected – way too much cost and schedule risk for thse circumstances. In fact, the LCROSS mission that was selected looks pretty risky given the budget and schedule they have, although it certainly does strike me as a good idea.

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