LunIR

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LunIR
SkyFire lunar CubeSat.jpg
The LunIR CubeSat, which will characterize and collect lunar surface data.
NamesSkyFire
Mission typeTechnology demonstrator, reconnaissance
OperatorLockheed Martin Space
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCubeSat
Spacecraft type6U CubeSat
BusTyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
ManufacturerLockheed Martin Space
Launch mass14 kg (31 lb)
Dimensions10 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm
Start of mission
Launch dateNovember 2021 (planned) [1]
RocketSLS Block 1
Launch siteKSC, LC-39B
ContractorNASA
Flyby of Moon
 

LunIR is a planned nanosatellite spacecraft that will fly by the Moon and collect surface spectroscopy and thermography. It is planned to fly on the Space Launch System (SLS) on Artemis 1 mission.

Mission[edit]

Its purpose is that of a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) technology demonstration using a low-cost 6U CubeSat spacecraft. LunIR will perform a lunar flyby, collecting spectroscopy and thermography for surface characterization, remote sensing, and site selection.[2] The spacecraft includes two deployable solar panels and will have a total mass of about 14 kg (31 lb).

LunIR was selected in April 2015 by NASA's NextSTEP program (Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships) and awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Space worth US$1.4 million for further development.[3][4][5]

Launch[edit]

LunIR will fly along other 12 CubeSats as a secondary payload mission on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System.

Propulsion[edit]

LunIR will also demonstrate a low thrust electric propulsion technology called electrospray propulsion to lower the spacecraft's orbit for additional science and technology mission objectives.[6]

See also[edit]

The 13 CubeSats flying in the Artemis 1 mission

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". Ars Technica. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ Williams, Greg; Crusan, Jason (April 2015). "Pioneering Space – Evolvable Mars Campaign" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 9 March 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Morring, Frank (24 April 2015). "Habitats Could Be NASA's Next Commercial Spacecraft Buy". Aviation Week. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  4. ^ Clark, Stephen (8 April 2015). "NASA adding to list of CubeSats flying on first SLS mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter (18 May 2020). "LunIR (SkyFire)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Projects". NASA. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.