Lunar science below the surface - the MoonLITE Low Cost Penetrator Mission

Hagermann, Axel; Smith, Alan; Gowen, Rob; Coates, AJ; Crawford, AI; Sheridan, Simon; Barber, Simeon; Pike, T; Gao, Y; Church, P; Wells, N; Phipps, A; Sims, M and Talboys, D (2009). Lunar science below the surface - the MoonLITE Low Cost Penetrator Mission. In: 41st Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, 4-9 Oct 2009, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, USA.

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Abstract

Penetrators are low mass instrumented packages that can withstand high impact decelerations. They have been launched on two unsuccessful missions to Mars - Mars'96 and DS2, and were developed for the Lunar A mission to the moon which has now been cancelled. Although the benefit of penetrators in planetary in situ science still remains to be demonstrated successfully there is a strong case to be made for the concept. The MoonLITE consortium was formed in the UK with the aim of delivering penetrators to the Moon to do scientific measurements. This presentation outlines the scientific opportunities penetrators offer for lunar science. MoonLITE, a proposed lunar penetrator mission, and its candidate payload instruments are presented.

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