Candidate landing sites and possible traverses at the South Pole of the Moon for the LUVMI-X rover

Joulaud, Marine; Flahaut, Jessica; Urbina, Diego; Hemanth, Madakashira H.; Gen, Ito; Biswas, János and Sheridan, Simon (2020). Candidate landing sites and possible traverses at the South Pole of the Moon for the LUVMI-X rover. In: EPSC Abstracts.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2020-619,%202020

Abstract

Lunar volatiles, such as water, are considered to be a crucial resource for In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) in using the Moon as an enabling platform for future space exploration. As water is most likely to be found in the form of ice at the lunar poles (temperature of stability in vacuum: 110K), multiple missions target the South Pole cold traps. With challenging conditions (rough topography, low illumination, low temperatures, and limited Earth visibility; and references within), the South Pole comprises numerous PSR (Permanently Shadowed Regions) which are cold enough to capture and retain volatiles such as water ice (annual average temperatures of 40K). Funded by the EU program Horizon 2020, Space Applications Services coordinates the LUVMI-X (LUnar Volatiles Mobile Instrument) project, where the company develops a robotic platform and international partners develop a dedicated payload suite, aimed at sampling and analyzing lunar volatiles in these polar regions. LUVMI-X is a commercial rover with modular interfaces to facilitate the integration of payloads from the community. The goal of this paper is to find suitable landing sites and study areas for this rover, that are both scientifically interesting and technically reachable.

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