An update on MoonLITE

Gowen, Robert; Ball, Andrew; Gao, Yang; Crawford, Ian; Smith, Alan; Winter, B.; Theobald, C.; Rees, K.; Hagermann, Axel; Sheridan, Simon; Brown, P.; Oddy, T.; Dougherty, M.; Church, Phillip; Barber, Simeon; Jones, A.; Joy, K. H.; Pike, Tom; Kumar, S.; Hope, T.; Wells, Nigel; Green, K.; Ryden, K.; Griffiths, Andrew; Phipps, Andy; Sims, Mark and Talboys, Dean (2008). An update on MoonLITE. In: International Astronautical Federation - 59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008, 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2008, Glasgow, Scotland.



MoonLITE is a proposed, UK-led lunar science mission comprising 4 scientific penetrators that will make in-situ measurements at widely separated locations on the Moon. They will form a global seismic network capable of investigating the interior of the Moon including the existence of a core, its size and nature such as whether it is liquid or not. Particular landing sites at 1 each pole will also allow determination of the existence of water and other volatiles, and astrobiological organics possibly deposited by impacting comets. The other two landing sites will include the far side which has also not yet seen a landing, and a landing near an Apollo site to allow correlation with previous results. Additionally, detection of lunar water resources and possible sites to avoid large seismic events potentially dangerous to lunar bases offer information very valuable to future human missions. We will present a brief overview of this mission and its current status, including results from the forthcoming full scale impact tests currently on-schedule for late May this year, and from the pre-trial survival modelling. The current status of the planned Phase-A analysis and NASA involvement, and associated parallel hardware development programme will also be presented, together with their potential impact on the future development programme. We will additionally discuss the current status of possible coordination with the recently NASA proposed lunar geophysical network, and with other proposed lunar missions.

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