L-VRAP-a lunar volatile resources analysis package for lunar exploration

Wright, I. P.; Sheridan, S.; Morse, A. D.; Barber, S. J.; Merrifield, J. A.; Waugh, L. J.; Howe, C. J.; Gibson, E. K. and Pillinger, C. T. (2012). L-VRAP-a lunar volatile resources analysis package for lunar exploration. Planetary and Space Science, 74(1) pp. 254–263.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2012.08.014


The Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP) has been conceived to deliver some of the objectives of the proposed Lunar Lander mission currently being studied by the European Space Agency. The purpose of the mission is to demonstrate and develop capability; the impetus is very much driven by a desire to lay the foundations for future human exploration of the Moon. Thus, LVRAP has design goals that consider lunar volatiles from the perspective of both their innate scientific interest and also their potential for in situ utilisation as a resource. The device is a dual mass spectrometer system and is capable of meeting the requirements of the mission with respect to detection, quantification and characterisation of volatiles. Through the use of appropriate sampling techniques, volatiles from either the regolith or atmosphere (exosphere) can be analysed. Furthermore, since L-VRAP has the capacity to determine isotopic compositions, it should be possible for the instrument to determine the sources of the volatiles that are found on the Moon (be they lunar per se, extra-lunar, or contaminants imparted by the mission itself)

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