Lunar Net—a proposal in response to an ESA M3 call in 2010 for a medium sized mission

Authors Organisations
  • Alan Smith(Author)
    University College London
  • I. A. Crawford(Author)
    University College London
  • Robert Anthony Gowen(Author)
    University College London
  • R. Ambrosi(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • M. Anand(Author)
    Open University
  • B. Banerdt(Author)
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
  • N. Bannister(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • N. Bowles(Author)
    University of Oxford
  • C. Braithwaite(Author)
    University of Cambridge
  • P. Brown(Author)
    Imperial College London
  • J. Chela-flores(Author)
    International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
  • T. Cholinser(Author)
  • P. Church(Author)
    QinetiQ Group Plc
  • A. J. Coates(Author)
    University College London
  • T. Colaprete(Author)
    Ames Research Center
  • G. Collins(Author)
    Imperial College London
    University College London
  • G. Collinson(Author)
    NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
  • Tony Cook(Author)
  • R. Elphic(Author)
    Ames Research Center
  • G. Fraser(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • Y. Gao(Author)
    University of Surrey
  • E. Gibson(Author)
    NASA - Johnson Space Center
  • T. Glotch(Author)
    Stony Brook University
  • Manuel Grande(Author)
  • A. Griffiths(Author)
    University College London
  • J. Grygorczuk(Author)
    Polish Academy of Sciences
  • M. Gudipati(Author)
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
  • A. Hagermann(Author)
    Open University
  • J. Heldmann(Author)
    NASA - Johnson Space Center
  • L. L. Hood(Author)
    University of Arizona
  • A. P. Jones(Author)
    University College London
  • K. H. Joy(Author)
    Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
  • O. B. Khavroshkin(Author)
    Russian Academy of Sciences
  • G. Klingelhoefer(Author)
    Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • M. Knapmeyer(Author)
    DLR Institute of Planetary Research
  • G. Kramer(Author)
    Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
  • D. Lawrence(Author)
    The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • W. Marczewski(Author)
    Polish Academy of Sciences
  • S. Mckenna-lawlor(Author)
    Ollscoil na hÉireann
  • K. Miljkovic(Author)
    Imperial College London
  • S. Narendranath(Author)
    Indian Space Research Organisation Satellite Centre (ISRO)
  • E. Palomba(Author)
    IFSI-INAF
  • A. Phipps(Author)
    Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)
  • W. T. Pike(Author)
    Imperial College London
  • D. Pullan(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • J. Rask(Author)
    Ames Research Center
  • D. T. Richard(Author)
    Ames Research Center
  • K. Seweryn(Author)
    Polish Academy of Sciences
  • S. Sheridan(Author)
    Open University
  • M. Sims(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • M. Sweeting(Author)
    Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)
  • T. Swindle(Author)
    University of Arizona
  • D. Talboys(Author)
    University of Leicester
  • L. Taylor(Author)
  • N. Teanby(Author)
    University of Bristol
  • V. Tong(Author)
    University of London
  • S. Ulamec(Author)
    Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC) - DLR
  • R. Wawrzaszek(Author)
    Polish Academy of Sciences
  • M. Wieczorek(Author)
    Paris Diderot University
  • L. Wilson(Author)
    Lancaster University
  • I Wright(Author)
    Open University
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-644
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Volume33
Issue number2-3
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2012
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Abstract

Emplacement of four or more kinetic penetrators geographically distributed over the lunar surface can enable a broad range of scientific exploration objectives of high priority and provide significant synergy with planned orbital missions. Whilst past landed missions achieved a great deal, they have not included a far-side lander, or investigation of the lunar interior apart from a very small area on the near side. Though the LCROSS mission detected water from a permanently shadowed polar crater, there remains in-situ confirmation, knowledge of concentration levels, and detailed identification of potential organic chemistry of astrobiology interest. The planned investigations will also address issues relating to the origin and evolution of the Earth–Moon system and other Solar System planetary bodies. Manned missions would be enhanced with use of water as a potential in-situ resource; knowledge of potential risks from damaging surface Moonquakes, and exploitation of lunar regolith for radiation shielding. LunarNet is an evolution of the 2007 LunarEX proposal to ESA (European Space Agency) which draws on recent significant advances in mission definition and feasibility. In particular, the successful Pendine full-scale impact trials have proved impact survivability for many of the key technology items, and a penetrator system study has greatly improved the definition of descent systems, detailed penetrator designs, and required resources. LunarNet is hereby proposed as an exciting stand-alone mission, though is also well suited in whole or in-part to contribute to the jigsaw of upcoming lunar missions, including that of a significant element to the ILN (International Lunar Network).