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Lunar “Volatile and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter (VMMO)” Mission

Gao, Yang, Kruzelecky, Roman, Murzionak, Piotr, Lavoie, Jonathan, Sinclair, Ian, Schinn, Gregory, Underwood, Craig, Bridges, Chris, Armellin, Roberto, Lucca Fabris, Andrea , Cloutis, Edward, Leijtens, Johan, Walker, Roger and Vennekens, Johan Lunar “Volatile and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter (VMMO)” Mission In: 70th International Astronautical Conference (IAC 2019), 21-25 Oct 2019, Washington DC, USA.

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Human spaceflight to/on/from the Moon will benefit from exploitation of various in-situ resources such as water volatile and mineral. Evidence for water ice in Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSRs) on the Moon is both direct and indirect, and derives from multiple past missions including Lunar Prospector, Chandrayaan-1 and LCROSS. Recent lunar CubeSats missions proposed through the Space Launch Systems (SLS) such as Lunar Flashlight, LunaH-Map and Lunar Ice-Cube, will help improve our understanding of the spatial distribution of water ice in those lunar cold traps. However, the spatial resolution of the observations from these SLS missions is on the order of one to many kilometres. In other words, they can miss smaller (sub-km) surficial deposits or near-surface deposits of water ice. Given that future lunar landers or rovers destined for PSRs will likely have limited mobility (but improved landing precision), there is a need to improve the spatial accuracy of maps of water ice in PSRs. The VMMO (Volatiles and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter) is a semiautonomous, low-cost 12U lunar Cubesat being developed by a multi-national team funded through European Space Agency (ESA) for mapping lunar volatiles and mineralogy at relatively high spatial resolutions. It has a potential launch in 2023 as part of the ESA/SSTL lunar communications pathfinder orbiter mission. This paper presents the work carried out so far on VMMO concept design and development including objectives, profile, operations and spacecraft payload and bus.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
Kruzelecky, Roman
Murzionak, Piotr
Lavoie, Jonathan
Sinclair, Ian
Schinn, Gregory
Lucca Fabris,
Cloutis, Edward
Leijtens, Johan
Walker, Roger
Vennekens, Johan
Funders : European Space Agency (ESA)
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright ©2019 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Lunar orbiter; CubeSat; ISRU; Water ice; Lunar meteorology
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Paper no. IAC-19-A3.2B.6x50377
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 21 Sep 2020 14:25
Last Modified : 21 Sep 2020 14:25

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