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Flight Operations for the LCROSS Lunar Impactor MissionThe LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission was conceived as a low-cost means of determining the nature of hydrogen concentrated at the polar regions of the moon. Co-manifested for launch with LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter), LCROSS guided its spent Centaur upper stage into the Cabeus crater as a kinetic impactor, and observed the impact flash and resulting debris plume for signs of water and other compounds from a Shepherding Spacecraft. Led by NASA Ames Research Center, LCROSS flight operations spanned 112 days, from June 18 through October 9, 2009. This paper summarizes the experiences from the LCROSS flight, highlights the challenges faced during the mission, and examines the reasons for its ultimate success.
Document ID
20100026403
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Tompkins, Paul D.
(Stinger Ghaffarin Technologies, Inc. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Hunt, Rusty
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
D'Ortenzio, Matt D.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Strong, James
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Galal, Ken
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Bresina, John L.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Foreman, Darin
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Barber, Robert
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Shirley, Mark
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Munger, James
(Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Drucker, Eric
(Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
April 25, 2010
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
ARC-E-DAA-TN1247
Meeting Information
SpaceOps 2010(Huntsville, AL)
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNA08CG83C
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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