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Lunar Prospector Extended MissionThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Lunar Prospector (LP) as one of the discovery missions to conduct solar system exploration science investigations. The mission is NASA's first lunar voyage to investigate key science objectives since Apollo and was launched in January 1998. In keeping with discovery program requirements to reduce total mission cost and utilize new technology, Lunar Prospector's mission design and control focused on the use of innovative and proven trajectory analysis programs. As part of this effort, the Ames Research Center and the Goddard Space Flight Center have become partners in the Lunar Prospector trajectory team to provide the trajectory analysis, maneuver planning, orbit determination support, and product generation. At the end of 1998, Lunar Prospector completed its one-year primary mission at 100 km altitude above the lunar surface. On December 19, 1998, Lunar Prospector entered the extended mission phase. Initially the mission orbit was lowered from 100 km to a mean altitude of 40 km. The altitude of Lunar Prospector varied between 25 and 55 km above the mean lunar geode due to lunar potential effects. After one month, the lunar potential model was updated based upon the new tracking data at 40 km. On January 29, 1999, the altitude was lowered again to a mean altitude of 30 km. This altitude varies between 12 and 48 km above the mean lunar geode. Since the minimum altitude is very close to the mean geode, various approaches were employed to get accurate lunar surface elevation including Clementine altimetry and line of sight analysis. Based upon the best available terrain maps, Lunar Prospector will reach altitudes of 8 km above lunar mountains in the southern polar and far side regions. This extended mission phase of six months will enable LP to obtain science data up to 3 orders of magnitude better than at the mission orbit. This paper details the trajectory design and orbit determination planning and actual results of the Lunar Prospector extended mission including maneuver design, eccentricity & argument of perigee evolution, and lunar potential modeling.
Document ID
19990064167
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Folta, David
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Beckman, Mark
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Lozier, David
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Galal, Ken
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: 1999 Flight Mechanics Symposium
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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