NASA’s Lunar Flashlight Mission Reaches the End of the Road

NASA’s Lunar Flashlight Mission Reaches the End of the Road

Lunar Flashlight is a mission that involves a tiny spacecraft called CubeSat orbiting the Moon. Its main purpose is to investigate and discover the presence of water ice deposits on our lunar neighbor. But that’s not all! It also aims to figure out where these ice deposits are located, how big they are, and even what they’re made of.

This valuable information will be crucial for future missions, whether it’s robotic explorations or human ventures to the Moon. By shining a “flashlight” on the Moon’s secrets, Lunar Flashlight is helping pave the way for incredible discoveries and potential resource exploitation in the future.

However, all things must come to an end in life, and that even applies to the Lunar Flashlight mission of NASA.

NASA decides to end the mission

Despite its recent setback, NASA has decided to put an end to the Lunar Flashlight project, according to Engadget. The small satellite was developed by students at Georgia Tech, and it faced challenges in generating enough thrust to reach its intended destination.

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Debris buildup in the fuel lines hindered the mission’s performance. Although the craft will not complete its four-month journey to our Moon, it will continue its trajectory while also ensuring it remains at a safe distance from the sun.

Christopher Baker, the program executive for Small Spacecraft Technology in the Space Technology Mission Directorate from the NASA Headquarters in Washington, explained:

Technology demonstrations are, by their nature, higher risk and high reward, and they’re essential for NASA to test and learn,

Lunar Flashlight was highly successful from the standpoint of being a testbed for new systems that had never flown in space before. Those systems, and the lessons Lunar Flashlight taught us, will be used for future missions.

The guys from NASA remain optimistic, admitting the success of various project components and the valuable in-flight performance data collected for future endeavors. This setback serves as a stepping stone for future iterations and advancements in the exploration of the Moon.

 

 

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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