Collaborating NLSI scientists Jack Burns, David Kring and Joseph Lazio have written an Op Ed piece in Space News detailing an affordable mission to the far side of the Moon.

The future mission uses assets from both NASA’s human and robotic programs, and joins together exploration and science to address fundamental questions about the origins of the Earth-Moon system and the first stars/galaxies in the early universe.

The mission involves astronauts aboard NASA’s Orion crew vehicle traveling to the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrange point, which sit 65,000 km above the lunar farside. From L2, astronauts would control a lander/rover on the farside to deploy a lunar telescope. The concept of polyimide film antennas was described in a paper which appeared in Advances in Space Research late last year.

In sum, the ROLSS concept consists of 3 arms of thin polyimide film, each
500 m in length, radiating from a central hub. Each arm includes 16 dipole antennas, consisting of metal deposited on the film and the transmission lines connecting them to receivers at the central hub. The polyimide film is flexible enough to be stored in a roll during transit and deployed directly on the lunar surface by unrolling. The ROLSS array consists of multiple science antennas located near the lunar equator on the near side.


Artist’s concept of ROLSS array on lunar surface. The arm extending towards the reader shows wide linear dipoles on Kapton®. The other two arms are barely visible in the distance. ROLSS could be the first mission to image the sun and celestial sphere at 1-10 MHz. [Credit: J. Kasper/ LUNAR]

For more information on the proposed L2 mission, read the Op Ed piece in Space News or the LUNAR team’s white paper on the subject.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NLSI Teams/ http://www.spacenews.com/article/first-trip-far-side-moon

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