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LunIR is integrated into NASA’s Terran Orbital Space System

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In Science and Space: Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global satellite solutions leader serving primarily the U.S. and Allied aerospace and defense industries, is the lunar infrared imaging rover, also known as LunIR, in NASA’s Space Integrated into Launch System (SLS). With unprecedented power and capabilities, the SLS is the only rocket capable of sending the Orion capsule, astronauts and cargo directly to the Moon in one of her missions. LunIR will fly to the lunar surface to collect surface thermography as a secondary payload for Artemis 1, the SLS test mission. After the flyby, the 6U satellite will conduct technology demonstrations related to space operations for future Mars missions.

Artemis 1 will serve as the first test flight for the SLS Megarocket and Orion Crew Capsule. The Orion spacecraft, launched from Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, will spend 26 to 42 days on the mission. This includes at least six days in a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. The mission will qualify the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket for manned flight, beginning with Artemis 2, her second flight test of Orion and the Space Launch System. LunIR was developed by Terran Orbital in partnership with Lockheed Martin.

LunIR is his second lunar mission for Terran Orbital after CAPSTONE. One of the unique things about LunIR is its “moon camera” vision guidance system. Lockheed Martin provides novel algorithms for this system, which Terran Orbital translates into pointing commands.

Terran Orbital designs, manufactures, integrates, and conducts mission operations for spacecraft. Lockheed Martin has developed a LunIR infrared sensor and cryocooler that works day and night to map the lunar surface, detect matter and collect thermal signatures. The company also provides all system engineering and system planning for the mission. LunIR includes two deployable solar panels and the spacecraft has a total mass of 11 kg. The shoebox-sized satellite communicates with Earth via a ground station operated by Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) in Punta Arenas, Chile. Svalbard, Norway. And the Antarctic troll base.

See also  The James Webb Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, both developed by Northrop Grumman, are helping scientists see the universe in new ways.

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