Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

Last updated

Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO)
NamesKPLO
Mission typeLunar orbiter
Operator Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)
Website kari.re.kr/eng/sub03_04_01.do
Mission duration1 year (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)
Launch mass678 kg (1,495 lb) [1] [2]
Dry mass≈ 550 kg (1,210 lb) [3]
Payload mass40 kg (88 lb)
Power760 watts [4]
Start of mission
Launch date1 August 2022 [1]
Rocket Falcon 9 Block 5
Launch site Cape Canaveral
Contractor SpaceX
Moon orbiter
Orbital insertion16 December 2022 [5]
Orbital parameters
Periselene altitude 100 km [2]
Aposelene altitude 100 km
Inclination90° (polar)
Transponders
Band S-band, X-band [4] [6]
Instruments
Lunar Terrain Imager (LUTI)
Wide-Angle Polarimetric Camera (PolCam)
KPLO Magnetometer (KMAG)
KPLO Gamma Ray Spectrometer (KGRS)
Delay-Tolerant Networking experiment (DTNPL)
ShadowCam (NASA)
Phase 2: lander and rover 
 

The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) is a planned lunar orbiter by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) of South Korea. The orbiter, its science payload and ground control infrastructure, are technology demonstrators. The orbiter will also be tasked with surveying lunar resources such as water ice, uranium, helium-3, silicon, and aluminium, and produce a topographic map to help select future lunar landing sites.

Contents

The mission is planned to be launched in August 2022 on a Falcon 9 Block 5 launch vehicle. [1]

Overview

South Korea's space agency, called Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), together with NASA produced a lunar orbiter feasibility study in July 2014. [7] The two agencies signed an agreement in December 2016 where NASA will collaborate with one science instrument payload, telecommunications, navigation, and mission design. [8] [9] [10]

The Korean Lunar Exploration Program (KLEP) is divided in two phases. [9] [11] Phase 1 is the launch and operation of KPLO, which will be the first lunar probe by South Korea, [8] meant to develop and enhance South Korea's technological capabilities, as well as map natural resources from orbit. The key goals of the KPLO orbiter mission include investigation of lunar geology and space environment, exploration of lunar resources, and testing of future space technology which will assist in future human activities on the Moon and beyond.

Phase 2 will include a lunar orbiter, a lunar lander, and a 20 kg rover, [12] to be launched together on a KSLV-2 South Korean launch vehicle from the Naro Space Center, [10] [11] in 2025. [13] [14]

Objectives

The main objectives of this mission are to enhance the South Korean technological capabilities in the ground and in outer space, and to "increase both the national brand value and national pride". [15] The specific technological objectives are: [6]

From the lunar science perspective, understanding the water cycle on the Moon is critical to mapping and exploitation. [16] Solar wind protons can chemically reduce the abundant iron oxides present the lunar soil, producing native metal iron (Fe0) and a hydroxyl ion (OH) that can readily capture a proton to form water (H2O). Hydroxyl and water molecules are thought to be transported throughout the lunar surface by mysterious unknown mechanisms, and they seem to accumulate at permanently shadowed areas that offer protection from heat and solar radiation. [16]

Science payload

KPLO carries six science instruments with a total mass of approximately 40 kg (88 lb). [6] Five instruments are from South Korea and one from NASA: [17] [10] [16]

Launch

Originally planned for a December 2018 launch, [10] [20] KPLO is now scheduled for an August 2022 launch on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. [1] The orbiter will perform at least three highly elliptical orbits of Earth, each time increasing its velocity and altitude until it reaches escape velocity, initiating a trans-lunar injection. After launch, it will take the spacecraft about one month to reach the Moon. [10] The spacecraft's main propulsion is from four 30-newton thrusters, and for attitude control (orientation) it uses four 5-newton thrusters. [6] [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

Lander (spacecraft) Type of spacecraft

A lander is a spacecraft that descends towards, and comes to rest on, the surface of an astronomical body. In contrast to an impact probe, which makes a hard landing that damages or destroys the probe upon reaching the surface, a lander makes a soft landing after which the probe remains functional.

Discovery Program Ongoing solar system exploration program by NASA

The Discovery Program is a series of Solar System exploration missions funded by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through its Planetary Missions Program Office. Each mission has a cost cap, at a lower level than a mission from NASA's New Frontiers or Flagship Programs. As a result, Discovery missions tend to be more focused on a specific scientific goal.

Moon landing Arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon

A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both crewed and robotic missions. The first human-made object to touch the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2, on 13 September 1959.

Korea Aerospace Research Institute The South Korean space agency

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) established in 1989, is the aeronautics and space agency of South Korea. Its main laboratories are located in Daejeon, in the Daedeok Science Town. KARI's vision is to continue building upon indigenous launch capabilities, strengthen national safety and public service, industrialize satellite information and applications technology, explore the moon, and develop environmentally-friendly and highly-efficient cutting-edge aircraft and core aerospace technology. Current projects include the KSLV-2 launcher. Past projects include the 1999 Arirang-1 satellite. The agency was founded in 1989. Prior to South Korea's entry into the Institute for Advanced Engineering (IAE) in 1992, it focused primarily on aerospace technology.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter NASA robotic spacecraft orbiting the Moon

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit. Data collected by LRO have been described as essential for planning NASA's future human and robotic missions to the Moon. Its detailed mapping program is identifying safe landing sites, locating potential resources on the Moon, characterizing the radiation environment, and demonstrating new technologies.

Several Asian national space programs are attempting to achieve the scientific and technological advancements necessary for regular spaceflight, as well as to reap the strategic and economic benefits of space capability. This is sometimes referred to as the Asian space race in popular media, an allusion to the Cold-War-era Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Lunar rover Vehicle that travels on the moons surface

A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of the Moon. The Apollo Program's Lunar Roving Vehicle was driven on the Moon by members of three American crews, Apollo 15, 16, and 17. Other rovers have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as the Soviet Union's Lunokhods and the Chinese Yutus. Three countries have had operating rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China. An Indian mission failed while Japan and Greece currently have planned missions.

Permanently shadowed crater Permanently shadowed region of a body in the Solar System

A permanently shadowed crater is a depression on a body in the Solar System within which lies a point that is always in darkness.

Firefly Aerospace Private United States aerospace company

Firefly Aerospace is an American private aerospace firm based in Austin, Texas, that develops small and medium-sized launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit. They are proponents of NewSpace: a movement in the aerospace industry whose objective is to increase access to space through innovative technical advances resulting in a reduction of launch cost and the lessening of regulations and logistical restrictions associated with dependence on national space institutions.

National Aerospace Development Administration is the official space agency of North Korea, succeeding the Korean Committee of Space Technology (KCST). It was founded on April 1, 2013.

Lunar Flashlight Planned lunar orbiter by NASA

The Lunar Flashlight is a planned low-cost CubeSat lunar orbiter mission to explore, locate, and estimate size and composition of water ice deposits on the Moon for future exploitation by robots or humans.

Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) Planned sample-return mission by Japan to Phobos

The Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) is a robotic space probe set for launch in 2024 to bring back the first samples from Mars' largest moon Phobos. Developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and announced on 9 June 2015, MMX will land and collect samples from Phobos once or twice, along with conducting Deimos flyby observations and monitoring Mars' climate.

Commercial Lunar Payload Services A NASA program contracting commercial transportation services to the Moon

Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) is a NASA program to contract transportation services able to send small robotic landers and rovers to the Moon's south polar region mostly with the goals of scouting for lunar resources, testing in situ resource utilization (ISRU) concepts, and performing lunar science to support the Artemis lunar program. CLPS is intended to buy end-to-end payload services between Earth and the lunar surface using fixed priced contracts.

<i>Beresheet</i> Failed Israeli lunar lander

Beresheet was a demonstrator of a small robotic lunar lander and lunar probe operated by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries. Its aims included inspiring youth and promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and landing its magnetometer, time capsule, and laser retroreflector on the Moon. The lander's gyroscopes failed on 11 April 2019 causing the main engine to shut off, which resulted in the lander crashing on the Moon. Its final resting position is 32.5956°N, 19.3496°E.

Artemis program U.S. lunar landing program

The Artemis Program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program. It was launched in 2017 under the Trump administration with the primary goal of returning humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, in the mid-2020s. If successful, it will be the first crewed lunar mission since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.

<i>VIPER</i> (rover) A planned NASA lunar rover

VIPER is a lunar rover developed by NASA, and currently planned to be delivered to the surface of the Moon in November 2023. The rover will be tasked with prospecting for lunar resources in permanently shadowed areas in the lunar south pole region, especially by mapping the distribution and concentration of water ice. The mission builds on a previous NASA rover concept called Resource Prospector, which was cancelled in 2018.

Chang'e 7 is a planned robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission expected to be launched in 2024 to target the lunar south pole. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Lee, Jonghwa (27 September 2020). "한국형 달 궤도선, 2022년 8월 1일 발사된다" [Korean lunar orbiter to launch on August 1, 2022]. Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  2. 1 2 Clark, Stephen (20 September 2019). "Launch of South Korean lunar orbiter delayed to 2022". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  3. 1 2 Introduction to the lunar gamma-ray spectrometer for Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter Kim, Kyeong; Min, Kyoung Wook; et al. 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly July 2018; Bibcode: 2018cosp...42E1755K
  4. 1 2 "Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO)". NASA. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. "한국형 달 궤도선, 2022년 8월 1일 쏜다" [Korean lunar orbiter launches on August 1, 2022] (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) Status Update Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) 10 October 2017
  7. "Opening of a New Chapter for Korea-US Space Cooperation" Signing of Korea-US Lunar Probe Implementation Agreement Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) 31 December 2016
  8. 1 2 KPLO Lunar Exploration Program Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) Accessed on 25 January 2019
  9. 1 2 SpaceX selected to assist 2020 South Korean lunar orbiter voyage Lee Keun-young, Hankyoreh 30 December 2017
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 South Korea's first lunar mission planned for 2020 Emily Lakdawalla, The Planetary Society 7 December 2017
  11. 1 2 Korean Lunar Exploration Program Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) Accessed on 25 January 2019
  12. Kim, K.; Wohler, C.; Hyeok Ju, G.; Lee, S.; Rodriguez, A.; Berezhnoy, A.; Gasselt, S.; Grumpe, A.; and Aymaz, R.; (2016) Korean lunar lander – Concept study for landing-site selection for lunar resource exploration. The International Archives Of The Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing And Spatial Information Sciences, Vol XLI-B4, pp 417–423 (2016), 417. doi:10.5194/isprs-archives-XLI-B4-417-2016
  13. Pak, Han-pyol (1 July 2013). "핵전지 실은 한국형 로버 … 지구서 우주인터넷 통해 조종". 중앙일보. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  14. Kim, Jack (20 November 2007). "South Korea eyes moon orbiter in 2020, landing 2025". Reuters. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  15. Prospective of Korean space project, Lunar Exploration Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), South Korea Accessed on 25 January 2019
  16. 1 2 3 South Korea's 2018 Lunar Mission Paul D. Spudis, Air and Space Magazine 26 September 2016
  17. Krebs, Gunter (16 March 2020). "KPLO". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  18. Shin, J.; Jin, H.; Lee, H.; Lee, S.; Lee, S.; Lee, M.; Jeong, B.; Lee, J.-K.; Lee, D.; Son, D.; Kim, K.-H.; Garrick-Bethell, I.; Kim, E. (18–22 March 2019). KMAG: The Magnetometer of the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) Mission (PDF). Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Universities Space Research Association (USRA). Bibcode:2019LPI....50.2276S . Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  19. "ShadowCam: Seeing into the Shadow". Arizona State University. 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  20. 1 2 Clark, Stephen (28 April 2017). "U.S. instrument team to fly camera on South Korean moon mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 27 September 2020.