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Guest: Dr. Craig Hardgrove; Topics: NASA planetary missions using CubeSats, lunar water ice at the poles, the LunaH-Map mission, and more.
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We welcomed Dr. Craig Hardgrove of Arizona State to the show for a one segment 64 minute discussion regarding planetary missions using cubesats. Dr. Hardgrove is the PI for the LunaH-Map Mission so we began talking about this upcoming mission scheduled for the Artemis 1 launch on SLS. Dr. Hardgrove described the 6U CubeSat mission and hardware in depth for about the first half of our discussion. We talked about advanced cubesats in general and then evolved cubesats, their planetary mission space certified hardware, their simplicity without redundancy and much more. In addition, their onboard propulsion was discussed including low thrust propulsion which takes time for the satellite to change its velocity and enter the desired orbit. Also mentioned with the LunaH-Map mission was the additional f 12 technology missions to be launch on the Artemis 1 SLS launch with LunaH. Our guest briefly described many of the other technologies and missions.
Listener Jack asked about planetary science cubesats life expectancy, how they are deorbited and if they crash to the lunar surface creating debris. Don't miss what our guest said when discussing the issues raised by Jack's question. Another question that came up was about mission trades and compromises when a smallsat or cubesat was used. Our guest had much to say when responding to this question so don't miss it. Much of what he talked about addressed how planetary mission cubesats were engineered and designed.
The MARCO Mars cubesats were discussed as part of the Insight mission with Craig telling us that their LunaH-Map cubesats were engineered and designed in a similar way to the MARCO cubesats. Marshall then called wanting to know about advanced micro system and computer development and how all of this has impacted new cubesat design. This was a good discussion. Please let us know your thoughts on these issues by posting on our blog.
Listener Paul asked about backup launch plans were SLS to be cancelled. He also asked how launch delays impacted the actual mission as there have been plenty of them. Craig had much to say on the mission having been designed for SLS, including he 12 smallsat launching mechanism. If another rocket were used, much of the infrastructure would need to be redesigned. That said, they are prepared to follow whatever edicts come down regarding launcher. This was a very interesting discussion so don't miss it. Also, its another great topic for you to post about on our blog. In his discussion, Craig referenced the SLS "bathtub" costs.
Kim sent an email asking about water under the lunar surface regolith near the poles. Craig addressed water ice on the Moon, the lack of a liquid format and much more. About this time a listener sent him a note to inquire if a planetary geologist was looking at data that on Earth would suggest a pool of oil or natural gas underground in a rock formation or geological structure, would something similar be recognized as such on the Moon or even Mars. Don't miss his very surprising response to this question and what he said about technology on Earth and similar technology being used in space and on planetary bodies. Hint: No way could a formation containing hydrocarbons of any type be recognized on the Moon or elsewhere in the solar system at this time.
Ft. Worth John called to talk about many topics, including the percentage of water in measurements. Both John and Craig referenced findings of LCROSS. Insitu resource usage and development was part of this discussion. Listen to why Craig suggested more work in this area was important, especially to help figure out where to go and what to do.
As we were moving toward the end of the program, Craig was asked about who makes the cubesats, i.e. students since this is an ASU project? Craig described the professional team building the cubesat plus the contractors involved in making enhanced cubesats. Before we ended, I asked him for a rough idea of his time management as a NASA mission PI and faculty professor.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Hardgrove through his ASU faculty page or me.