Successful Partnerships Enable a Successful LCROSS Mission
The success of the LCROSS mission is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the LCROSS team. The team consists of a core group of scientists, engineers, managers and support personnel at NASA Ames Research Center, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP), Explorations Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and national and international partners.
Each LCROSS partner contributed to the successful planning and completion of the LCROSS mission objectives.
Northrop Grumman (NG):
Designed and built the LCROSS spacecraft and integrated the science payload built at NASA Ames. Teams from Ames and NG worked closely to ensure the spacecraft was tested, certified for flight and delivered for integration with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Atlas V launch system. Northrop Grumman also provided mission operations support during the mission.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA):
Was the first of our partners to engage with us to support the planning of the LCROSS mission by providing early access to data from JAXA’s lunar explorer, KAGUYA (SELENE) . JAXA provided LCROSS with lunar topography data from the Laser Altimeter (LALT), and high resolution images from the Terrain Camera (TC). The data were used for target selection and post impact data evaluation. Improved gravity data from KAGUYA were also provided to NASA under this agreement.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO):
The Chandrayaan-1 mission provided radar mapping data of the lunar poles from the Miniaturized Synthetic Aperture Radar (MiniSAR) instrument. This data was used for target selection. Also, onboard Chandrayaan-1, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) provided guidance and data with respect to their observations of OH- and adsorbed water in sunlit regions near the south pole.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO):
NASA's LRO instruments, including the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), Diviner (infrared radiometer), the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), mini-RF (synthetic aperture radar) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) provided data for target selection. During impact, Diviner and the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project instrument (LAMP) were used to observe the impact plume and resulting crater. Follow on observations will also be made. The LEND instrument was developed and provided by the Russian Academy of Sciences' Space Research Institute (IKI), supported by the Russian Federal Space Agency.