A set of small and lightweight LRA was fabricated and tested for use on lunar landers under CLPS program. Each LRA contains eight 1.27-cm-diameter corner cubes on a dome-shaped aluminum structure. The LRA is 5.0 cm in diameter at the base, 1.6 cm in height, and 20 g in mass.
Intuitive Machines provided a payload manifest for the NOVA-C including various government and commercial payloads which will be used for experiments on the surface of the Moon. In particular, the SPACEBIT Rover was to operate on the surface of the Moon using conventional 802.11x frequencies in the 5 GHz band with a range of tens of meters. Intuitive Machines hereby updates the application to remove the SPACEBIT Rover payload from the mission....Intuitive Machines hereby updates the Commission regarding the launch phase of the mission. As noted in the Application narrative, the NOVA-C will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, Block 5 rocket in early 2022. Rather than enter a 19-hour lunar transfer orbit (“LTO”) as previously described, the NOVA-C lunar lander will instead take a direct trajectory to the Moon through a trans-lunar injection (“TLI”) burn.
We've chosen an oxygen & methane propulsion engine for our lander; a route that, until now, has only been ground tested so we've adapted a basic approach to burn down the cyro-propellent risks on IM-1. We can then share our data w/NASA to help buy down in-space risk for everyone.
Quote from: Jansen on 05/31/2021 10:46 amhttps://twitter.com/Int_Machines/status/1395806848742199299If this is the standard Laser Retroreflector Array for CLPS, it is a spherical mounting of eight circular half-inch "corner cube" reflecting prisms.From an article in Applied Optics:QuoteA set of small and lightweight LRA was fabricated and tested for use on lunar landers under CLPS program. Each LRA contains eight 1.27-cm-diameter corner cubes on a dome-shaped aluminum structure. The LRA is 5.0 cm in diameter at the base, 1.6 cm in height, and 20 g in mass.The multiple reflectors ensure that as long as the mounting surface is roughly pointed a the Earth, like the top surface on a lander not at the lunar limb, at least one will be effective at returning light to an Earth based laser source.These are designed to be found with orbiting laser altimeters, like the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on LRO.Are any functioning in lunar orbit or planned? Another one of these was on the Beresheet lunar lander from Israel that crashed. It might yet be detectable with one of those laser rangefinders.The Firefly CLPS lander is planned to get a single 110 mm Next Generation Lunar Retroreflector. This is designed to be ranged from the Earth. As the return signal goes as the fourth power of the diameter, this would produce a return around 10,000 as the CLPS LRA, but it will have to be pointed at Earth with precision of a few degrees. However, even that one won't be easy to find.
Corner cube prisms don't require precise alignment, they will reflect a beam back to the source at an off-angle up to 45 degrees. They are used in surveying for distance measuring.
Intuitive Machines' CLPS Flight -- First Quarter 2022Suite of robotic NASA payloads sent lunar surface as part of a Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) delivery; lunar landing in the following weeks
Next Spaceflight changed NET date from April 2022 to February 2022https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/1915
Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission launch is moving outside of Q1 2022 to later this year. We will provide updates as they become available.