Nova-C will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, the Apollo Saturn V launch pad. The launch is nominally scheduled for October 11, 2021 with multiple subsequent launch opportunities.
“This kind of lunar landing assessment hasn’t been done since the 1972 Apollo mission,” said IM President and CEO, Steve Altemus.
ILOA-IM Announce Agreement for 2021 Lunar Landing and Milky Way Galaxy Center ImagingKamuela, Hawai’i, 12 November 2020 – The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA Hawaii) has contracted Intuitive Machines (IM) of Houston TX to fly its ILO-X payload on the IM-1 Nova-C lander mission set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to Vallis Schröteri, also known as Schroter’s Valley (24.53° N, 50.49° W).ILO-X is a precursor to the ILOA flagship Moon South Pole Observatory ILO-1. The ~0.6kg ILO-X instrument, being built for ILOA by Toronto-based Canadensys Aerospace, includes a dual-camera miniaturized lunar imaging suite that aims to capture some of the first images of the Milky Way Galaxy Center from the surface of the Moon, as well as performing other celestial / Earth / local lunar environment observations and exploration technology validations – including functionality and survivability in the lunar environment. “The Milky Way Galaxy first view from the Moon with ILO-X could provide a new 21st Century perspective for the human future, like the Earth-Rise first view from the Moon did for Global understandings last century” says ILOA Director Steve Durst – who, along with 27 Board of Directors and global network through its Galaxy Forum program, has been looking forward to achieving this image since the ILOA 2007 founding. Larger ILO-1 and ILO-2 observations and communications missions are under development, for which follow on is being planned to launch 2022-23. In addition to Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission in 2021, NASA recently selected Intuitive Machines to deliver the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment (PRIME-1) drill, combined with a mass spectrometer, to the Moon’s South Pole by December 2022. Both awarded missions are in support of Artemis. “Our IM-1 mission is reimagining what’s possible for the commercial space industry,” said Intuitive Machines Vice President of Aerospace Services, Trent Martin. “We believe ILOA’s 13-year journey to capture the first ever image of the Milky Way Galaxy Center from the lunar surface is remarkable, and we can’t wait to stick the landing in 2021.” As plans progress for the first woman and next man on the Moon to touchdown near the Moon South Pole in the 2024-2026 time frame, potential collaboration / upgrades for the ILO-1 mission and other instruments are being considered.
Getting some press.https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-moon-rc-car-race-frank-stephenson-2020-12
Intuitive Machines spokesman Josh Marshall said April 26 that the slip was caused by its launch provider. “SpaceX informed Intuitive Machines that due to unique mission requirements the earliest available flight opportunity is in the first quarter of 2022,” he told SpaceNews.Marshall referred questions about the “unique mission requirements” that caused the delay to SpaceX. That company did not respond to questions from SpaceNews on the topic.
Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) announced today the DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon—the first-ever commercial lunar payload in history paid entirely with DOGE—will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.Geometric Energy Corporation's DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon will involve Geometric Space Corporation (GSC) mission management collaborating with SpaceX to launch a 40kg cubesat as a rideshare on a Falcon 9 lunar payload mission in Q1 2022. The payload will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems."Having officially transacted with DOGE for a deal of this magnitude, Geometric Energy Corporation and SpaceX have solidified DOGE as a unit of account for lunar business in the space sector," said Geometric Energy's Chief Executive Officer Samuel Reid."This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce," said SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero. "We're excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!"Indeed, through this very transaction, DOGE has proven to be a fast, reliable, and cryptographically secure digital currency that operates when traditional banks cannot and is sophisticated enough to finance a commercial Moon mission in full. It has been chosen as the unit of account for all lunar business between SpaceX and Geometric Energy Corporation and sets precedent for future missions to the Moon and Mars.POINTBLANK LLC, Mimir Solutions, and Iteration Syndicate (ITS) will collaborate with Geometric on software and hardware design for the mission. Additional payload space will be allocated to include digital art in the form of space plaques provided by GeometricLabs Corporation and Geometric Gaming Corporation.
Geometric Energy Corporation in general and DOGE-1 specifically makes little sense. I hope that 40kg "cubesat" can make it from supersync GTO to the moon.
Quote from: gongora on 05/09/2021 06:55 pmGeometric Energy Corporation in general and DOGE-1 specifically makes little sense. I hope that 40kg "cubesat" can make it from supersync GTO to the moon.It does seem like a marketing stunt, but there are a bunch of cubesats going together on a deployer.
First Commercial Moon Delivery Assignments to Advance ArtemisNASA has finalized the first 16 science experiments and technology demonstrations, ranging from chemistry to communications, to be delivered to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program. Scheduled to fly next year, the payloads will launch aboard the first two lander deliveries of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. These deliveries will help pave the way for sending the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface by 2024.In May 2019, the agency awarded two orders for scientific payload delivery to Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, with both flights targeted to land on the Moon next year. Astrobotic, which will launch its Peregrine lander on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket, will carry 11 NASA payloads to the lunar surface, while Intuitive Machines, which will launch its Nova-C lander on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will carry five NASA payloads to the Moon.“We’ve finished the work of assigning science and technology payloads to each of the initial CLPS deliveries,” said Chris Culbert, CLPS project manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This step allows our commercial partners to complete the important technical integration work necessary to fly the payloads and brings us a step closer to launching and landing the investigations that will help us better understand the Moon ahead of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon.”Each partner is responsible for payload integration and operations, launching from Earth and landing on the Moon, as well as securing any additional customers on their flights, if desired. The payloads are each about the size of a shoebox and range in mass from around two to 33 pounds (one to 15 kilograms).Both PartnersTwo of the payloads will be integrated onto both the Astrobotic lander and the Intuitive Machines lander. This gives NASA multiple opportunities to gather important data and demonstrate a critical technology needed for future human exploration.Laser Retro-Reflector Array (LRA): LRA is a collection of eight approximately half inch (1.25 centimeter) retro-reflectors – a unique kind of mirror that is used for measuring distance -- mounted to the lander. This mirror reflects laser light from other orbiting and landing spacecraft to precisely determine the lander’s position. It is being provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.Navigation Doppler Lidar for Precise Velocity and Range Sensing (NDL): The NDL is a LIDAR-based (LIght Detection And Ranging) sensor composed of a three-beam optical head and a box with electronics and photonics that will provide extremely precise velocity and range sensing during descent and landing of the lander that will tightly control navigation precision for a soft and controlled touchdown on the Moon. NDL is being developed by Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.Astrobotic PayloadsSurface Exosphere Alterations by Landers (SEAL): SEAL will investigate the chemical response of lunar regolith to the thermal, physical and chemical disturbances generated during a landing, and evaluate contaminants injected into the regolith by the landing itself. It will give scientists insight into the how a spacecraft landing might affect the composition of samples collected nearby. It is being developed at NASA Goddard.Photovoltaic Investigation on Lunar Surface (PILS): PILS is a technology demonstration that is based on an International Space Station test platform for validating solar cells that convert light to electricity. It will demonstrate advanced photovoltaic high-voltage use for lunar surface solar arrays useful for longer mission durations. It is being developed at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer (LETS): The LETS radiation sensor will collect information about the lunar radiation environment and relies on flight-proven hardware that flew in space on the Orion spacecraft’s inaugural uncrewed flight in 2014. It is being developed at NASA Johnson.Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS): NIRVSS will measure surface and subsurface hydration, carbon dioxide and methane – all resources that could potentially be mined from the Moon -- while also mapping surface temperature and changes at the landing site. It is being developed at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.Mass Spectrometer Observing Lunar Operations (MSolo): MSolo will identify low-molecular weight volatiles. It can be installed to either measure the lunar exosphere or the spacecraft outgassing and contamination. Data gathered from MSolo will help determine the composition and concentration of potentially accessible resources. It is being developed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.PROSPECT Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS) for Lunar Surface Volatiles: PITMS will characterize the lunar exosphere after descent and landing and throughout the lunar day to understand the release and movement of volatiles. It was previously developed for ESA’s (European Space Agency) Rosetta mission and is being modified for this mission by NASA Goddard and ESA.Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS): NSS will search for indications of water-ice near the lunar surface by measuring how much hydrogen-bearing materials are at the landing site as well as determine the overall bulk composition of the regolith there. NSS is being developed at NASA Ames.Neutron Measurements at the Lunar Surface (NMLS): NMLS will use a neutron spectrometer to determine the amount of neutron radiation at the Moon’s surface, and also observe and detect the presence of water or other rare elements. The data will help inform scientists’ understanding of the radiation environment on the Moon. It’s based on an instrument that currently operates on the space station and is being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.Fluxgate Magnetometer (MAG): MAG will characterize certain magnetic fields to improve understanding of energy and particle pathways at the lunar surface. NASA Goddard is the lead development center for the MAG payload. Intuitive Machines PayloadsLunar Node 1 Navigation Demonstrator (LN-1): LN-1 is a CubeSat-sized experiment that will demonstrate autonomous navigation to support future surface and orbital operations. It has flown on the space station and is being developed at NASA Marshall.Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies (SCALPSS): SCALPSS will capture video and still image data of the lander’s plume as the plume starts to impact the lunar surface until after engine shut off, which is critical for future lunar and Mars vehicle designs. It is being developed at NASA Langley, and also leverages camera technology used on the Mars 2020 rover.Low-frequency Radio Observations for the Near Side Lunar Surface (ROLSES): ROLSES will use a low-frequency radio receiver system to determine photoelectron sheath density and scale height. These measurements will aide future exploration missions by demonstrating if there will be an effect on the antenna response or larger lunar radio observatories with antennas on the lunar surface. In addition, the ROLSES measurements will confirm how well a lunar surface-based radio observatory could observe and image solar radio bursts. It is being developed at NASA Goddard. Concept image of Intuitive Machines Nova-C landerConcept image of the Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander, which will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and carry five NASA payloads to the Moon.Credits: Intuitive MachinesNASA has 14 companies on contract through CLPS to bid on delivering science experiments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface. Investigations and demonstrations launched on commercial Moon flights will help the agency study Earth’s nearest neighbor, and prepare for human lunar missions beginning in 2024 under the Artemis program.NASA anticipates advancements in landers and rovers will be needed to expand the range and duration of its science and technology experiments. Through CLPS, the agency plans to work with its partners to send about two deliveries of scientific and research payloads to the Moon per year starting in 2021.For more information about NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, visit:https://www.nasa.gov/clps
Geometric Energy Corporation's DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon will involve Geometric Space Corporation (GSC) mission management collaborating with SpaceX to launch a 40kg cubesat as a rideshare on a Falcon 9 lunar payload mission in Q1 2022. The payload will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems
BATON ROUGE, May 4, 2021—Next year, Louisiana State University (LSU) will be the first university in the world to put technology on the Moon. The Tiger Eye 1 research mission is part of a multi-disciplinary university-industry collaboration to make future space travel safer for people and equipment by providing insight into the complex radiation environment in space. LSU’s radiation detection device is now officially on the manifest for the broader IM-1 mission, the first in a series of commercial flights (and the first-ever to land on the Moon) that will bring science and technology to the lunar surface through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. This will also be the first time the U.S. lands on the Moon since 1972 and the Apollo program.Students in five different LSU colleges and schools are leading the charge under the direction of Assistant Professor Jeffery Chancellor in the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, head of its Space Radiation Transport & Applied Nuclear (SpaRTAN) lab. All are undergraduate seniors from Louisiana:Haley Pellegrin, from Bourg in Terrebonne Parish, is a LaSpace Undergraduate Research Fellow and member of the SpaRTAN lab where she develops new technologies to make better radiation shielding (LSU College of Science). Jacob Miller, from Crowley in Acadia Parish, is an electrical engineering major who builds new devices for medical applications (LSU College of Engineering, LSU Honors College). Katie Hostetler, from Zachary in East Baton Rouge Parish, is a graphic designer who creates art for LSU Athletics and this spring came up with the winning design for the Tiger Eye 1 mission patch; she’s double-majoring in religious studies (LSU School of Art + Design, LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences). “It’s been incredible to see and support all of LSU coming together to move this mission forward.”—Samuel J. Bentley, vice president of research and economic development at LSU“We’re immensely proud of the LSU students leading this work on the frontier of science, technology, art, and the human imagination,” said Samuel J. Bentley, vice president of research and economic development. “It’s been incredible to see and support all of LSU coming together to move this mission forward. There should be no barriers to expertise, and this university-industry collaboration is a great example of how the caliber of our students and researchers can advance projects of critical importance to our nation.”“This student-led, cross-campus collaboration reinforces LSU’s impact on space exploration and planetary science,” added Cynthia Peterson, dean of the LSU College of Science. “As we prepare to put people on the Moon again in 2024, we must not only understand what it takes to protect our astronauts, but also what is required to perform science experiments in a space environment and safeguard the technologies needed to conduct the research.” Tiger Eye 1 mission logo displayed at the International Space StationTest flight. LSU Assistant Professor Jeffery Chancellor, faculty lead for the Tiger Eye 1 mission, holds six NASA grants (including two from LaSpace and two from the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, or TRISH, both NASA-funded) and has previously provided the go/no-go recommendation for NASA space missions. By being on the approved sender list, he was able to email Hostetler’s LSU Tiger Eye 1 mission logo design up to the International Space Station and astronaut Shannon Walker who took a picture of it on her iPad last month, mounted in the clear glass cupola with Earth in the background. Click to see a larger imagePhoto by U.S. Astronaut Shannon WalkerThrough its medical and health physics program and the SpaRTAN lab, LSU helps agencies and companies understand background radiation in space, one of the hard limits on how much time people and equipment can spend out there, beyond the Earth’s protective magnetic field. Understanding the types and amounts of radiation that exist on the Moon will be key to establishing a sustainable human presence on Earth’s nearest neighbor as well as traveling to Mars. The data brought back by Tiger Eye 1 will further the SpaRTAN lab’s research on improved radiation shielding in both materials and design.“We have models and predictions for human health risk on the Moon, but we don’t yet have actual measurements of the radiation spectrum on the lunar surface,” Chancellor said. “Now that we’ll get real data, we can use it to validate our models, make better predictions, and increase the safety of future space travel.” “The radiation data we’ll get on IM-1 will change the equation of what’s possible in space.”—Jack “2fish” Fischer, astronaut and vice president of strategic programs at Intuitive Machines, on partnering with LSUThe IM in IM-1 stands for Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based company pioneering humanity’s next step—returning the U.S. to the surface of the Moon. IM holds NASA and commercial payload contracts for two separate lunar landings (IM-1 in the first quarter of 2022 and IM-2 in the fourth quarter) to help pave the way for the Artemis program, which will put the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon as early as 2024. The CLPS flights are all uncrewed and will make use of rovers and robots to conduct science experiments and test technologies in different areas on the lunar surface. Intuitive Machines is providing the vehicle, communication network, and mission operations center for LSU’s device to safely land on the Moon and effectively conduct research. IM’s Nova-C lunar lander will be launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The solar battery-driven vehicle will spend two weeks on the surface before succumbing to lunar night, not far from Tranquility Base where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first walked on the Moon in July 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission.“The two main barriers for human spaceflight are propulsion—how to get there faster—and how to protect humans and equipment from radiation,” said retired Colonel Jack “2fish” Fischer, astronaut and vice president of strategic programs at Intuitive Machines. “Without the shielding and radiation modeling LSU is helping to develop, the radiation effects on crews and equipment during deep space exploration would be catastrophic.”“Using Jeff Chancellor’s ability to model this stuff and figure out what kind of shielding to use and where to put it, we see a future where it will be much easier and cheaper to go into space because we could open the lunar and space economy to a global supply chain,” Fischer continued. “We could put commercial, off-the-shelf technology out there and lessen the dependency on expensive, overdesigned solutions. The radiation data we’ll get on IM-1 will change the equation of what’s possible in space.” Technical drawing of the device, explaining the science, collaborations, and partnersDevice design. One reason for the “Tiger Eye” name: the detectors in the device are configured like a telescope. The radiation enters the aperture, is measured at the first detector, then travels through the material being tested and is measured again at the second detector. This allows the researchers to understand how effective the material is for shielding the cosmic ray environment. Click to see a larger imageIllustration by Elsa Hahne/LSU“Geocent’s technical strength is in its people, and we can’t imagine a better way to build talent than challenging students to work together and rise to the occasion to put Tiger Eye 1 and their footprint on the Moon.”—Robert A. “Bobby” Savoie, Geocent CEOLSU’s Tiger Eye 1 mission was enabled in partnership with Geocent, a New Orleans-based company that provides solutions and talent for the space, defense, and homeland security communities. Geocent chose LSU as a research and development partner to test some of their radiation shielding, which led to an opportunity to share physical space onboard IM-1.“Geocent and our teammates—Plasma Processes, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—are proud to bring Geocent’s ACCRES Radiation Shielding technology to the partnership with LSU and Dr. Jeff Chancellor, Intuitive Machines, and especially LSU students to work on critical research and technologies that truly advance human spaceflight and exploration,” said Robert A. “Bobby” Savoie, CEO of Geocent and LSU Engineering alumni. “We're a national company but Louisiana-born, and it’s thrilling to see students from several disciplines coming together to make significant contributions to an important mission. Geocent’s technical strength is in its people, and we can’t imagine a better way to build talent than challenging students to work together and rise to the occasion to put Tiger Eye 1 and their footprint on the Moon.”The LSU radiation detection device is currently being customized by Pellegrin and Miller who, as official project manager, also will engage LSU mechanical engineering’s advanced manufacturing and machining capabilities to etch Hostetler’s Tiger Eye 1 mission patch onto the physical device casing, which will occupy a space about the size of an iPhone 12.“The most challenging thing on missions like these is working within strict limitations on mass, volume, power, bandwidth, and time, as well as communicating with and controlling devices from Earth, which means solving problems no one’s solved before,” Pellegrin said. “I’m super excited to be part of this mission and the knowledge and skills I’ve gained have already kickstarted my career. They helped me land an internship at Geocent, which is a dream come true since I want to work in space and missile systems development.”Pellegrin and Miller are also working with Advacam, a company based in the Czech Republic, on adapting radiation detection hardware (similar to a USB flash drive) that it has previously supplied for the International Space Station (ISS). But while you can bring laptops and off-the-shelf equipment to ISS to help integrate and connect such devices, that isn’t possible on IM-1. Much of Miller’s work on Tiger Eye 1 lies in software development and coding (and possibly some wiring and soldering) to make sure the data from the sensor “makes sense” to the device, which must be able to communicate with the main Intuitive Machines flight computer to receive time stamps, temperature readings, and other critical data. The LSU team is setting up a Tiger Eye 1 ground control center right on the main campus and hopes to be able to receive raw data as well as issue commands to the device while it is traveling through space and on the lunar surface.“It’s sort of an engineering and computer science joke, but the amount of problems we solve by turning a device off and back on again is kind of astounding,” Miller said. “So, if we stop being able to communicate with the device or get weird readings, we need to be able to tell the lander to perform a power cycle to reboot our device or change other settings. Rather than just seeing a problem, we need to be able to do something about it without physically touching the device.” Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander stands on the Moon’s surfaceThe vehicle. The phone-sized LSU radiation detection device will be mounted on the outside of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander with no mass between itself and the surrounding environment after the lander disconnects from the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch rocket.Photo montage by Intuitive Machines“As an engineering student, I like the challenge of doing something that’s really, truly new in just a few months. It’s as scary as it’s appealing, and the result is going to benefit human spaceflight for years to come.”—Jacob Miller, electrical engineering senior and Tiger Eye 1 project managerEarlier this year, Pellegin walked the Timepix chip the team will be using as a sensor over to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s linear accelerator (where radiation is used to help treat animals with cancer) for initial testing.“Most of our patients are dogs and cats, but we do treat the occasional reptile, rabbit, horse, or other pet,” said Jayme Looper, director of the LSU Small Animal Hospital and its radiation oncology services. “Our recent collaboration with the LSU medical physics team to test the radiation detection device prior to its journey to the Moon is an example of a long history of intercollegiate collaboration at LSU.”Chancellor did the initial characterization of the Timepix technology in the 1990s as a master’s student under advisor Larry Pinsky at the University of Houston, who did the dosimetry for the Apollo mission.“It takes a lot of time to sort of gather all of the information about how everything communicates and the protocols everybody’s following,” Miller added. “It gets complicated really fast. But as an engineering student, I like the challenge of doing something that’s really, truly new in just a few months. It’s as scary as it’s appealing, and the result is going to benefit human spaceflight for years to come.”For Hostetler, the design of the mission patch didn’t feel as new as it felt familiar. In a recent LSU Art + Design profile, she shared how her first opportunity to send art into space actually arrived already in fifth grade.“It was a contest to design a flag to go into space and I was really far ahead in the contest but ended up in second place,” Hostetler remembers. “So, when my professor, Courtney Barr, came to me with the Tiger Eye 1 opportunity, I was like, ‘Fifth-grade me would be proud.’ My mom was especially excited.”Barr recruited seven undergraduate and graduate art students to come up with 19 different design ideas for the space patch. After careful vetting and input from the other students on his team, Chancellor chose one of Hostetler’s designs, which features a fierce but protective tiger eye overlooking a spacecraft landing on the Moon—because he appreciated the symbolism, and also because “it looked awesome.”“The patch is an important symbol because it includes everyone on the team,” Chancellor said. “Folks like Danielle Cintron, Darya Courville, Greg Trahan, Shemeka Law, and countless others at LSU have worked really hard behind the scenes to make Tiger Eye 1 possible. Space missions do not happen entirely in a vacuum, and the patch itself helps to represent that idea.”“I came up with a few different versions, but I’m so glad he picked this one; it’s my favorite,” Hostetler said. Tiger Eye 1 mission logoMission patch. LSU Art + Design senior Katie Hostetler approached the design challenge of creating an iconic patch for the LSU Tiger Eye 1 mission the way she’d previously designed logos, but with more detail. She also researched the history of space patches, which tend to be bold, literal depictions of missions, often with hidden “insider” symbolism that resonates with the core team. She explored various eye shapes before settling on the final design, configured in something close to a yin-yang pattern (balance between the eye and the moon).Art by Katie Hostetler/LSU“We’re especially excited about the tremendous opportunity Tiger Eye 1 is for LSU students to be involved in forefront space-science research.”—Jeffrey Blackmon, chair of the LSU Department of Physics & AstronomyWith an eye on IM-2, Chancellor expects to call on Hostetler and the LSU Art + Design team again soon. Intuitive Machines will bring an ice drill and use a small drone ship to explore hard-to-reach areas on the Moon and test the Nokia 4G LTE network, while LSU is considering sending up a larger and more robust radiation detector, based on lessons to be learned on IM-1. When it comes to shielding materials and design, the vast spectrum of radiation in space doesn’t lend itself to easy or particularly intuitive solutions. You can’t just add more shielding or encase everything in lead. Not only would this add too much mass and cost; shielding in the wrong place could also slow down the radiation particles to the extent they’d get “trapped” inside the space vehicle or the human body, causing devastating damage to astronauts and equipment. Sometimes minimal shielding is the safest option, and the LSU SpaRTAN lab’s research will continue to help the aerospace industry find out exactly where and when and how to effectively use it.The upcoming missions reflect the importance and impact of LSU’s Space Grant status, supporting critical space research across a range of topics. LSU manages the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), a partnership between the university, NASA, the State of Louisiana, the University of New Orleans (UNO), and the UNO Research and Technology Foundation focused on applying advanced manufacturing technologies in support of NASA space programs. NCAM is located at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where critical hardware components for exploration vehicles—such as core Space Launch System (SLS) rocket components for NASA’s Artemis mission to the Moon—are engineered, manufactured, and tested. Beyond state-of-the-art research, NCAM has a strong educational and talent development mission, working with aerospace companies to build the next generation of scientists and engineers.“With NASA’s Johnson, Stennis, Michoud, and Marshall Space Centers all within arm’s reach, LSU is helping to develop the workforce needed for the next step in space exploration—long-term, crewed space missions and a return to the lunar surface,” said Jeffrey Blackmon, chair of the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy. “The Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) and the High-Altitude Student Platform (HASP) have played major roles, but we’re especially excited about the tremendous opportunity Tiger Eye 1 is for LSU students to be involved in forefront space-science research.”As the Tiger Eye 1 team works to get everything ready for launch, something else just came up—the LSU SpaRTAN lab will be flying yet another radiation detector on SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission using their Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft this September, in collaboration with Pinsky. It will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and be the world’s first all-commercial, all-civilian mission to space. It will circle the Earth before making a soft water landing off the Florida coast. This will be another opportunity for LSU students to form a team in support of a space mission. The team will include Jared Taylor, graduate student in medical physics who will integrate the related research into his Ph.D. project, and Duncan Wilkie, undergraduate student in physics. At least one additional student will be announced soon.