Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

International Lunar Network - ILN

Full Name: International Lunar Network
Phase: Under study
Launch Date: 2013
Program(s): Robotic Lunar Exploration

NASA will undertake landed lunar missions and is architecting a conceptual “global lunar network” as a backbone of its envisioned robotic surface activities. This concept, called the International Lunar Net-work (ILN), aims to provide an organizing theme for all landed science missions in the 2010s by involving each landed station as a node in a geophysical network. Ultimately, this network could be comprised of 8-10 or more nodes. Because some are desired to be located on the lunar far side, NASA will study a lunar communications relay satellite capability as part of its contribution to this potential endeavor.

In the ILN concept, each node would include some number of “core” capabilities (e.g., seismic, heat flow, laser retro-reflectors) that would be extant on each station, reflecting prioritized lunar science goals articulated in the National Research Council’s study, “The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon”. Individual nodes could and likely would carry additional, unique experiments to study local or global lunar science. Such experiments might include atmospheric and dust instruments, plasma physics investigations, astronomical instruments, electromagnetic profiling of lunar regolith and crust, local geochemistry, and in situ resource utilization demonstrations.

Studies begin, studies end, and sometimes missions evolve, only time and money will tell.
Getting folks interested and invested in what is up there on and in the Moon should help us return.

Nice to know something about where you are going to park your Recreational Van and what
resources you will have available.

If I dig in will the ground underneath get warmer or colder?
How easy to build an underground shelter and can I use the local materials?
Any geomagnetic disturbances and where did I leave that obelisk?
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Robotic Lunar Exploration

The Vision for Space Exploration is fostering a renaissance in lunar science, as the return of humans to the Moon both requires and enables greater scientific understanding of Earth’s natural satellite. The NRC’s recent report “The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon” (NRC, 2007) provides a “mini-decadal survey” to guide a new line of lunar missions. The Planetary Science Division is undertaking a number of new actions to exploit the new focus on the Moon for science:

* Scientific exploitation of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
SMD will assume operational control and tasking of LRO after it
completes its one-year prime mission for ESMD in early 2010. A
program to competitively select and engage participating
scientists to plan this phase of LRO operations is already underway.
* Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER). The LASER
program funds basic and applied lunar science. The goal of the
program is to support and enhance lunar basic science and lunar
exploration science as part of the Vision for Space Exploration’s
(VSE) return to the Moon. The LASER program is jointly supported
by SMD and ESMD.
* Creation of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI). NLSI will
help to reinvigorate the lunar science community via a network of
competitively-selected research nodes focused on exploitation of
new scientific data on the Moon for research purposes.
* Missions of Opportunity. SMD selected the Moon Mineralology Mapper
instrument as a Discovery Program Mission of Opportunity to fly in
India’s Chandrayaan-1 satellite. The SALMON solicitation provides
annual calls for Mission of Opportunity proposals. The Moon’s
close proximity make it a choice target for such low cost missions.
* A New Series of Three SMD Lunar Missions. The FY 2009 budget
request includes a new mission line for one small orbiter (the
Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer—LADEE) to study the
tenuous lunar atmosphere and two mini-landers as nodes in an
International Lunar Network (ILN) of geophysical stations.

The International Lunar Network (ILN) and the US
Anchor Nodes mission

Update to the LEAG/ILWEG/SRR, 10/30/08
Barbara Cohen, SDT Co-chair
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
The ILN Science Definition Team
The MSFC/APL ILN Engineering Team

Lunar science flight projects line in SMD’s 2009 budget
• Robotic missions to accomplish key scientific objectives
• Provide useful data to ESMD and SOMD for returning humans to the

Mission 1: LRO, which will transition after one year of operations to
SMD for a 2-year nominal science mission

Mission 2: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer
(LADEE), launch in 2011

Mission 3: US delivery of two landed payloads as part of the
International Lunar Network (ILN) – first US robotic lunar landers
since 1968!

These projects provide a robotic lunar flight program for the next
decade, complement SMD’s lunar R&A initiatives to build a robust
lunar science community, and increase international participation in
NASA’s exploration plans

EPSC Abstracts,
Vol. 3, EPSC2008-A-00538, 2 008
European Planetary Science Congress, © Author(s) 2008

THE INTERNATIONAL LUNAR NETWORK ANCHOR NODES MISSION—A U. S. Contribution to the International Lunar Network
T. Morgan (1), B. Cohen (2) and J. Veverka (3) and the US ILN Team

(1) NASA HQ/Science Mission Directorate, Washington, DC, USA, (2) NASA MSFC/, Huntsville, AL, USA, (3) Department of Astronomy/ Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. (
/ Fax: +301-358-0828)

Introduction: NASA’s Science Mission Directorate introduced a new line of lunar science missions with the submission of the President’s proposed fiscal year 2009 Budget. The line includes five new robotic missions designed to accomplish key scientific objectives and, when possible, provide results needed to return humans to the Moon. These missions, now in formulation, will join three US Lunar missions already in development: namely; the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); and the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. LRO and LCROSS will be launched in late 2008. These missions, developed within the Exploration Systems Directorate (ESMD), will acquire key information for human return to the moon activities. GRAIL, a part of the SMD-led Discovery program, will launch in 2011. The new missions are the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), and the first four US elements of the proposed International Lunar Network (see below).
LADEE is scheduled for launch in 2011. It is the initial pre-Phase activities for the first pair of US
landers to be launched in 2013/2014 that is the subject of this presentation.
International Lunar Network - Update

Jim Adams
NASA Headquarters
January 9, 2009

ILN Anchor Nodes Project

Science Definition Team Progress
Mission Definition Trade Study Progress
Major Conclusions & Mission Recommendations
Technology Progress
ILN Foreign Partnership Progress
Future Plans



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