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#1 2014-12-16 22:47:44

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,829

CATALYST Moon Express

Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown Moon Express MX-1 testing compact lunar lander at Kennedy automated landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT field at the Shuttle Landing Facility, to perform its initial lander test development.

The Moon Express team has been busy since October preparing the test vehicle, called MTV-1X, for a series of tests. The compact vehicle is the size of a large coffee table. The version of this vehicle that will fly in space is a single-stage spacecraft that uses hydrogen peroxide as a primary fuel in a bi-propellant propulsion system bolstered by kerosene for its Earth departure and moon arrival burns. It's also powered by solar energy, which makes it a very green vehicle.

http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst

This year, the vehicle's guidance, navigation, control and operation will be checked during initial testing. According to Moon Express president Andy Aldrin, the team will use a crane to hover the vehicle and move it around at the ALHAT field to capture the vehicle milestone process. A series of tethered landing tests will be performed until enough confidence is established in vehicle control to do a free flight.

Early next year, another set of tests will occur. The same test vehicle will be used, with added hydrogen peroxide thrusters, a star tracker and some of the navigation controls that will be used on the actual flight vehicle.

Later in the year, more flight-like versions of the test vehicle will be built, called MTV-2 and MTV-3, which will utilize a unique fuel tank called a toroidal tank, which is shaped like a doughnut and will be installed on the vehicle and tested to determine how the fuel behaves as it swirls around in the tank. Aldrin said the advantage of a tank shaped like this is the vehicle can be packaged into a very compact spacecraft that holds a lot of propellant.

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#2 2015-07-08 22:10:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,829

Re: CATALYST Moon Express

Astrobotic and NASA Partnership Develop Software and Trajectory for Griffin Lander

Astrobotic's Pathway to the Moon Verified by NASA "Gold Standard" Simulation Tools under the Lunar CATALYST initiative, has developed a preliminary version of its flight software for precision guidance. This software will direct the Griffin lander to safe touchdown on the Moon at a pit in the Lacus Mortis region on Astrobotic's first mission. Astrobotic developed the software using NASA's Core Flight Software (CFS), then validated Griffin's mission performance and fuel usage using NASA-proven modeling and simulation tools.
Astrobotic was one of three companies selected by NASA under the Lunar CATALYST program, which establishes no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreements to encourage the development of robotic lunar landers that can be integrated with U.S. commercial launch capabilities to deliver payloads to the lunar surface.

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