NASA has awarded Draper of Cambridge, Massachusetts a contract to deploy Artemis science missions to the Moon in 2025. NASA’s Artemis Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program includes the commercial delivery.

Draper is responsible for delivery services from beginning to end, including payload integration, transport from Earth to the Moon’s surface, and payload operations. Draper will receive $73 million as a result of the transaction. This is the ninth task award for surface delivery given to a CLPS vendor.

Joel Kearns, deputy associate administrator for exploration at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said that this lunar surface delivery to a region of the Moon that isn’t visible from Earth will allow scientists to conduct research in a location that isn’t accessible to the first Artemis human landing missions. Understanding the geophysical activity on the far side of the Moon will increase our knowledge of the solar system and help us plan future Artemis astronaut trips to the lunar surface.

When Draper’s series-2 lander arrives in Schrodinger Basin, a gigantic lunar impact crater located near the lunar South Pole, it will be used to carry out tests. This fascinating geological site has a circumference of over 300 km. (320 kilometers). There is a distinct difference between the outer and inner rings of the basin in that the inner ring is made up of meteorites composed of impact melt, while the outer ring is made up of smooth floor deposits made up of impact melt and volcanic debris.

“The site of payload delivery is a first for us. Chris Culbert, CLPS program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, remarked, “Operations from the far side of the Moon will help us better how we track activities from this position to achieve scientific objectives, all while collecting data from the payloads.” The services supplied by the vendor will prepare for future, more complicated lunar surface activities.

See also  Scientists have developed "nanomachines" capable of penetrating and destroying cancer cells

Schrodinger Basin is one of the youngest impact basins on the moon’s surface, and its impact raised the Moon’s deep crust and upper mantle to form its highest ring. Later, a significant volcanic eruption occurred within the inner basin. Researchers intend to investigate the temperature, geophysical, electric, and magnetic aspects of the lunar interior at a landing site insulated from Earth’s electromagnetic emissions.

Two of the three investigations selected for this mission were submitted in response to the PRISM (Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon) solicitation. Draper will deliver three studies weighing around 209 pounds (95 kilograms), including the Farside Seismic Suite (FSS), which seeks to return the first lunar seismic data from the far side of the Moon to NASA. This new data could help scientists better comprehend tectonic activity in this region of the Moon, disclose the frequency of minor meteorite impacts on the lunar far side, and provide fresh insights into the Moon’s interior structure. The device is comprised of two of the most sensitive seismometers yet created for spaceflight. FSS is one of the two PRISM choices. It is supported by NASA in conjunction with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) – the French Space Agency – and is directed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Both the Lunar Instrumentation for Thermal Exploration with Rapidity and the Lunar Telluric Currents make up the LITMS, which is also part of the PRISM package. LITMS includes a subsurface thermal probe and a hydraulic drill. This payload suite seeks to examine the heat transport and subsurface electrical conductivity structure of Schrodinger Basin’s lunar core. The combination of these measurements allows for the resolution of the thermal and chemical structure of the Moon’s surface. NASA funds LITMS, which is directed by the Southwest Research Institute.


It’s called the Lunar Surface ElectroMagnetics Experiment (LuSEE). Dust transport is controlled by the lunar surface’s electrostatic potential, which is determined from DC electric and magnetic field measurements. To better understand how magnetospheric plasma and solar wind interact with the lunar surface and crustal magnetic fields, LuSEE also collects data on ionized plasma waves. In addition, this payload will conduct sensitive measurements of radio frequencies to detect solar and planetary radio emissions. LuSEE is financed by NASA in partnership with CNES and is led by the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.

NASA’s plans for many commercial deliveries on the Moon have not changed. CLPS will be able to deliver more science investigations, including technology demonstrations that assist the agency’s Artemis missions, in the future. NASA’s Artemis mission will put a woman and a person of color on the Moon for the first time, laying the groundwork for a long-term lunar presence and paving the way for future Mars expeditions. A test mission with crew is anticipated for 2024, and NASA hopes to have humans on the Moon by 2025. Artemis I is scheduled to launch no sooner than August 29, 2022.

Leave a Reply