The NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring Program
NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office has implemented a program to monitor the Moon for meteoroid impacts from the Marshall Space Flight Center. Using off-the-shelf telescopes and video equipment, the Moon is monitored for as many as 10 nights per month, depending on weather. Custom software automatically detects flashes which are confirmed by a second telescope, photometrically calibrated using background stars, and published on a website for correlation with other observations. Hypervelocity impact tests at the Ames Vertical Gun Range facility have begun to determine the luminous efficiency and ejecta characteristics. The purpose of this research is to define the impact ejecta environment for use by lunar spacecraft designers of the Constellation manned lunar program. The observational techniques and preliminary results will be discussed.
KeywordsMeteoroids Lunar impacts Space environments Hypervelocity impact testing
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- W.J. Cooke, R.M. Suggs, R.J. Suggs, W.R. Swift, N.P. Hollon, Rate and distribution of kilogram lunar impactors Lunar and planetary science XXXVIII, Houston, Texas, LPI, Paper 1986 (2007)Google Scholar
- W.J. Cooke, R.M. Suggs, W.R. Swift, A probable taurid impact on the moon. Lunar and planetary science XXXVII, Houston, Texas, LPI, paper 1731 (2006)Google Scholar
- D. W. Dunham, B. Cudnik, D.M. Palmer, P.V. Sada, J. Melosh, M. Frankenberger, R. Beech, L. Pelerin, R. Venable, D. Asher, R. Sterner, B. Gotwols, B. Wun, D. Stockbauer, The first confirmed videorecordings of lunar meteor impacts. Lunar and planetary science conference XXXI, Houston, Texas, LPI, Paper 1547 (2000)Google Scholar
- P. Gural, Automated detection of lunar impact flashes. Meteoroid environments workshop, NASA MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama (2007)Google Scholar
- NASA, December 1972. “Apollo 17 air-to-ground communications transcript”, http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/mission_trans/AS17_TEC.PDF p. 455
- NASA SP-8013: 1969, Meteoroid environment—1969, near earth to lunar surfaceGoogle Scholar
- W.R. Swift, R.M. Suggs, W.J. Cooke, Algorithms for lunar flash video search, measurement, and archiving, this issue (2007)Google Scholar