NASA Moon Mission Set to Break Record in Navigation Signal Test

NASA Moon Mission has release the final schedule for its upcoming moon mission which is set to break a GPS navigation record – it will help operational GNSS systems at the moon. This technology is quickly making its way into everyday life, so learn about how it works in this article!

What is the test?

NASA’s Moon Mission Set to Break Record in Navigation Signal Test On July 27, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will pass within about 10 kilometers of the moon’s surface, achieving a new navigation signal record. The maneuver is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to map the moon’s gravitational field and improve our understanding of how it shapes planetary bodies.

“This navigation signal record achievement demonstrates LRO’s capability to precisely track where it is and where it wants to go,” said Michael Meyer mission director at NASA Moon Mission Headquarters in Washington. “LRO has been a valuable resource for providing information on the moon that has been use by other missions.”

The lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launch in 2006 and has orbit the moon continuously since then. The spacecraft carries a number of scientific instruments to study its environment and collect data that will help us better understand the origins and evolution of Earth Mars and other planets in our solar system.

What is a GNSS system?

A global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is a type of Earth observation and navigation system that provides accurate, real-time location information to users anywhere on or near the planet. GNSS systems make use of multiple satellites in orbit to provide round-the-clock coverage. GNSS is superior to other forms of mapping and navigation such as terrestrial GPS, radio navigation, and dead reckoning because it does not rely on an individual’slocation or position relative to an external reference point.

The nine active GNSS satellites in operation today include the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Russian GLONASS, the European Galileo Navigation Satellite System (EGNOS), and the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). These systems provide positioning accuracy within a few meters, making them ideal for applications such as land management and safety, shipping and air traffic control environmental monitoring, and more. The next generation of GNSS includes various Constellation missions currently under development by. NASA including the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Terrestrial Reference Station constellation; this constellation will consist of 24 CubeSats providing positioning accuracy down to centimeter level.

How does the experiment work?

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is about to break a navigation signal record. The spacecraft was recently tasked with sending back navigation signals that will enable it to stay in its planne orbit around the moon. LRO has been orbiting the moon since 2009 and has gather an incredible amount of data about our natural satellite.

NASA Moon Mission Set to Break Record in Navigation Signal Test

The LRO Navigation Team is using new software to process the data and figure out how to use it to navigate in space. By breaking the navigation signal record finally they’ve demonstrat that they can use this data to help them stay on track. This is important too because it means they’ll be able to continue providing valuable information about the moon for years to come.

What are the benefits of this test?

NASA Moon Mission Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is set to break a record in navigation signal test as the spacecraft continues to make steady progress towards its plann launch in late 2018. Navigation signals are essential for navigating the lunar surface, and the LRO has been testing these signals at an unprecedent level of detail. This success has allow NASA to fine-tune some of the mission’s key technologies ahead of time.

“The navigation signal tests have provide us with valuable data on how well our systems work together moreover said Don Gurnett, LRO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and Maryland. “We’re now ready to move onto the next phase of our mission.”


The LRO will use three different navigation signals during its two-year mapping mission. Ranging signals from small antennas on board. Laser ranging back to Earth from two distant telescopes on Earth; and a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) map create by measuring how much light is reflect off. The Moon from seven sites across its surface. The spacecraft will continuously track each signal as it returns to Earth and compare that information with what it knows about the location of other satellites and landers orbiting or landing on the moon.

What will change after this test?

The Navigation Signal Test (NST) of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft is schedul to begin at 11:00 p.m. EDT on September 5, 2016 and continue until September 7, 2016. The mission’s official objectives are to measure the density and composition of the lunar atmosphere, identify dust devils in lunar orbit moreover and study the moon’s gravitational field.

The NST will be the first time that a laser ranging system has been use to navigate a spacecraft over an extende period in space. The LADEE navigation lasers have a range of more than 4 kilometers moreover Which will allow the spacecraft to autonomously track its own movement while it measures atmospheric conditions. The test is also expect to improve our understanding of how the moon influences Earth’s environment.

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