Session

Technical Session VI: Market In Retrospect

SSC10-VI-6.pdf (16304 kB)

Abstract

The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) on June 18, 2009. While the science function of the LCROSS mission was to determine the presence of water-ice in a permanently-shadowed crater on the moon, the operational purpose was to be a pioneer for future low cost, risk-tolerant small satellite NASA missions. Recent strategic changes at the Agency level have only furthered the importance of small satellite missions. NASA Ames Research Center and its industry partner, Northrop-Grumman, initiated this spacecraft project two years after its co-manifest mission had started, with less than one-fifth the budget. With a $79M total cost cap (including operations and reserves) and 31-months until launch, LCROSS needed a game-changing approach to be successful. At the LCROSS Confirmation Review, the ESMD Associate Administrator asked the Project team to keep a close record of lessons learned through the course of the mission and share their findings with the Agency at the end of the mission. This paper summarizes the Project, the mission, its risk position, and some of the more notable lessons learned.

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Aug 10th, 4:45 PM

LCROSS Lunar Impactor – Lessons Learned from a Small Satellite Mission

The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) on June 18, 2009. While the science function of the LCROSS mission was to determine the presence of water-ice in a permanently-shadowed crater on the moon, the operational purpose was to be a pioneer for future low cost, risk-tolerant small satellite NASA missions. Recent strategic changes at the Agency level have only furthered the importance of small satellite missions. NASA Ames Research Center and its industry partner, Northrop-Grumman, initiated this spacecraft project two years after its co-manifest mission had started, with less than one-fifth the budget. With a $79M total cost cap (including operations and reserves) and 31-months until launch, LCROSS needed a game-changing approach to be successful. At the LCROSS Confirmation Review, the ESMD Associate Administrator asked the Project team to keep a close record of lessons learned through the course of the mission and share their findings with the Agency at the end of the mission. This paper summarizes the Project, the mission, its risk position, and some of the more notable lessons learned.