NASA has selected a team that includes a scientist from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a finalist for the agency“™s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration program.
Rachel Klima, a planetary scientist at APL, will serve as the team“™s deputy principal investigator and help oversee the development of the Lunar Trailblazer concept focused on using a small satellite to analyze the presence of water on the lunar surface, APL said Thursday.
The team will deploy a 16.4-foot cube-shaped satellite that will carry advanced imaging systems from a 62.13-mile orbit for a year. Researchers will use the smallsat“™s findings to develop a high-resolution map that contains data on water present on the moon.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA“™s Science Mission Directorate, said the team“™s miniature instruments help decrease costs while “performing targeted science missions and testing brand new technologies that future missions can use.“