Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
LRO was launched on June 18, 2009, by an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was one of two payloads carried by the rocket, the other being the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), will send a rocket crashing into the Moon to scour the debris plume for evidence of water ice.
Upon arrival at the Moon, LRO was placed in low polar orbit (50 km) for a 1-year mission under NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. It will return global data, such as day-night temperature maps, a global geodetic grid, high resolution color imaging and the Moon's UV albedo. However there is particular emphasis on the polar regions of the moon where continuous access to solar illumination may be possible and the prospect of water (see water on the Moon) in the permanently shadowed regions at the poles may exist.
Related entry unmanned lunar spacecraft
Related categories SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
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