Nasa Moon Mission Update
LRO Enters Orbit Around the Moon
"Lunar orbit insertion is a crucial milestone for the mission," said Cathy Peddie, LRO deputy project manager at Goddard. "The LRO mission cannot begin until the moon captures us. Once we enter the moon's orbit, we can begin to buildup the data set needed to understand in greater detail the lunar topography, features and resources. We are so proud to be a part of this exciting mission and NASA's planned return to the moon."
A series of four engine burns over the next four days will put the satellite into its commissioning phase orbit. During the commissioning phase each of its seven instruments is checked out and brought online. The commissioning phase will end approximately 60 days after launch, when LRO will use its engines to transition to its primary mission orbit.
For its primary mission, LRO will orbit above the moon at about 31 miles, or 50 kilometers, for one year. The spacecraft's instruments will help scientists compile high resolution, three-dimensional maps of the lunar surface and also survey it at many spectral wavelengths.
The satellite will explore the moon's deepest craters, examining permanently sunlit and shadowed regions, and provide understanding of the effects of lunar radiation on humans. LRO will return more data about the moon than any previous mission.