Science

Small NASA cameras will watch the lander making craters on the moon

NASA created four tiny cameras, each the size of a computer mouse, to see what happens under a lunar lander when it lands on the moon. Small cameras are called stereo camera for lunar surface studies, or SCALPSS. NASA’s cameras are expected to head to the moon this year as payload aboard the spacecraft, the Nova-C lunar lander.

Intuitive Machines is one of two companies that will deliver technology and science experiments on the moon’s surface late this year as part of NASA’s commercial initiative for lunar payload services. SCALPSS cameras It is designed to provide NASA with data about the crater formed by the probe rocket plume during its final landing and landing on the moon’s surface.

Data on crater formation under the Lunar Lander is needed as NASA prepares to send humans to the moon as part of the Artemis program. Several commercial landers will be sent to the moon to build the Artemis Lunar Antarctic Base Camp. NASA says the landing craft will carry multiple payloads and land close to each other. Data collected from SCALPSS is required to assist in developing computer models for subsequent landings.

NASA says it is preparing to send larger and heavier payloads landing in close proximity to each other on the surface of the moon, and later on Mars, the ability to predict the effects of landings is essential. The Quad array of SCALPSS cameras will be located around the base of the commercial landing craft. Cameras. They will begin to observe the crater formation from the moment the landing engine plume interacts with the moon’s surface.

NASA researchers note that if they can’t see the crater starting to form, they can’t model it. Cameras will continue to take pictures until the landing is complete. The locally captured stereo images will be stored in a small storage space inside the cameras before being sent to the probe to be transported to Earth. NASA says knowing how the crater begins and how it ends is required to model what happened between them during formation.

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