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Lunar lighthouse?  NASA lit a beacon on the moon for 30 minutes

Lunar lighthouse? NASA lit a beacon on the moon for 30 minutes

In the vast and mysterious lunar landscape, NASA recently lit a beacon of hope and technological innovation. This event represents an important step towards more Careful exploration H navigation On the moon’s surface, it is essential for future human and robotic missions. During February, as part of Intuitive Machine’s Odysseus mission, the GPS was called in Lunar Node 1 (LN-1). This device has been activated for a total of 30 minutesWhich indicates its ability to determine the location of explorers on the surface of the moon.

I Lunar node 1 It works in synergy with other components⁢ of the network, including orbiting spacecraft, ground stations, and even other explorers, to verify the location. During the test, two 15-minute transmissions were made, and the signal was successfully locked to the transmitter Deep Space Network ‌ By ⁢ NASA. This allowed the team to receive telemetry data and navigation measurements necessary to validate the system.

Ivan Anzalone, LN-1 principal investigator at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, expressed his enthusiasm for the success of the test, stressing the goal of developing Sustainable local network on the moon. This network will consist of a series of “beacons” that will guide spacecraft and ground crews, allowing them to explore safely and confidently.

Despite some initial problems during the landing of the Odysseus mission, which resulted in the lander touching the lunar surface at an unusual angle, LN-1 provided critical support to the onboard navigation system. Initially, the LN-1 was expected to operate for 10 hours per day for the duration of the mission, but due to the difficulties encountered, testing was limited to only 30 minutes in total. However, even in this short period of time, the technology has proven to be up to the task.

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Looking to the future, the team plans to create a network of lunar nodes that can monitor “traffic” on and around the Moon. This network, along with other systems like the Vikram⁣ reflector tested last year and other initiatives by NASA and other agencies, will become part of a larger network Luna Net.

This technology could also be crucial for Mars exploration. While the Moon is about a light-second from Earth, making navigation signals relatively fast, Mars presents greater challenges due to… 20 minutes Average connection delay. This delay is too long for the spacecraft pilot who must make precise orbital adjustments, or for humans traversing the uncharted Martian landscape, Anzalone noted. LN-1 can turn every rover, rover, temporary or permanent camp and site of interest sent to the Moon or Mars into a guiding beacon.