Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Atlas 5 Rocket
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The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration,
a plan to return to the moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. The LRO objectives are to finding safe
landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.
The spacecraft will be placed in low polar orbit (50 km) for a 1-year mission under NASA's Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate. LRO 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 in the permanently
shadowed regions at the poles may exist. Although the objectives of LRO are explorative in nature, the payload
includes instruments with considerable heritage from previous planetary science missions, enabling transition, after
one year, to a science phase under NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
LRO Mission Page
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Last Revised: Feburary 6, 2009 5:29 am EDT (J. Dumoulin)
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