NASA Lunar Lighthouse Beacon Navigates Audi Lander

Landing on the moon is one thing, but not getting lost on its gray, dusty surface is an entirely different challenge. Apollo astronauts traversed the lunar terrain by sight, but NASA wants to develop better navigation systems for future astronauts exploring the moon.

In late February, NASA tested an autonomous navigation system on the moon that could be used to connect different orbiters, landers and astronauts, turning them into a series of lighthouse beacons spread across the lunar surface.Lunar Node 1 (LN-1) launches aboard Intuitive Machines Odysseus lunar lander, which Landing on the lunar surface on February 22 Deliver various payloads.

Recently, NASA tested the LN-1 by lighting up the beacon for 30 minutes after deployment on the lunar surface Announce.The original plan was for LN-1 to transmit beacons around the clock until a power outage on February 29, but due to Odysseus The lander’s unfortunate position on the moon.The lunar lander stumbled during its descent to the lunar surface and eventually fell rollover.

In fact, it was the LN-1 that helped Odysseus The landing on the moon came after the lander’s own navigation system failed. Just hours before scheduled landing, OdysseusA laser rangefinder designed to assess the lunar terrain to determine a safe landing site malfunctioned.To help guide the lander to the surface, flight engineers uploaded a software patch to repurpose LN-1 so that it could be used for navigation Odysseus to its landing site.

The technology demonstration has already proven useful, and NASA hopes to use it in the future to develop a network of lighthouses to light the way for spacecraft and astronauts in lunar orbit as they traverse the lunar surface. According to NASA, the system will connect orbiters, landers and astronauts on the lunar surface, digitally verifying each probe’s position relative to other networked spacecraft, ground stations or rovers. It will then operate as part of a larger network, tracking each beacon in real time.

NASA hopes to develop LN-1 so that it can provide data transmission in seconds, which may be more useful for future missions to Mars, since transmission delays from Earth to Mars can be as long as 20 minutes.

“The wait for spacecraft pilots to make precise orbital adjustments or for humans to traverse the uncharted Martian landscape is extremely long,” Evan Anzalone, LN-1 principal investigator at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, said in a statement. “The LN-1 can create beacons for every explorer, vehicle, temporary or long-term camp, and location of interest we send to the Moon and Mars.”

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