NASA SELECTS MOON MAPPER FOR MISSION OF OPPORTUNITY
NASA has selected the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) as the next Discovery Mission of Opportunity. The M3, designed to create a mineral-resource map of the moon, will fly as part of the scientific payload for the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Chandraayan-1 mission, slated for launch in 2007. It will be flown as part of the Chandraayan-1 mission if it is selected by ISRO in an independent competition.
"This exciting scientific experiment will provide detailed maps of the moon's surface geology and mineral composition for the first time," said NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Dr. Ghassem Asrar. "The M3 investigation also complements the six experiments recently selected by NASA in response to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Announcement of Opportunity. Together, the M3 and LRO
investigations support NASA research and exploration objectives for the moon," he said.
The final confirmation of the M3 investigation is subject to successful negotiation of an international agreement between NASA and ISRO. A Discovery Mission of Opportunity is not a complete Discovery Mission, but is one piece of a larger mission. It gives the U.S. scientific community the chance to participate in non-NASA missions by providing funding for a science instrument, hardware components of a science instrument, or expertise in critical areas of a mission.
Click here for the NASA press release.
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