Join Donate

Emily LakdawallaJuly 29, 2008

A launch slip for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (not their fault)

Bruce Betts sent me some notes he took when he attended the NLSI Lunar Science Conference held at NASA's Ames Research Center last week. Included in his notes was the news (reported already elsewhere) that the launch of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, erstwhile planned for late November, has been pushed to the end of February or early March. The reason is that another payload -- Internet rumors state it's a Defense department payload -- wants to get bumped up in the launch schedule to get off the ground before the end of 2008. Bruce noted that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team is not arguing with the slip because it gives them a little more leeway in the final stages of their assembly and testing, and that the launch opportunities are more favorable for a February-March launch period.

This, of course, also delays the launch and impact of LCROSS, which is hitching a ride on the same launch vehicle with the orbiter. Bruce's notes indicate that once it eventually launches with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, LCROSS will take a three or four month cruise around Earth before impacting the Moon.

The "Send Your Name to the Moon" deadline has been extended yet again, to July 31 -- that is, Thursday. I think this time it's really the end. They say they've already collected 1.45 million names -- quite impressive!

Read more:

You are here:
Emily Lakdawalla 2017 headshot square serene
Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign Up for Email Updates