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  • NASA Extends LROC Contract
Feb 2011
GREENBELT, Md., Feb. 11, 2011 — NASA has extended Phase E of its contract with Arizona State University for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. This cost-no-fee extension is for $11,368,735 and will be for a period of approximately two years, from March 1, 2011, through March 15, 2013.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter uses a suite of high-resolution cameras to search for useful resources and potential landing spots for future human missions to the Moon. (Image: NASA)

Under this contract extension, the university will continue to carry out the flight operations and science analyses of the LROC, including spacecraft operations planning, scheduling, and engineering parameter review and trending, as well as the science operations, which includes initiating all target requests to the instrument, planning all instrument modes and turn-ons, and data dissemination to the co-investigators and to the general scientific community through the Planetary Data System.

The LROC includes a pair of narrow-angle cameras that acquire high-resolution black-and-white images of the Moon’s surface, capturing images of its poles with resolutions down to 1 m. The instrument also includes a wide-angle camera that acquires color and UV images over the entire lunar surface at 100-m resolution. These images will show polar lighting conditions, identify potential resources and hazards, and aid selection of safe landing sites.

The original contract for the LROC instrument was awarded to Arizona State on March 30, 2005, for the Phases A through E effort, and is due to expire on February 28, 2011.

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