Overview: NASA's Lunar Trailblazer targets one of the most surprising discoveries of the decade: water on the Moon. As a NASA SIMPLEx (Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration) program mission selection, Lunar Trailblazer achieves critical advancements for science as a lower-budget, ride-along mission. Science objectives include studying the form, abundance, and distribution of water on the Moon, as well as the lunar water cycle. Lunar Trailblazer is scheduled to launch in mid-2023, around two years ahead of its original timeline.
IPAC is leading the Mission Operation System effort for Lunar Trailblazer. This includes planning, scheduling, and sequencing of all science, instrument, and spacecraft activities for LTB during the nominal mission [or after lunar orbit injection].
The MOS includes personnel from IPAC and JPL and also students from Caltech and Pasadena City College. IPAC is also providing facilities in support of Mission Operations for LTB.
Science data processing will be done in the Bruce Murray Laboratory for Planetary Visualization at Caltech.