Upcoming Mission

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Mission 1 to the Moon

Mission Details

Mission Name:

Blue Ghost Mission 1

Mission Type:

Lunar Mission

Customer:

NASA; Rideshare

Vehicle:

Blue Ghost lunar lander

Landing Date:

2024

Landing Site:

Mare Crisium, northern lunar hemisphere

Mission Summary

Firefly’s first Blue Ghost mission will deliver commercial and government payloads to the lunar surface in 2024, including 10 NASA-sponsored payloads as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. This exciting mission will help advance lunar research and enable a sustainable presence on the Moon. Our Blue Ghost lunar lander will provide data, power, and thermal resources to enable payload operations through transit to the Moon, for an entire lunar day (about 14 Earth days), and well into the freezing lunar night.

Our Destination

Blue Ghost will land near a volcanic feature called Mons Latreille within Mare Crisium, a large basin located in the northeast quadrant of the Moon’s near side. Mare Crisium was created by early volcanic eruptions and flooded with basaltic lava more than 3 billion years ago. This unique landing site will allow our payload partners to gather critical data about the Moon’s regolith, geophysical characteristics, and the interaction of solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field. These investigations will help prepare for human missions to the lunar surface.

Our Payloads

The payloads on Blue Ghost Mission 1 will help advance lunar research and conduct several first-of-its-kind demonstrations, including testing regolith sample collection, Global Navigation Satellite System abilities, radiation tolerant computing, and lunar dust mitigation. The data captured will also benefit humans on Earth by providing insights into how space weather and other cosmic forces impact Earth, among other valuable research.

Lunar Instrumentation for Subsurface Thermal Exploration with Rapidity (LISTER)

Honeybee Robotics (Blue Origin)

LISTER will characterize heat flow from the interior of the Moon by measuring the thermal gradient and conductivity of the lunar subsurface. It will take several measurements to a 2-3 meter final depth using its pneumatic drilling technology with a custom heat flow needle instrument at its tip.

Lunar PlanetVac (LPV)

Honeybee Robotics (Blue Origin)

The Lunar PlanetVac will demonstrate pneumatic sample collection of lunar regolith by collecting and sorting regolith within its sample collection chamber. Upon deployment to the surface, PlanetVac will fire a blast of gas into the lunar surface. In a matter of seconds, the surface regolith would be lofted to a collection chamber for visual (camera) inspection. Additional gas jets within the sorting station will perform sieving. The sorting station includes material coupons to test regolith dust adhesion and efficiency of gas jets as a cleaning agent. In comparison to alternative sample collection methods, such as robotic arms, PlanetVac will demonstrate a fast and low cost, low mass solution.

Next Generation Lunar Retroreflector (NGLR)

University of Maryland

NGLR will support the determination of the distance between Earth and the Moon by reflecting very short laser pulses from Earth-based Lunar Laser Ranging Observatories (LLROs) and measuring the laser pulse transit time to the Moon and back. NGLR will greatly improve the data that is still being obtained from the Apollo era retroreflectors and will support sub-millimeter range measurements. The analysis within the Lunar Laser Ranging  (LLR) program will improve our understanding of the inner structure of the Moon, address modified theories of gravitation and dark matter, and further research in lunar physics and cosmology.

Regolith Adherence Characterization (RAC)

Aegis Aerospace

RAC will determine how lunar regolith sticks to a range of materials exposed to the Moon’s environment throughout the lunar day. RAC will measure accumulation rates of lunar regolith on the surfaces of several materials (e.g., solar cells, optical systems, coatings, and sensors) through imaging to determine their ability to repel or shed lunar dust. The data captured will allow the industry to test, improve, and protect spacecraft, spacesuits, and habitats from abrasive regolith.

Radiation Tolerant Computer (RadPC)

Montana State University

RadPC will demonstrate a computer that can recover from faults caused by ionizing radiation. Several RadPC prototypes have been tested aboard the ISS and Earth-orbiting satellites, but we’ll provide the biggest trial yet by demonstrating the computer’s ability to withstand space radiation as it passes through the Earth’s radiation belts, while in transit to the Moon, and on the lunar surface.

Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS)

NASA Kennedy Space Center

The Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) is an active dust mitigation technology that uses electric fields to move dust from surfaces and to prevent dust accumulation on surfaces. The EDS, which can lift, transport, and remove particles from surfaces with no moving parts, will be demonstrated for the first time on the lunar surface. This technology will show the feasibility of self-cleaning glass and thermal radiator surfaces. In addition to dust removal, the EDS will apply lunar dust to these surfaces using a new reduster technology that will lift and transport dust from the lunar surface to the desired location without moving parts or gasses. The EDS will be released from a fifth leg of the lander and positioned directly onto the lunar surface to maximize dust contact.

Lunar Environment heliospheric X-ray Imager (LEXI)

Boston University; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Johns Hopkins University

LEXI will capture a series of X-ray images to study the interaction of solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field that drives geomagnetic disturbances and storms. This instrument will provide the first global images showing the edge of Earth’s magnetic field for critical insights into how space weather and other cosmic forces surrounding our planet impact Earth.

Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder (LMS)

Southwest Research Institute

LMS will characterize the structure and composition of the Moon’s mantle by measuring electric and magnetic fields. This investigation will help determine the Moon’s temperature structure and thermal evolution to understand how the Moon has cooled and chemically differentiated since it formed.

Lunar GNSS Receiver Experiment (LuGRE)

Italian Space Agency (ASI); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

LuGRE will receive and track signals from the GPS and Galileo navigation satellite constellations during the Earth-to-Moon transit and throughout a full lunar day on the Moon’s surface. This demonstration will help characterize and extend Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based navigation and timing to lunar orbit and the Moon’s surface, providing lunar spacecraft with accurate position, velocity, and time estimations autonomously, on board, and in real time.

Stereo CAmera for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies (SCALPSS)

NASA Langley Research Center

SCALPSS will use stereo imaging photogrammetry to capture the impact of rocket plume on lunar regolith as our lander descends on the Moon’s surface. The high-resolution stereo images will aid in creating models to predict lunar regolith erosion – an important task as bigger, heavier payloads are delivered to the Moon in close proximity to each other.

Book a Ride

Blue Ghost is flying annual missions to the Moon. Get in touch to learn more about joining our next mission.

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