Nadir pointing!

LRO is now in nadir pointing mode (looking straight down at the Moon). Another key milestone on the path to instrument activation.



After a series of adjustments the LRO Ops Team has put the spacecraft into a constant nadir pointing orientation (+Z axis always straight down) and the solar panels are now tracking the Sun. Next big step is calibrating the Ka band downlink system. LRO will transmit science data across this high speed link to a special receiving station in White Sands New Mexico. LROC will need the Ka system to downlink its daily total of 55 Gbytes of compressed data. Spacecraft commissioning continues on track as the LROC NACs continue to outgas and come into focus.

Published by Mark Robinson on 28 June 2009