The programme is distinguished by its collaborations with commercial and international partners, including the European Space Agency (ESA).
The Peregrine Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS) is one of 12 instruments on board Peregrine-1. It will measure the water and other molecules in the very thin atmosphere of the Moon throughout a lunar day, in order to help scientists understand the emerging concept of a lunar ‘water cycle’. PITMS will be delivered to the Moon by Astrobotic, one of the companies under contract for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
RAL Space involvement
RAL Space was responsible for the Exospheric Mass Spectrometer overall mechanical design, the electronic design, instrument software and ground support equipment and worked closely with NASA on the PITMS thermal design. The OU led on the Ion Trap sensor.
The Peregrine-1 lander will:
- Advance understanding about resources such as water on the Moon and how to use these as supplies for drinking water or rocket propellant which could enable human exploration farther into our solar system, including Mars.
- Characterise the lunar exosphere after descent and landing and throughout the lunar day to understand the release and movement of volatiles.
Open University, ESA, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Further Project Information