Lunar Transit Telescope Lander Design

by Husam A. Omar, Univ of South Alabama, Mobile, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


The lunar surface offers a unique platform for telescopes to observe distant planets. The absence of significant atmosphere provides clarity that is of orders of magnitude better when compared with earth telescopes. Furthermore, the lunar surface provides stability which reduces vibrations observed in orbiting space telescopes (free fliers). Therefore, the science community is eager to have a lunar telescope in the near future to take advantage of these factors. The astronomical community has proposed the Lunar Transit Telescope (LTT) as a simple telescope that can be launched in the near future and can provide the science community with clearer images of the universe and at the same time provide the engineering community with information on the effects of the lunar environment on the telescope's components. The objective of this study was to design an integrated telescope/lander system for the LTT that can be launched using the TITAN IV/CENTAUR system. The lander should be designed to be as light weight as possible to allow the maximum weight for the telescope and its support systems. This paper describes the design concept of the lander portion of the LTT.

Subject Headings: Telescopes | Moon | Astronomy | Planets | Free surfaces | Vibration | Orbits | Engineering profession

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