NASA Payloads for (CLPS Science) CS-3 – TBD Lander


A golden suite of instruments is resting on the grey surface of the Moon. Two large objects stretch out from the sides in the shape of large circular fans. A blue box labeled MEP and a thin orange antenna lies in the middle of the device that resembles a tabletop. The device sits on top of four tri-pod style legs while the drill is fixed to the underside of the device.

The graphic shows the way LuSEE-Night is predicted to function within other instruments. This spectrometer will provide key insight on the red-shifted, 21-cm line remnant from the big-bang. LuSEE-Night is expected to collect valuable information on many of the unanswered questions and hypothesis of the early solar system. Credit: NASA/DOE

  • Summary: Scheduled to land on the farside of the Moon in 2025 on the CS-3 mission in collaboration with the US department of Energy (DOE) – BNL and LBL. LuSEE-Night is a sensitive radio detector to measure the radio sky at frequencies below 50MHz and act as pathfinder spectrometer for the measurement of the red-shifted 21-cm line remnant from the big-bang. The farside of the Moon is thought to be the best site for performing sensitive radio observations at low frequencies within the inner solar system. LuSEE-Night will test this hypothesis and potentially open a new wavelength window into the Universe.  LuSEE-Night will deploy four monopole antennas in the form of a pair of crossed dipoles. Sensitive preamplifiers will send these signals to a sophisticated digital signal processor, where the signals will be analyzed and compressed for transmission to the ground.  LuSEE-Night will be a self-reliant payload by the first nightfall. Once lunar landing and early commissioning are complete, LuSEE-Night will provide its own communications to and from a communications relay in a lunar orbit. It LuSEE-Night will also provide its own power system for charging a large internal battery during the lunar daytime. During the lunar night, the LuSEE instrument will operate using its internal battery and will maintain acceptable operating temperatures using internal self-heating. LuSEE-Night is intended to operate through lunar daytime and lunar nighttime periods for at least one Earth year. By operating in the unique radio-quiet region on the farside of the Moon with LuSEE-Night, we will be able to test the hypothesis that the moon was bombarded by asteroids about 4 billion years ago. Another hypothesis suggests that there was a major rearrangement of planetary distances relative to the Sun and the first single life on Earth both occurred at about the same time.
  • Type of Instrument: Radio Telescope
  • Key Measurement: Low frequency radio astronomy (< ~50 MHz) with standalone operations through the lunar night
  • Task Order: CS-3
  • Lead Development Organization: Brookhaven National Lab and Lawrence Berkely Lab under DOE MIE
  • Payload PI: Dr. Stuart Bale