Managers mull options after moon mission malfunction
Officials are hurriedly looking for ways to save fuel on NASA’s $79 million lunar impactor mission after a crisis Saturday caused the spacecraft to burn more than half of its remaining propellant.
The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite used about 140 kilograms, or 309 pounds, of maneuvering fuel to maintain the probe’s orientation in space Saturday, according to Dan Andrews, the mission’s project manager at Ames Research Center.
LCROSS is now perilously close to its built-in propellant margins, and Andrews said the team will probably have to cancel some activities that are not crucial to the mission.
“Our estimates now are if we pretty much baseline the mission, meaning just accomplish the things that we have to (do) to get the job done with full mission success, we’re still in the black on propellant, but not by a lot,” Andrews told Spaceflight Now late Tuesday.
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