The Lunar Ice Cube mission science focus, led by the JPL Science PI, is on 1) enabling broadband spectral determination of composition and distribution of volatiles in regoliths of the Moon and analogous bodies as a function of time of day, latitude, regolith age and composition; 2) providing geological context by way of spectral determination of major minerals; and 3) thus enabling understanding of current dynamics of volatile sources, sinks, and processes, with implications for evolutionary origin of volatiles. The mission is designed to address NASA HEOMD Strategic Knowledge Gaps related to lunar volatile distribution (abundance, location, and transportation physics of water ice).
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Morehead State University in Kentucky is leading the six-unit (6-U) CubeSat mission, with significant involvement from scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Massachusetts-based Busek Company.
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- "Lunar Ice Cube Mission: Determining Lunar Water Dynamics with a First Generation Deep Space CubeSat." Earth and Planetary Science Letters(n.d.): n. pag. 2016. Web. <http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2016/pdf/1043.pdf>.