NASA: LRO probe survived a collision with a micro-asteroid

© Photo : NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State UniversityСнимок obtained by the LROC camera during a collision with a micro-asteroidNASA: LRO probe survived a collision with a micro-asteroid© Photo : NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

The LRO probe two years ago survived a collision with micrometeroids without receiving any damage and recording the consequences of this «cosmic accident» on camera, telling scientists from the University of Arizona.

«This meteoroid was moving faster than a speeding bullet. In this case, our camera LROC not dodged it, and was able to move the blow and survive. The probability of such collisions is very small at the time when the camera works and gets pictures of the moon, and so this event is rare and lucky for us,» says mark Robinson (Mark Robinson), project Manager, LROC Arizona state.

This event recalls Robinson, happened about two years ago, October 13 2014. On this day, in that moment, when the probe began photographing the surface of the moon, one of his camera, LROC, received a very unusual shot, and covered with strange bands, shifts and other artifacts.

Typically, these images probe receives at the moment when LRO turns himself, changing position of the antenna or solar panels, which often have sharp fluctuations and vibrations. When the researchers analyzed the picture, they came to the conclusion that in this case nothing like this could not happen, because the photo was spoiled only in the LROC, but not in the other three chambers of the probe, the two «point» of the cameras NAC and WAC camera review.

This forced the LRO team to seek the causes of such problems, analyzing what happened to the probe at the time of shooting. After some time, scientists came to the conclusion that the cause of «interference» could be only a direct confrontation of the smallest asteroid the size of a speck of dust with the camera.

Such as collision, as today consider engineers and physicists can deduce the electronics of satellites and automatic stations out of action, and scientists have spent years trying to make sure that the camera LROC continues to operate normally and has no problems.

Spacecraft LRO was launched by NASA in June 2008. With the help of scientists looking for resources on the moon, mapping radioactivity in the planet’s surface and a detailed three-dimensional maps of the lunar surface, including in the ultraviolet spectrum, as well as a number of other studies.

In seven years of operation in orbit, the camera had to consider not only the satellite of the Earth and find on it the water supply, open a variety of terrain features, but to capture the different left here space technology — from the American landers series Ranger and Surveyor to the Soviet «Lunokhod-2».