The Clementine Mission
Clementine was the first of a new class of small spacecraft to enable long-duration deep space missions at low cost using lightweight satellite technology. Along with its primary mission to test this new technology, it returned valuable lunar data to the scientific community.
Clementine carried four cameras, including one with a laser ranging system. The spacecraft also had two star tracker cameras, used mainly for altitude determination but also as wide-field cameras for various scientific and operational purposes. All sensors on the spacecraft met or exceeded expectations in their performance.
These images are returned by the Clementine Mission and processed under the direction of Dr. Paul Spudis.
Scientists at the LPI are using data acquired by Clementine to answer important questions about the Moon. These questions include the global three-dimensional composition of the lunar crust, the possibility of ice at the south pole, the composition of mare basalts on the Moon's farside, and the chemical heterogeneity of the Apollo 16 landing site. The answers to these questions will allow scientists to better understand the formation of primary and secondary crusts on the Moon, increase knowledge of the geology at the Apollo landing sites, and yield information that will influence planning of future return missions to the Moon.