Schrodinger Basin: Mission Concepts
Never Stop Exploring
To Go Where No One Has Gone Before
A Scientifically-rich Exploration Site
Potential Mission Concepts
To adequately address the lunar objectives of the National Research Council report, sample return missions are required. The best results would be obtained by a trained crew on the lunar surface. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the capability of landing crew on the surface, so efforts to provide an alternative architecture using integrated robotic and human capability are being investigated. One plan suggests deploying robotic assets to Schrödinger basin and teleoperating them with a crew hovering above the lunar farside at the Earth-Moon L2 position in the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The robotic asset could conduct geologic reconnaissance, collect samples, and return them to Earth. In that same mission or a complementary mission, the robotic assistant could deploy a low radio frequency telescope to address astrophysical science objectives.
The Moon’s Schrödinger basin is the best preserved impact basin of its size. The diversity of geologic exposures in Schrödinger basin provides several attractive landing sites for one or more sample return missions. This farside location is also an excellent target for an integrated human and robotic exploration program designed to enhance capabilities for long duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration’s scientists and students explore potential destinations for robotic and human missions on the Moon and near-Earth asteroids with a Mars-forward point of view.One of the most interesting mission targets is the Schrödinger basin on the lunar farside, but our team has also identified potential landing sites around the entire sphere of the Moon. The team has worked closely with mission architects to test mission scenarios to the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid.