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Lunar Flashlight - Small Spacecraft Will Scout Ice Formations on the Moon
When thirsty residents of a permanent community on the Moon take a swig of fresh water brought in from the lunar south pole, they’ll be enjoying the benefits of a 30-pound spacecraft known as the Lunar Flashlight that was assembled and tested at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).
Lunar Flashlight will use powerful lasers and an onboard spectrometer to search shaded areas of craters at the south pole for evidence of surface ice. Earlier NASA missions have shown that the Moon may have frozen water in these areas, and by orbiting close to the surface, the spacecraft will be able to identify locations that may be worthy of exploration by future missions.
Lunar Flashlight was developed by a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Georgia Tech, and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).