- Press Release
- August 10, 2022
Test of LUNAR-A Moon Penetrator
A penetration test of a penetrator made of newly adopted potting material
whose high effectiveness was proven by last year’s penetration test was
carried out at Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico, U.S., from May 21
through June 8. As the test piece this time was composed of parts basically
equivalent to those of a flight model with some exceptions, the testing was
viewed as a quasi-qualification test. After performing a sampling test of
penetration conditions using a separate aluminum dummy, a test using the
quasi-qualification model was conducted on June 4. After digging out
imitation moon sand from a sand box and fitting a hat antenna on the
pentrator exposing only its antenna area, communication with the onboard
communication system started from 8:00 am on June 6, prescheduled time set
by a timer. Although it took a while to successfully shake hands with the
penetrator at the beginning, when the communication system was locked and
telemetry data from the penetrator were received and displayed on the
screen, local engineers with an anxious look as well as the testing members
gave a shout of joy.
After performing one day of functional test in the sand and another 2 days
of indoor test, all of the scheduled tests were completed on June 8. The
obtained data and the test piece will come under detailed review hereafter.
During the hot days of over 35°C, though low in humidity, local engineers
at the Laboratory worked from early morning until late in the evening
according to our schedule, and were happy about our successful results as
much as we were, which I believe makes them legitimate members of LUNAR-A
team. We are deeply grateful to them for their sincere cooperation.
After having finished a qualification test scheduled in May next year, we
will finally make it to a flight.