VMMO Satellite

Spacecraft VMMO (Volatile and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter)
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 12U
Status not launched, expected in 2025
Launcher not launched
Organisation MPB Communications
Institution Company
Entity type Commercial
Country Canada

Focus on a permanently shadowed crater near the lunar south pole, searching deposits of water ice and other volatiles while also measuring lunar radiation.


Focus on a permanently shadowed crater near the lunar south pole, searching out deposits of water ice and other volatiles of interest to future colonists, while also measuring lunar radiation.

The primary scientific objective of the VMMO mission is detecting water-ice and other volatiles inside and near the Shackleton Crater with a GSD of 10m. More specifically, detect water-ice and other volatiles to better than 2% (goal is <0.5%) mass fraction inside and near the Shackleton, Faustini and Cabeus Craters with a GSD of approximately 10m using the LVMM active chemical Lidar at 532nm, 1064nm and 1560nm.

The secondary science and technology demonstration objectives include:

  • Detect water-ice and other volatiles in the shadowed regions of the Moon (beyond the Shackleton Crater);
  • Determine whether night-time frost deposition occurs, using both passive and active LVMM sensing;
  • Detect in-situ resources (such as ilmenite) in the sun-lit portions of the Moon. More specifically, map lunar mineralogy and ilmenite near-surface content to better than 5% by mass fraction during the lunar day using multispectral measurements at 290nm, 512nm, 1064nm and 1560nm with a GSD of 24m (TBC) using the LVMM passive imaging mode;
  • Study the lunar diurnal water ice cycle using geo co-located lunar day and night measurements;
  • Perform an optical downlink communications demonstration to Earth;
  • Test CubeSat components under the cis-lunar radiation environment.

Status: as of May 2023:

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4]
Photo sources [1]
Keywords Beyond Earth orbit, Propulsion

Last modified: 2024-05-29

Feel free to connect at any time.

Created by Erik Kulu

Email: erik.kulu@nanosats.eu
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/erikkulu

Social Platforms

LinkedIn: Nanosats
Twitter: @nanosatellites

Sister Websites

NewSpace Index: newspace.im
Factories in Space: factoriesinspace.com

Copyright © 2014 - 2024 Erik Kulu