2457. Balancing Lunar Prospector


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A Tilley: 2457. Balancing Lunar Prospector. 1999.



This paper is a narrative of Lunar Prospector design evolution, the inherent mass property problems encountered and the extensive measurement and ballasting program which was needed to verify the flight readiness of the vehicle. Lunar Prospector was a spin stabilized lunar research satellite launched from a spinning upper stage. Economic considerations ruled out sophisticated control systems and compelled the system design to be simple and naturally balanced; dynamic balance requirements for spin stabilization drove the need for a high degree of precision in the final results. Nine of the ten vehicle mass properties (mass, three centers of mass, three moments of inertia and two of the three products of inertia) were controlled parameters.


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