Honeybee Selected to Send Two Payloads to the Moon
Honeybee has been selected by NASA to fly two payloads on a Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) flight under the Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads (LSITP) and Artemis lunar Programs. Our payloads will demonstrate innovative technologies to explore and understand the Moon and beyond!
PlanetVac is a revolutionary technology for acquiring and transferring regolith from the lunar surface to instruments (for in situ analysis) or sample returned container (for sample return missions). PlanetVac uses robust and dust tolerant pneumatic approach, similar to traditional pneumatic based powder delivery technologies used on earth. The main difference is the sources of gas: PlanetVac uses a standalone gas canister to provide working fluid. Implementing of PlanetVac on any mission which requires a sample would add a minimal mass and cost to the entire mission. The technology has been initially funded via NASA SBIR, Spacetech REDDI, and The Planetary Society. The Principal Investigator is Kris Zacny from Honeybee Robotics. This effort is supported by NASA Kennedy Space Center SwampWorks.
LISTER (Lunar Instrumentation for Subsurface Thermal Exploration with Rapidity) is an instrumentation designed to measure the heat flow from the interior of the Moon. The probe penetrates >2 m into the lunar regolith using a pneumatic drill and measures the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity for the depth interval of the regolith penetrated. The heat flow is obtained as the product of these two measurements. The measurements would provide key constraints to the Moon’s thermal evolution and the history of the crust-mantle differentiation. Pneumatic drilling and thermal sensing technology has been initially developed via NASA SBIR and PIDDP programs. Honeybee is developing this technology in collaboration with Prof. Seiichi Nagihara, the instruments’ Principal Investigator from Texas Tech University.