LunaH-Map Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper Spacecraft
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01 objective

LunaH-Map is a 6U CubeSat searching for hydrogen deposits at the Moon's south pole.
“The H is silent because the hydrogen is hiding in the permanently shadowed regions."

The Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) is a 6U CubeSat mission recently selected by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to fly as a secondary payload on first Exploration Mission (EM-1) of the Space Launch System (SLS), scheduled to launch in July 2018. LunaH-Map is led by a small team of researchers and students at Arizona State University, in collaboration with NASA centers, JPL, universities, and commercial space businesses. The LunaH-Map mission will reveal hydrogen abundances at spatial scales below 10 km in order to understand the relationship between hydrogen and permanently shadowed regions, particularly craters, at the Moon’s South Pole. The mission’s primary payload is designed to use the scintillator material Cs2YLiCl6:Ce, or “CLYC” to measure count rates of thermal and epithermal neutrons. Enabled by a low-thrust ion propulsion system, LunaH-Map will achieve lunar orbit insertion within ~12 months of SLS separation and maneuver into a highly elliptical, low-perilune (5-10 km) orbit centered around the South Pole of the Moon. In this orbit, LunaH-Map will achieve over 140 low-altitude fly-bys of the South Pole during its two month science phase. LunaH-Map and two fellow secondary payloads selected by NASA to fly on SLS EM-1 will be the first CubeSats to explore the Moon and interplanetary space.

02 Media

In The News

Academic Publications

Hardgrove, Craig et al. "LunaH Map CubeSat." IMPROVING SPACE OPERATIONS WORKSHOP. Proc. of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, California, Pasadena. Web. [PDF]

Hardgrove, Craig et al. "The lunar polar hydrogen mapper (lunah-map) mission: mapping hydrogen distributions in permanently shadowed regions of the moon’s south pole." Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (2015): n. pag. USRA-Houston. Universities Space Research Association. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. [PDF]

03 Spacecraft Systems




CLYC Neutron Detector


Radio Communications



Guidance Navigation & Control

Blue Canyon XACT

04 team

Craig Hardgrove

Principal Investigator

Craig Hardgrove is an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. He received his B.S. in Physics from Georgia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Tennessee. Craig served as a postdoctoral research scientist at both Stony Brook University and Arizona State University prior to his appointment as an Assistant Professor at ASU. He has also worked spacecraft operations for a number of interplanetary missions, including the Mars Spirit and Opportunity rover, the Mars Curiosity rover, and the Mars Context Camera (CTX). Craig's research focuses on determining water abundances on planetary surfaces, primarily using neutron spectroscopy. Craig is also a participating scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument to determine hydrogen and other volatile abundances throughout Curiosity's traverse to Mt. Sharp. Craig is an advocate for the development of small interplanetary spacecraft with highly focused science missions, and is also working on several funded NASA projects to develop new types of neutron and gamma-ray spectrometers for future planetary science missions.

Jim Bell

Deputy Principal Investigator

Dr. Jim Bell is a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He received his B.S. in Planetary Science and Aeronautics from Caltech, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawaii, and served as a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center. Jim's research group primarily focuses on the geology, geochemistry, and mineralogy of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions.

Igor Lazbin

Chief Engineer

Igor is a co-founder of AZ Space Technologies LLC, a company specializing in design and manufacture of instrument and spacecraft avionics and software for space applications. He has 28 years of experience in embedded control system design for a variety of applications, including spacecraft and terrestrial control systems, power electronics, and motion control. Igor’s particular area of expertise is all aspects of spacecraft Guidance Navigation and Control (GN&C) system development from initial study phases through post-launch support, including design, analysis, component specification, algorithm implementation, testing, subsystem integration, and on-orbit checkout and commissioning. Igor also has extensive experience in spacecraft GPS receiver algorithms, software, and testing.

Team Members

Science Team

Craig Hardgrove, LunaH-Map Principal Investigator, ASU

Jim Bell, LunaH-Map Deputy Principal Investigator, ASU

Mark Robinson, LunaH-Map Science Team Co-Investigator, ASU

Paul Scowen, LunaH-Map Instrument Integration Engineer, ASU

Richard Starr, LunaH-Map Science Team Co-Investigator, Catholic University

Darrell Drake, LunaH-Map Science Team Co-Investigator, Consultant

Tony Colaprete, LunaH-Map Science Team Co-Investigator, NASA Ames

James Christian, LunaH-Map Instrument Development Manager, RMD

Erik Johnson, LunaH-Map Instrument Development Manager, RMD

Engineering Team

Igor Lazbin, LunaH-Map Chief Engineer, Arizona Space Technologies, LLC

Gates West, LunaH-Map Electronics Engineer, Arizona Space Technologies, LLC

Hannah Kerner, LunaH-Map Systems and Flight Software Engineer, ASU

Ahmet Deran, LunaH-Map Systems Engineer, ASU

Austin Godber, LunaH-Map Science Operations Center Lead, ASU

Alessandra Babuscia, LunaH-Map Communications Engineer, JPL

Kar-Ming Cheung, LunaH-Map Ground Operations Engineer, JPL

Bobby Williams, LunaH-Map Mission Design and Navigation, KinetX

Derek Nelson, LunaH-Map Mission Design and Navigation, KinetX

David Dunham, LunaH-Map Mission Design and Navigation, KinetX

Jeremy Bauman, LunaH-Map Mission Design and Navigation, KinetX

Mike Tsay, LunaH-Map Propulsion Engineer, Busek

Lenny Paritsky, LunaH-Map Propulsion Engineer, Busek

Carole Mclemore, LunaH-Map SLS SPIM, NASA MSFC

Jack Lightholder, Space Grant Intern, ASU

Robert Amzler, Space Grant Intern, ASU

Zach Burnham, Undergraduate, ASU

Matthew Beasley, LunaH-Map Collaborator, Planetary Resources

Project Management

Tess Calvert, LunaH-Map Project Manager, ASU

Kevin Reinhart, LunaH-Map Project Manager, ASU

Stephanie Holaday, LunaH-Map Business Manager, ASU