The European Space Agency is going to set an exploration on our natural satellite moon. The step taken by European Space Agency is motivated by the thought to bring the human race more closer to the moon.
To begin with this mission, the agency has previously announced the tender for the development of new satellites which will be allocated for this mission. The satellites that has been finalized for this lunar exploration mission are Lumio ( Lunar Meteoroid Impact Orbiter ) and VMMO ( Lunar Volatile and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter ). The design of these satellites is quite futuristic, it has a cubic shaped design and the dimensions of the satellites are somewhat similar to a cockpit of an aeroplane.
While orbiting the Moon, the Lumio will look for the impact of meteorites on the lunar surface with the help of an optical camera on the far side of the moon which can’t be seen through telescopes on the earth , the VMMO will identify the ice, water and other potential minerals will be useful from the exploration persepctive. The VMMO will particularly study the Shackleton Crater which seems to have few traces of water and ice under it’s surface. This crater usually has permanent darkness and water molecules present there condense and freeze subjecting to extreme cold temperatures. The VMMO will take 260 days to map down the ice and water imagergy of 20 km diameter crater and will send the data back to the earth through an optical communication
VMMO will also be equipped with a secondary radiation detection load that will provide a detail model of radiation environment