ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
ESA Lunar Lander Mission
The European Lunar Lander mission, with a launch foreseen in 2018, shall demonstrate critical technologies associated with planetary landing and shall prove Europes ability to land safely and precisely. The mission will also provide an opportunity to conduct experiments and investigations on the lunar surface of relevance for future human exploration. The mission design avoids the use of radio-isotope devices, instead exploiting potential favourable locations near the Lunar South Pole, which offer near-continuous solar illumination for several months at a time. However targeting such favourable locations imposes important challenges on the precision of the landing and on the necessary hazard avoidance capability. The mission is currently in Phase B1, which should be completed in the second half of 2012 and which includes mission and system definition and design, as well as an important element of hardware and software breadboarding and testing. This paper provides an overview of the mission, its objectives, key technical challenges and the current baseline configuration. It also provides a description of the ongoing and planned technology activities carried out as part of the Phase B1 and other relevant ESA activities, focussing specifically on GNC-related developments addressing the challenging requirements of this mission.