GLEE is a science and technology mission to the surface of the Moon conducted by students from all over the world. Now, how does that work?
Local: Each student team will design a science mission local to their LunaSat that is based on their interests and the expertise of their team and supporting community. Each team will utilize the sensor suite onboard the LunaSat to conduct science that will help complete their science mission.
Distributed: Each LunaSat will be used in different groupings to perform larger-scale and distributed science beyond the individual team's local mission.
Initially, a team at Cornell, headed by then-grad-student Hunter Adams, developed a tiny spacecraft called ChipSat in an attempt to drastically cut down the costs of spaceflight and exploration in Low Earth Orbit. We've taken this idea with our goal to expand to the Moon, have developed our own version, LunaSats.
Our small, yet powerful LunaSats are able to collect temperature, magnetic field, and inertial measurements on the harsh environment of the lunar surface for two lunar days, or approximately 56 Earth days. With that much power and time, and dependent on each team's local and distributed science missions, even more data can be collected!
All selected teams involved with GLEE will receive a base, non-lunar ready, version of the LunaSat, provided to the team by the GLEE Team. Teams will be able to test and code those LunaSats as a learning process prior to our Lunar ready version. Once the time comes, our teams will be able to remotely communicate with the LunaSats while they are on the lunar surface to conduct their individual missions!
The Comms mission is to bring STEM education opportunities to anyone interested in learning. As a team, we have developed 10 hands-on modules to teach teams about sensors, power management, RF communication, and much more. To make this information accessible to everyone, we created material to appeal to many levels of experience. The base modules are written for anyone to understand without the need for prior knowledge. However, if teams want to get more technical with their LunaSats, additional materials are supplied. This is the Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone, so we want to ensure everyone is included.
Looking forward to the lunar surface, we are still in the works of developing our technology for when we arrive! This includes answering the question of deployment, how our data will be transmitted back, and how we intend to do no harm to the lunar environment. As of now, we are working hard to finalize all of these aspects, in addition to finding a ride to the moon! If you or anyone you know is interested in supporting our mission, please reach out to us, as we are always looking for and open to new mentors and aid to try be able to reach for the stars (moon).