Amy Haft, Talon Coons, Justin Garcia, Christian Luther, David Dickerson, Ryan Gonzalez, Amelia Mosher, Jason Estler, Joseph Pinkston
The LEWIS CubeSat Project is a critical part of NASA Artemis missions, which are intended to establish lunar bases on humanity’s journey to Mars. Our mission is called Satellite Examination of the Lunar Exterior for Novel Exploration, or SELENE, after the Greek goddess of the moon. The goal of mission SELENE is to design a 12U CubeSat, called LEWIS, to image the lunar surface at a 0.5-meter resolution to provide data for potential lunar bases. The LEWIS CubeSat will be launched in November 2025 with the Artemis III mission and will be carried on the SLS as a co-manifested payload. Employing its propulsion system complete with green mono-propellent, LEWIS will induce four burns during its journey. The first burn occurs upon separation from the upper stage as LEWIS enters a trans-lunar injection orbit. During its cruise phase in this orbit, LEWIS will begin electronic function, utilizing a power system with 15% mission power margins. The second burn places LEWIS in a circular orbit at an altitude of 1,500 kilometers above the lunar surface. The LEWIS completes a third burn to enter its mapping orbit with a perilune of 15 kilometers. Potential landing sites on the Lunar South Pole for the Artemis program will be imaged at the perilune position and sent back to the Earth through the Deep Space Network using S-Band transponders. The final burn occurs upon mission completion and LEWIS will dispose itself in a designated lunar graveyard. SELENE is a high-tech, low-cost, and low-waste mission that will bring NASA one giant leap closer to its goal of landing a human on Mars .