Griffin safely and precisely lands to deliver a rover and other payloads to the lunar surface. Autonomous guidance, navigation, and control enables successful soft landing without remote human guidance.
Griffin is equipped with sensors and advanced navigation software. Radio time-of-flight and Doppler provide primary means for navigation during cruise. Sun sensors and star tracker enable attitude determination. An inertial measurement unit provides rate estimates. When approaching the Moon, cameras register the spacecraft to lunar terrain for precision landing and laser sensors construct 3-D surface models of intended landing zone to detect slopes and hazards and determine a safe landing spot. This enables drift correction during transit, high precision when approaching landing sites, and a safe, controlled landing.
The lander has four tanks surrounding a main bi-propellant thruster. Four clusters of ACS thrusters at each corner of the lander provide attitude control. The thrusters are shuttle surplus. The lander’s aluminum frame is stout, stiff, and simple, built for ease of manufacture and assembly. The main isogrid deck provides mounting and thermal control for avionics. Ramps mounted to the top of the deck enable rover egress and four legs provide stability and shock absorption as the lander touches down.
Operating Environment: Cruise, orbit, and surface operations at any lunar destination.
Lander Mass: 525kg
Rover and Payload Mass Capability: 260kg (View Payload User’s Guide)
Average Power: 200W (600W peak)
Landing Precision: 100m (3σ) of target coordinates
Dimensions (LxWxH): 3 x 3 x 2m
Features: Image Registration for Precision Landing, Laser Scanner for Hazard Detection and Safe Landing, Bipropellant Thrusters for Orbit Capture, Attitude Control, and Landing, Passive Thermal Control, Direct to Earth Communication