The Clementine Mission: Scientific Overview

 Stewart Nozette, Naval Center for Space Technology, Naval Research Laboratory,Washington D.C. 20375 USA nozette@ssdd.nrl.navy.mil

 Abstract

 The Clementine mission was launched in January 1994 and operated until June 1995.  The spacecraft and sensor payload were constructed and launched in 22 months.  Clementine was conceived as a flight test of over 23 advanced lightweight technologies developed by US DoD missile defense and related programs.  Following policy guidance of the Bush 41 Administration to use DoD technologies to further space exploration, Clementine also undertook a civilian science mission in cooperation with NASA, the complete mapping of the moon in 11 spectral bands.  Additional science investigations included lunar laser altimetry and gravimetry, high-resolution imaging, long wave infrared imaging, and bistatic radar observations of the lunar poles to search for evidence of ice in permanently shadowed areas.    Both the DoD and civilian missions were highly successful.   Numerous subsequent DoD, NASA, and commercial spacecraft have used the technology flight qualified by Clementine.   The science return by Clementine has made significant contributions to lunar science including preliminary evidence of the presence of ice at the lunar south pole.  The technological and scientific results of the Clementine mission will be reviewed with a focus on their relevance for future exploration of the Moon.