Extending Science from Lunar Laser Ranging

authored by
Vishnu Viswanathan, Erwan Mazarico, Stephen Merkowitz, James G. Williams, Slava G. Turyshev, Douglas G. Currie, Anton I. Ermakov, Nicolas Rambaux, Agnès Fienga, Clément Courde, Julien Chabé, Jean-Marie Torre, Adrien Bourgoin, Ulrich Schreiber, Thomas M. Eubanks, Chensheng Wu, Daniele Dequal, Simone Dell'Agnello, Liliane Biskupek, Jürgen Müller, Sergei Kopeikin

The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) experiment has accumulated 50 years of range data of improving accuracy from ground stations to the laser retroreflector arrays (LRAs) on the lunar surface. The upcoming decade offers several opportunities to break new ground in data precision through the deployment of the next generation of single corner-cube lunar retroreflectors and active laser transponders. This is likely to expand the LLR station network. Lunar dynamical models and analysis tools have the potential to improve and fully exploit the long temporal baseline and precision allowed by millimetric LLR data. Some of the model limitations are outlined for future efforts. Differential observation techniques will help mitigate some of the primary limiting factors and reach unprecedented accuracy. Such observations and techniques may enable the detection of several subtle signatures required to understand the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system and the deep lunar interior. LLR model improvements would impact multi-disciplinary fields that include lunar and planetary science, Earth science, fundamental physics, celestial mechanics and ephemerides.

Institute of Geodesy
External Organisation(s)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
University of Maryland
University of California at Berkeley
Observatoire de Paris (OBSPARIS)
Observatoire Côte d'Azur
University of Bologna
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Space Initiatives Inc.
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)
University of Missouri
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Bulletin of the AAS
Publication date
Publication status
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.3847/25c2cfeb.3dc2e5e4 (Access: Open)

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