Tooley, C.R., Houghton, M.B., Saylor, R.S. et al. Space Sci Rev (2010) 150: 23. doi:10.1007/s11214-009-9624-4
Launched June 18, 2009, with its primary mission scheduled to end September 2010, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be the first observatory ever to spend an entire year orbiting and observing the Moon at a low altitude of just 50 km. The spacecraft carries a wide variety of scientific instruments and will provide an extraordinary opportunity to study the lunar landscape at resolutions and over time scales never achieved before. This paper is intended as a companion to the series of papers released simultaneously in this journal detailing LRO’s instruments and their planned measurements. The paper describes the design and key performance drivers of the LRO spacecraft and overall mission design. It presents a comprehensive description of the operation of the various systems that comprise the spacecraft and illustrates how these systems enable achievement of the mission requirements.