ArgoMoon, the smallsat developed by Argotec for the Italian Space Agency, is ready on the upper stage of NASA‘s Space Launch System (SLS).
In less than a week, ArgoMoon will be among the first satellites deployed in the Artemis 1 mission, the historic test flight of the Orion spacecraft built to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
Designed, developed and operated by Argotec, ArgoMoon is equipped with two cameras. One camera will take high-resolution photos of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, the Earth and the Moon to validate the stage’s progress. Images from a second camera will power ArgoMoon’s autonomous onboard navigation system.
ArgoMoon is a 6U satellite, built on Argotec’s highly reliable Hawk 6 platform. Its advanced technology and AI programming enable it to navigate and stabilize itself without human control.
ArgoMoon is similar to LICIACube, the smallsat that captured the impact of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) probe that successfully changed an asteroid’s trajectory. The more than 600 images captured by LICIACube of the impact have proven to be invaluable to the scientific community’s study of asteroids and planetary defence. However, while LICIACube had 15 days advance deployment before its fly-by, ArgoMoon will be deployed from the SLS four hours after take-off and its mission will start immediately.
Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is scheduled for launch on Monday, November 14th.
“ArgoMoon comes with high expectations, and it is one of the most difficult missions we have ever performed,” said David Avino, CEO and founder of Argotec. “With the remarkable performance of LICIACube capturing the DART mission, we are excited to again support NASA. We are proud to be the only European satellite on this extraordinary mission, which paves the way for humanity’s return to the Moon.”