Farside Seismic Suite
Start: 10/06/2021 - End: 25/06/2026
Coordinator(s): Philippe Lognonné, Mark Panning
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ California Institute of Technology
IPGP, CNES, ISAE, APC, IC, Kinemetrics
Planetology and Space Sciences
Earth and Planetary Interiors
The FarSide Seismic Suite mission, under the responsibility of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (PI, M. Panning), will deploy an autonomous seismic station in the Schrödinger impact crater in mid-2025. This station will remain on the lander’s deck. It is equipped with a vertical Very Broad Band seismometer, derived from the spare model of the SEIS experiment (NASA Insight mission), under French responsibility (lead co-Investigator, P. Lognonné, VBBZ Project Leader, S. de Raucourt), and is completed by a short period tri-axial seismometer, under US-English responsibility.
The FSS experiment will mark the return of seismology to the Moon, 50 years after the deployment of the Apollo seismic stations, and will answer several questions that are still unanswered today:
- Are there deep earthquakes under the far side of the Moon?
- What is the temperature of the Moon’s deep mantle?
- Is the deep mantle partially melted?
- What is the structure of the Schrödinger impact basin?
- How thick are the lava flows covering the impact basin?
- What is the thickness of the crust beneath the Schrödinger basin?
- What is the magnitude of the Moon’s microseismic noise and its statistical properties?
- What is the magnitude of the micrometeorite flux generating it?
Mission schedule :
- The mission was selected by NASA on June 10, 2021, and the France-US collaboration agreement was signed on December 2, 2022.
- The VBBZ module was developed by IPGP and CNES in autumn 2020 and delivered to JPL in February 2023.
- Integration of FSS at JPL (2023-2024)
- Launch planned for the first half of 2025
- Nominal mission, 4 ½ months
- Extended mission: 1 year
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