Return with LRO

Narration: Cathy Peddie


(Radio chatter from the Apollo moon landing) “Houston… Tranquility base here… the eagle has landed. Roger.” (Cathy Peddie) When I was a little girl and people were always asking me, ”What do you want to be when you grow up?” I used to always say, “I want to work up there.” As an engineer, you dream of a job like this, where you get to follow in the footsteps of some of your childhood heroes. And of course for me the Apollo mission, seeing these folks on TV step on the moon and work for NASA. As an engineer, it’s just a dream to be able to say,” you know I want to do that too” and here I am. Hi, I’m Cathy Peddie and I’ve got the coolest job at NASA. I get to work on a project called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter project or LRO. We’re going back to the moon. And guess what we’re doing right now? We’re building all the parts of the spacecraft at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The LRO instrument suite is comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstrator. And they are geared towards providing us a verity of data sets. Ranging from a thermal map of the moon, global topography, and most importantly looking for resources like water ice on the moon. The entire suite should provide more of an atlas as opposed to a map. So that we know where to go on the moon, where to have the safe landing sites, and where to put things like lunar out post in the hopes of having human exploration in the near future. All of our instruments have been built, so right now they are all being qualified. Our propulsion tanks, all the fuel that’s going to take us to the moon and get us into orbit, are already done, completed. So we are in the throws of the assembly sequence. All of the engineers and technicians and all of our business folks are working very hard to make sure we successfully intergraded and tested and get ready for our launch next year. If I were to dream, I would love to see that LRO lived way beyond, decades beyond, it’s supposed life. And was able to do more then what we said it would do and maybe discover something that would not only enable human exploration but do something that just made it happen a lot quicker. Or we look back on the earth and we were able to help life here on earth because of something that we never even thought of because of the little project called LRO. That would be great, that would be awesome.