The objective of the EuroMoon2000 study has been to design a lunar space vehicle that could land on the Moon’s South Pole. This was the very first ESA project that was conducted in a concurrent engineering environment, where both Estec project staff and industry representatives were co-located during a longer period, to define the mission concept and to iterate on the preliminary spacecraft design.
A fast prototype simulator has been used to identify the strategy for achieving the final descent of the EuroMoon lander onto the Moon's surface. The objectives of the simulator were to get an early identification of the issues involved during the landing phase and the type of Man-Machine Interface (MMI) required for supporting the landing phase from the ground. The ability to quickly modify the MMI displays and to test alternatives was therefore important. The availability of this fast prototype simulator proved to be beneficial during the system definition phase.
The simulator prototype as created during the cause of the study has been developed with the following goals in mind:
To identify a feasible strategy and timeline for the descent of the EuroMoon lander onto the lunar surface.
To assess the ability of an operator to be in the guidance loop.
To clarify the possible division of tasks between those carried out by the lander and those performed at Ground Control on Earth.
To support the specification of an effective MMI for the Ground Control centre during the landing phase.
To derive the specification of the Ground Control Operations Simulator to be used in preparation of the actual mission.