DataFromDust seeks to fulfill a NASA Funding Announcement for “Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads that will fly to the Moon on commercial lunar landers” which “advance capabilities for science, exploration, or commercial development of the Moon.”
DataFromDust is still in the initial stages of creating a scientific instrument proposal and is open to input and individuals interested in joining the project team.
Regarding the purpose of the instrument, NASA states, “On early missions, science instruments will likely gather data related to heat flow within the Moon’s interior, solar wind and atmosphere as well as dust detection. Lander payloads could also conduct technology demonstrations, using the Moon as a technology testbed for Mars.”
‘“We are looking for ways to not only conduct lunar science but to also use the Moon as a science platform to look back at the Earth, observe the Sun, or view the vast Universe,” said Steve Clarke, Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In terms of technology, we are interested in those instruments or systems that will help future missions—both human and robotic—explore the Moon and feed forward to future Mars missions.”’
November 2019 is the estimated initial proposal deadline for the next lunar lander opportunity.