Fostering a New Era
In the early 1990s NASA approached the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), renamed the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) in 1994, proposing a joint NASA/DoD space mission that could prove beneficial to the future objectives and capabilities of both agencies. The purpose of the mission was to test new state-of-the-art technology, its ability to function and withstand prolonged exposure to deep space and determine the collaborative functionality of a major multi-agency project.
Using Earth’s Moon as a focal point, the mission would test lightweight sensory equipment, attitude control systems and software. To accomplish mission goals Clementine required a multi-mode propulsion system, computers, inertial measurement units and an array of cameras that included an Ultraviolet/Visible Camera-UVVIS, Near Infrared Camera-NIR, High-Resolution Camera-HIRES, Laser Rangefinder-LIDAR, Long Wavelength Infrared Camera LWIR, and two Star Tracker Cameras designed and built by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.