UCF professor teams up with NASA to create camera going to the moon

University of Central Florida professor Kerri Donaldson Hanna is developing a one-of-a-kind camera going to the moon, the result of over two years of work.

"There is only so much we can do from orbit, and so now is the time to actually get a similar camera on the lunar surface and start looking in fine details," Donaldson Hanna said.

The physics professor is working with NASA to discover the rocks and soil on the moon’s south pole, research she says could be a huge advancement for space exploration.

"Most of the cameras that have been to the lunar surface so far that we have been looking at are wavelengths that are similar to cameras like our iPhones," she said.

But, the new camera is more like a thermal camera and thermometer that will be taking a heat snapshot of the lunar surface, giving astronauts and rovers the ability to know where to look for important things like water, something that can possibly be used by humans and for rocket fuel.

"You just get that better data that allows you to unlock so many new mysteries and answer so many questions. This will for the first time give us the chance to do that at the moon," Donaldson Hanna said.

She says the camera will touch down on the lunar surface in 2022 with a robotic lander. She says this advancement is a key step in sending people back to the moon by 2024.