Explore the Moon and See Updated Lunar Trailblazer Targets

10 February 2023

Caltech Lunar Trailblazer intern Ellen Min worked this past fall to update key features on our Moon Exploration Tool. The Moon Exploration Tool, originally built by former Lunar Trailblazer intern Winnie Jeng, is a 3D web-based interactive model of the Moon with various datasets that will help lunar scientists identify key locations on the Moon to look for water.

In addition to viewing these datasets on the Moon's surface, Lunar Trailblazer's imaging targets are also mapped on the surface of the 3D model. Previously, these targets were represented as dots on the surface, organized by priority. Min helped improve the useability of the tool by representing the size and shape of each target site. In addition, Min introduced design features that communicate which targets were created by the Lunar Trailblazer science team, and which were created by the greater lunar science community. Min also enhanced the tool's functionality for mission operations by building functionality for differentiating acquisition status (planned and acquired), which will help the Lunar Trailblazer science team and the lunar science community visualize Lunar Trailblazer's progress once it is in lunar mapping orbit. "It was interesting to see how data visualization could both communicate what we were doing and serve as a tool during mission operations," says Min. "On the front end, I learned how to make intuitive visualizations for a variety of audiences; on the back end, I learned how to store and manage geographical data."

The Lunar Trailblazer Moon Exploration Tool, including several of Min's updates, can be viewed on the Lunar Trailblazer website HERE.

By Jasper Miura
Jasper Miura is a Research Technician Associate and Lunar Trailblazer Science Manager at Caltech.