Lessons Learned From the Clementine Mission

Mission Implementation

TABLE 3.1 Comparison of Small Exploration Missions

Clementine NEARa Mars Pathfinder Lunar Prospector Deep Space 1 Stardust

Mission typeOrbiter Rendezvous Lander Orbiter Flyby Flyby/Sample Return
Destination Moon
1620 Geographos (flyby)
433 Eros
253 Mathilde (flyby)
Mars Moon 3352 McAuliffe, Mars,
and Comet P/West-
Comet P/Wild-2
Launch date 25 January 1994 11 February 1996 4 December 1996 October 1997July 1998 February 1999
Arrival time1 February 1994 (Moon) June 1997 (Mathilde)
January 1999 (Eros)
July 1997 October 1997February 1999 (McAuliffe)
April 2000 (Mars)
June 2000 (West-Kohoutek-
January 2004
Return date January 2006
Lifetime at destination
2 12 1 to 12 12 to 24
Wet mass (kg) 458 805 570 233 495 339
Dry mass (kg) 235 485 325 126 414 271
Dimension 2.0 x 1.0 1.7 x 1.7 1.5 x 2.65 1.4 x 1.29 (plus 2.5-m booms) 1.7 x 1.8 1.5 x 2.2
Payload Ultraviolet/Visible Imager
Near-Infrared Imager
Long-wave Infrared Imager
High-Resolution Imager/Lidara
Near-Infrared Spectrograph
Gamma-ray Spectrometer
Imaging System
Meteorology Package
Gamma-ray Spectrometer
Neutron Spectrometer
alphaparticle Spectrometer
Electron Reflectometer
Integrated Imager and Spectrometer
Integrated Plasma Instrument
Aerogel Dust Collectors
Aerogel Volatile Collectors
Dust-Flux Monitores
Mass Spectrometer
Payload mass (kg) 6.3 55 20 (includes rover) 55 18 45 (includes return capsule)
Cost (FY 1996 $M)b
67 (55)
 6 (5)
25 (20)
98 (80)
95 (?)
ManufacturerNRLa APLa JPLa Lockheed Martin Spectrum Astro Lockheed Martin
Launch vehicle Titan IIG Delta II 7925 Delta II 7925 LMLV2a Delta II 7326 Delta II 7426
Development schedule
28 29 39 25 34 41
Primary rationale Technology Science Technology Science Technology Science
Management style "Skunkworks"Traditional NASA Traditional NASA PIa Traditional NASA PI
Selection process Preselected Preselected Preselected Competition Preselected/IPDTa Competition

NOTE: Clementine and NASA missions such as the first flight in the New Millennium program (Deep Space 1) and the four selected Discovery missions (Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, Mars Pathfinder, Lunar Prospector, and Stardust) display a variety of similarities and differences. However, the only areas where Clementine stands out as an extreme are in terms of its payload (the smallest) and its launch vehicle (a refurbished ICBM).
The process by which Clementine was selected and managed has many elements in common with four of the five NASA missions. Like Mars Pathfinder and NEAR, Clementine was preselected by its sponsoring agency. But Clementine's "skunkworks" management approach (intimate control by a small team with full authority and accountability for every aspect of the mission) has more in common with the principal-investigator mode adopted by the Discovery missions selected through open competition (Lunar Prospector and Stardust) than with the traditional approach adopted by NASA for the preselected Discovery missions. Deep Space 1 stands out as interesting variant in that it is run as a traditional NASA program but was defined and selected via a hybrid process involving integrated product development teams, that is, groups of experts drawn from industry, academia, and government and charged with the task of identifying and prioritizing technologies likely to increase the capabilities and lower the life-cycle costs of future science missions.

aAbbreviations and acronyms are defined in the glossary.
bThe cost figures for Stardust were obtained from its principal investigator. The costs of the remaining NASA missions were taken from the agency's FY 1997 budget. All are shown in FY 1996 dollars. The values for Clementine are estimates of its cost in FY 1996 dollars based on its FY 1992 costs (shown in parentheses) obtained from its program manager. The inflation factor used to make the conversion was that used by NASA in its Announcement of Opportunity for the fifth Discovery mission (NASA, Discovery Program: Announcement of Opportunity Soliciting Proposals for Basic Research in Space Science, AO 96-OSS-02, NASA, Washington, D.C., September 20, 1996, page 8). Clementine's operational costs do not include NASA's contributions to science operations. Costs for Mars Pathfinder include the $25 million for its rover contributed by NASA's former Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology. The figures for total costs include, in some cases, contingency funds.
cFor consistency, COMPLEX has defined the development schedule of a mission as the interval from October 1 of the fiscal year of its new start through to its month of launch. By this reckoning, Clementine's development schedule was 28 months rather than the usually quoted value of 22 months.

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