Lunar Lander Model with Inertial Tracking
If you enjoy the idea of humanity reaching beyond our earthly borders, it’s certainly an exciting time to be alive. Not since perhaps the 1960s has our public consciousness been so interested in this pursuit. With new nation and private enterprises now in the space race, it seems that another person walking on the moon in the near-ish future is a distinct possibility.
On the other hand, it’s safe to say that the vast – vast, vast, vast – majority of us will not walk on the lunar surface, or pilot a landing module. Kids, however, pretend to fly objects through the sky all the time, perhaps attempting to land spacecraft on various adventures. This project by Saste Jugaad takes that concept several steps further, as a 3D-printable lunar lander module based on the India’s Chandrayaan-3 vehicle.
Inside this model spacecraft’s structure is an ESP32-CAM module, along with an MPU-6050 IMU sensor. This allows the lander to send data to a base station PC via Wi-Fi. The base station then displays mission control stats using a Processing sketch, including inertial data as well as a view from the lander itself. The idea looks like a lot of fun, allowing you to “fly” the lander around in your hand, and see just how softly you touched down.