Space.com's 50 Years After Apollo, India Is Carrying a NASA Laser Reflector to the Moon (And It's Only the Start) is a little confusing because it talks about three retroreflectors: - Apollo era retroreflector arrays - Vikram microreflector - Next Generation Lunar Reflector (NGLR)
Question: What exactly is a "Next Generation Lunar Reflector" and how does it differ in design and performance from all other retroreflector designs used or planned for use on or near the Moon? What is it that makes them so Next Generation-esque?
Dell'Agnello is leading the research team on the Vikram microreflector and is a co-investigator working on the upcoming Next Generation Lunar Reflector (NGLR) for NASA's Artemis program. The "next-gen retroreflectors are much more compact and lighter than Apollo's meter-size arrays deployed by Apollo 11, 14 and 15 astronauts," Dell'Agnello added.