SkyFire (spacecraft)

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SkyFire
SkyFire lunar CubeSat.jpg
Mission type Technology demo, reconnaissance
Operator Lockheed Martin
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft SkyFire
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Bus 6U
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Launch mass 14 kg (31 lb)
Dimensions 10×20×30 cm
Start of mission
Launch date 2019[1]
Rocket SLS Block 1
Launch site Kennedy LC-39B
Flyby of Moon

SkyFire is a planned nanosatellite spacecraft that will fly by the Moon and collect surface spectroscopy and thermography. It is scheduled to fly on the Space Launch System, Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) scheduled to launch in 2019.

Mission[edit]

Its purpose is that of a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) technology demonstration using a low-cost 6U CubeSat spacecraft. SkyFire will perform a lunar flyby, collecting spectroscopy and thermography for surface characterization, remote sensing, and site selection.[2] The spacecraft includes two deployable solar arrays and will have a total mass of about 14 kg (31 lb).

SkyFire was selected in April 2015 by NASA's NextSTEP program (Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships) and awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Space systems worth $1.4 million for further development.[3][4][5]

Launch[edit]

SkyFire will fly along other 12 CubeSats as a secondary payload mission on the first flight of the Space Launch System, Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) scheduled to launch in 2019.[1]

Propulsion[edit]

SkyFire will also demonstrate a low thrust electric propulsion rocket engine technology called electrospray propulsion to lower the spacecraft's orbit for additional science and technology mission objectives.[6]

See also[edit]

The 13 CubeSats flying in the Exploration Mission 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (28 April 2017). "NASA confirms first flight of Space Launch System will slip to 2019". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Williams, Greg; Crusan, Jason (April 2015). "Pioneering Space –the Evolvable Mars Campaign" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  3. ^ Morring, Frank (24 April 2015). "Habitats Could Be NASA's Next Commercial Spacecraft Buy". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  4. ^ Clark, Stephen (8 April 2015). "NASA adding to list of CubeSats flying on first SLS mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter Dirk (19 May 2015). "Skyfire". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  6. ^ "Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Projects". NASA. NASA. May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-05.