travel almost 100 million kilometers

CubeSat are tiny satellites measuring just tens of an inch. As such, its service life and operating options are generally drastically limited as it does not contain space for engines or other powertrains in condition. This is not the case with the last two CubeSat that NASA is going to send into space. With plasma thrusters, they are expected to break the record for longest distance traveled.

The orion spaceship With the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, it will take a series of CubeSats into space for different companies and organizations on its first mission. The last two to be added are the plasma-powered CubeSats. According to the US space agency, these CubeSats will use electromagnetic waves to propel themselves in space.

Is about los CubeSat ‘Team Miles’ y el CubeSat ‘EQUilibriUM Lunar-Earth point 6U Spacecraft (EQUULEUS)’ by JAXA. Both satellites will be connected to the Orion spacecraft at its stage adapter (the system that links the spacecraft to the rocket). Once in space, they will unfold to begin their own journey.

The JAXA CubeSat will take photos of the Earth’s plasmasphere from a distance around the Earth and the Moon. For his part Miles Space’s CubeSat is the one that sets out to break records. It is equipped with these plasma thrusters specially to test the feasibility of the feature.

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If the Team Miles CubeSat is successful, it will travel a greater distance than any other man-made artifact of similar class. It is estimated to travel about 96 million kilometers in the space. To put it in context, the minimum distance between Earth and Mars is 62 million kilometers.

Plasma thrusters use low frequency electromagnetic waves to move the CubeSat. This idea has been developed as part of a NASA contest to find technological innovations for these small satellites and improve their capabilities. The CubeSat also has a small computer inside that will allow you to navigate autonomously and will indicate where the Earth is to send life signals throughout your adventure.

Ingenuity to move small cubes in space

Plasma thrusters They are not the only idea that has been developed in recent years to move these tiny artifacts through space. Previously We have seen for example an electromagnetic system that takes advantage of the outside of the Earth’s magnetic field to push the CubeSat.

Another clever idea is la de LightSail, which unfolded a huge sail to take advantage of the solar wind as a way of navigation. In all three cases, ingenious ideas to give these little satellites more potential, which are often the only option for small businesses and organizations to conduct scientific and technological research.

Via | NASA


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