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Mini-Me Cubesat hypersonic decelerator flight experiment

August 8, 2014

We propose a Cubesat mission to Mars with the NEO scout architecture and deployment from SLS on a cislunar trajectory,intriguingly we think that even with boil off of propellants a SLS third stage could do a free return lunar flyby with a Oberth burn at earth.

One 6U cubesat would prove out ideas concerning very small inflatable hypersonic decelerators in the martian atmosphere, the other concept is a 6U cubesat Phobos and Deimos explorer, all of them could benefit from hypersonic deceleration.

 

(A)(1) At what range could a 6U cubesat communicate with a mars orbiting Electra communications payload?

(A)(2) could we operate a 6U cubesat beyond .5 AU while on a trajectory to mars without communications for 6 months?

(B)(1) can we miniaturize hypersonic decelerators for use with cubesats?

(C)(1) can the SLS TLI stage survive long enough (5 days) to do a free lunar return and Earth Oberth burn?(to mars)

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