Flight Works to attend the 35th annual Small Sat Conference which will be held virtually August 7th-12th 2021. Known in the space industry as the premier conference on small satellites, the conference is expected to bring the brightest minds together to network and discuss the past year’s successes, current challenges, as well as share innovative technological advances in small spacecraft development.
A Flight Works propellant pump will play a critical role in Stellar Exploration’s propulsion system on NASA’s CAPSTONE CubeSat. NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is a 55-pound spacecraft that will launch later in 2021 and take three months to arrive at its destination, to orbit around the moon for another six months. CAPSTONE’s primary objective is to test and verify the calculated orbital stability of a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbits (NRHO) around the moon. This will help reduce risk for future spacecraft and NASA’s planned Gateway Lunar outpost, a small space station that will orbit around the moon to provide astronauts with access to the lunar surface.
Flight Work’s President and CEO, Eric Besnard joined Maxon’s Robin Phillips as guest speakers on a Tech Briefs webinar discussing the topic of Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian Mission Mechanisms. You can listen to a recording of the webinar at the link below.
Flight Works is proud to support the NASA Lunar Flashlight Mission. Flight Work’s propellant pump is to be used in the propulsion system aboard NASA’s Lunar Flashlight, a small satellite, or CubeSat, slated to launch as a secondary satellite on the Artemis mission in the fall of 2021. The spacecraft which is about the size of a briefcase and weighs 30 pounds, will be equipped with four lasers that will be used to determine whether there is a presence of water ice on regions of the moon’s South Pole. This CubeSat will demonstrate many technological firsts; it will be the first to reach the moon, the first planetary mission to use green propulsion and the first to utilize lasers to search for water ice. The Lunar Flashlight will deploy from an adapter on the Orion spacecraft just four hours after initial launch and its mission is expected to last two months.
As part of a NASA Phase I SBIR, Flight Works is expanding its micropump-fed propulsion technology to the development and demonstration of a low cost, compact, high performance lunar transfer stage designed for small launchers like Rocket Lab’s Electron and Virgin Orbit’s Launcher One. With a total wet mass around 230 kg, the transfer stage is designed to provide high-thrust, high delta-V capabilities of over 3 km/s to one or more nanosat payloads weighing more than 30 kg. It will be able to propel small spacecraft (CubeSat or nanosat) from Low Earth Orbit on to Trans Lunar Injection trajectories. The system can either stay attached to the small primary payload for long term mission operations, or deploy the latter at its destined lunar orbit.