SkyFire[1]
SkyFire lunar CubeSat.jpg
NamesLunIR
Mission typeTechnology demo, reconnaissance
OperatorLockheed Martin
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSkyFire
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Bus6U
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Launch mass14 kg (31 lb)
Dimensions10×20×30 cm
Start of mission
Launch date2020-2021[2]
RocketSLS Block 1
Launch siteKennedy 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 planned to fly on the Space Launch System.

Mission

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.[3] 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.[4][5][6]

Launch

SkyFire will fly along other 12 CubeSats as a secondary payload mission on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System.

Propulsion

SkyFire will also demonstrate a low thrust electric propulsion technology called electrospray propulsion to lower the spacecraft's orbit for additional science and technology mission objectives.[7]

See also

The 13 CubeSats flying in the Artemis 1 mission

References

  1. ^ https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/lunir.htm
  2. ^ "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ Williams, Greg; Crusan, Jason (April 2015). "Pioneering Space –the Evolvable Mars Campaign" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  4. ^ Morring, Frank (24 April 2015). "Habitats Could Be NASA's Next Commercial Spacecraft Buy". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  5. ^ Clark, Stephen (8 April 2015). "NASA adding to list of CubeSats flying on first SLS mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter Dirk (19 May 2015). "Skyfire". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  7. ^ "Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Projects". NASA. NASA. May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-05.