Session

Technical Session IX: Propulsion

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Lunar Flashlight is a 6U CubeSat mission from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that will search for water-ice deposits near the lunar south pole. Lunar Flashlight aims to add to the flight experience of deep-space CubeSats by demonstrating an orbit insertion using a green monopropellant propulsion system designed uniquely for this mission. Developed by NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center (MSFC) and Georgia Tech's Space Systems Design Laboratory (SSDL), the Lunar Flashlight Propulsion System (LFPS) delivers over 2500N-s of total impulse for the orbit insertion and necessary attitude maneuvers. The custom propulsion system fits within a 2.5U volume and has a total wet mass of less than six kilograms. It will be fueled byAF-M315E, which is a green monopropellant developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as a safer alternative to hydrazine. Additive manufacturing is utilized to fabricate several components of its primary structure. Upon completion, Lunar Flashlight may become the first CubeSat to achieve orbit around a celestial body besides Earth. The LFPS aims to be a pathfinder device for CubeSat missions by demonstrating how monopropellant systems, green monopropellant fuel, and additive manufacturing can be utilized to expand the reach of small satellite space exploration.

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Aug 1st, 12:00 AM

Design of a Green Monopropellant Propulsion System for the Lunar Flashlight CubeSat Mission

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Lunar Flashlight is a 6U CubeSat mission from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that will search for water-ice deposits near the lunar south pole. Lunar Flashlight aims to add to the flight experience of deep-space CubeSats by demonstrating an orbit insertion using a green monopropellant propulsion system designed uniquely for this mission. Developed by NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center (MSFC) and Georgia Tech's Space Systems Design Laboratory (SSDL), the Lunar Flashlight Propulsion System (LFPS) delivers over 2500N-s of total impulse for the orbit insertion and necessary attitude maneuvers. The custom propulsion system fits within a 2.5U volume and has a total wet mass of less than six kilograms. It will be fueled byAF-M315E, which is a green monopropellant developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as a safer alternative to hydrazine. Additive manufacturing is utilized to fabricate several components of its primary structure. Upon completion, Lunar Flashlight may become the first CubeSat to achieve orbit around a celestial body besides Earth. The LFPS aims to be a pathfinder device for CubeSat missions by demonstrating how monopropellant systems, green monopropellant fuel, and additive manufacturing can be utilized to expand the reach of small satellite space exploration.