JANUS 3.0: Enabling game changing external environment payload accommodation on suborbital reusable launch vehicles

PI: H. Todd Smith, Carey Lisse (Co-I), Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab

The primary objective of this flight demonstration on Blue Origin is to develop and test an external environment access payload accommodation facility. The enhancement consists of the JANUS integration platform modified with an aerogel collector system to be mounted on the upper ring of the Propulsion Module (PM).

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

To date, relatively little in situ observations and sampling exist for suborbital space at 80-100 km altitudes despite this being a critical region where the atmosphere (collisional) transitions to space (non-collisional). What little data exists was derived from infrequent and relatively expensive sounding rockets. Once established, this capability will open up a new era of discovery in this region by providing unprecedented insight into suborbital space impacting many Earth based and geoscience missions requiring scientific measurements.

Technology Maturation

The key test objectives are to successfully mount the payload on the vehicle, successfully fly and retrieve it, and record and analyze (for suitability of external access location) temperature, vibration/acceleration and particle distribution.

Future Customers

Instrument development/testing and technology demonstration programs supporting Earth based missions but also all planetary missions and commercial ventures where this environment is at least partially applicable. Virtually any mission or commercial application that requires external access at 100 km altitudes or below will be enabled.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    REDDI-F1-17A (Nov 2017)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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