1U CubeSat Green Propulsion System with Post-Launch Pressurization

PI: Michael Tsay, Busek Co. Inc., Eric Cardiff (Co-I), NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

The objective of this project is to develop a 1U integrated CubeSat propulsion system utilizing a non-toxic, “green” propellant. The system will also feature an innovative post-launch pressurization scheme. With the ability to launch completely unpressurized, the system will pose minimum hazards to the spacecraft integrator, the primary payload and the launch vehicle. In essence, it will be a superb candidate for rideshare opportunities because of its low toxicity, safety and minimum need for launch waivers.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA02 In-Space Propulsion Technologies
Technology Maturation

The 1U propulsion system will require 15W of power at any spacecraft bus voltage and a communication port. Estimated total impulse capability is on the order of 600N-sec, which can easily be scaled up by expanding the propellant tank volume. In Phase I, critical components of the 1U system will be developed, culminating in a system demonstration test. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has agreed to support the development of the aforementioned post-launch pressurization device as well as to provi

Future Customers

From the infusion of existing technologies, future flight prototype systems can be procured with minimum additional cost. Potential test platform for the flight prototype system includes the SpaceLoft XL suborbital reusable launch vehicle developed by UP Aerospace.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NRA-2-APP-E (Aug 2013)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    TRL 3
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

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