NSS has teamed with Xtraordinary Innovative Space Partnerships, Inc. (XISP-Inc.) on the Alpha Cube Sat (ACS).
The Alpha CubeSat (ACS) Team, is a registered competitor in good standing with the NASA CubeQuest Challenge.
The CubeQuest Challenge is an effort to stimulate the practical use of CubeSat scale technology including the development of innovative propulsion, navigation, and communication solutions, that will enable the use of cubesats for lunar and deep space exploration and development.
Cash prizes totally up to $5 million are to be awarded to the winners of the two derbies.
The primary objective of ACS is to compete in the Deep Space Derby which entails successfully building, launching, traveling over 3 million km from Earth and successfully completing a series of defined communications and navigation tests.
The secondary objective of ACS is to accommodate multiple technology development and commercial payloads providing a combination of data and payload services with realizable commercial value.
Depending on other external schedule events participation in the Lunar Derby may also be possible.
ACS is manifested as part of the SpaceX Falcon 9, Transporter 6 Flight, Geometric-1 LEO & Beyond Rideshare mission, launching from Cape Canaveral, to a circularized orbit with potential for a Trans Lunar Injection/Lunar Flyby trajectory insertion maneuver delta-v boost. The primary mission objective is to travel at least 3 million km from Earth and conduct NASA Cubequest Challenge Deep Space Derby Communication tests. The launch is NET October 1, 2022.
The launch vehicle integration contractor is Maverick Space Systems. If we miss this launch we can take any available launch that allows us to accomplish the primary mission objective in less than one year from the launch of Artemis-1.
The ACS mission will demonstrate both trajectories and technologies that will be useful in the development of space. The ACS mission brochure can be found here: https://www.xisp-inc.com/ACS_brochure.pdf.
The promotional video for ACS can be found here:
As part of the XISP-Inc mission development effort ACS will have a role in supporting multiple technology development, demonstration, and deployment (TD3) missions including:
- ACS – Alpha CubeSat
- SSPB – Space-to-Space Power Beaming including power and ancillary services beaming
- MOCA – Management Operations Control Applications
- INCA – Interoperable Network Communication Architecture
- HTA – Halfway To Anywhere missions
After launch the ACS spacecraft will follow progressive, low-energy trajectories to reach a deep space distance of at least three million km (about ten times the distance from the Earth to the Moon).
Depending on the final launch schedule ACS may be able to compete in the Lunar Derby before continuing on to compete in the Deep Space Derby. The alternative of accomplishing the reverse trajectory competing in the Deep Space Derby first and then transitioning to the Lunar Derby as originally proposed remains a possibility.
See the Team Alpha CubeSat website at http://www.alphacubesat.com for more detailed information about the project.