Adler CubeSat mission proposals

The Adler CubeSat initiative has been moving forward.  Two mission concepts have been selected for further development.  Our primary mission is to fly a cryocooled mid-infrared imager.  As a backup, we’re also considering an active radar to detect orbital debris. The objective of the IR mission (or ADLIRSAT) is to obtain full coverage of Earth’s surface from 51º North to 51º South using a 1280×1024 resolution, 12 micron pixel pitch imager operating at 3-5 micron wavelength (mid-infrared) and map changes in the Earth’s surface temperature over time.  It would be one of the first satellites to demonstrate a cryocooled MWIR…

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MarsDrop experiment plumets into Midwestern corn field

MarsDrop is an initiative to develop an inexpensive space probe that will land on Mars using a parawing. The parawing will allow the probe to fly significant distances through the Martian atmosphere under controlled guidance. The only way this can be tested on Earth is to drop the probe and parawing from a high-altitude balloon in the stratosphere where the conditions mimic those found on Mars. Orbital Transports is collaborating with Far Horizons and The Aerospace Corporation to develop the guided descent components. We conducted the first test of the parawing and guided descent components today. The parawing unfortunately failed…

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Orbital Transports collaborates with the Adler Planetarium to build CubeSat

We attended the 1st Adler Planetarium CubeSat Development Workshop held on February 1st. The workshop kicked off a program at the planetarium to build and fly an open-sourced collaboratively built CubeSat under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The intention is to submit a proposal to NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite (ELaNA) Mission, which provides flight opportunities for CubeSats built by educational institutions. Once the proposal is accepted, the Adler will become the first planetarium with a presence in space. In addition to Orbital Transports, Adler staff and volunteers, attendees included students college faculty, and members of Chicago’s Pumping Station One maker…

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