Physics & Astronomy Seminar: CubeSats: To Earth Orbit and Beyond
Mason Peck, Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering at Cornell University, will speak about CubeSats that are now the most commonly launched type of spacecraft. They represent a democratization of space that has enabled new commercial spacecraft startups, new space science, and new military-space missions. This seminar provides an overview of the CubeSat revolution and introduces a new idea: water-electrolysis
propulsion. With such a rocket engine, 3U-6U CubeSats can safely and
cheaply escape earth orbit, reach the moon, and likely near-earth
asteroids. 12U and larger CubeSats can reach Mars from Earth orbit.
Water-electrolysis propulsion is also the only known technology that
enables NASA’s Humans-to-Mars architecture to close successfully, and at
considerably lower cost than the current plan. Thanks to the ubiquity
of CubeSats, this propulsion technology promises to broaden the scope of
planetary-science and heliophysics investigations in the coming decade.
In the near term, Cornell University’s CIsLunar Explorer flight
experiment will serve as the pathfinder for the technology when it
launches in 2020 bound for lunar orbit.
Tuesday, April 17 at 11:30am
Ho Science Center, 101
1819 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA