--- On Mon, 29/4/13, Stefan Wagener [email protected] wrote:
maybe I didn't make myself clear: LEO (low earth orbit) from 400 to 2000km or something like that HEO (high earth orbit) >20000km Going from 310 to 700km in a year is not doing us anything.
Romit-1 and the other CubeSats testing ion engines will definitely give us something - proof that it works in practice or an opportunity to learn from any problems / design issues that arise.
Given that Space is a demanding environment I'm sure not all the ion motor CubeSats currently being developed will work as planned when deployed, it'll be a learning experience.
Going from a 310 to a 700 km orbit in a year using the limited solar power generated from a standard 2U CubeSat will be a major step forward.
It follows that to get up to 7200 km or even better 20000 km will take years but could be speeded up by having CubeSats with large fold-out solar panels and more powerful motor.
I say CubeSats rather than Microsats because of cost, a 35 kg microsat could cost $1 million just to get into LEO.
I hope the various groups that have developed ion motor CubeSats are eventually successful is getting launches to LEO to test them out.
73 Trevor M5AKA ----