With the help of NeXolve's solar sails, and deployable stainless steel booms, a shoe box sized spacecraft is taking us closer to space exploration out beyond the moon. The Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout), will launch with NASA's Artemis 1, on it's maiden voyage to explore near-Earth asteroids as a potential destinations for humans.
The new space craft known as a CubeSat will be a part of space-based science , exploration, engineering support, communications, and Earth observation. The CubeSatab is only the size of a shoebox, and is propelled by NeXolve's solar sail, which measures 86 m2.
“Solar Sails offer a propellant-less in-space propulsion option that is very efficient and enabling as a delivery mechanism for inter-planetary and interstellar science mission payloads,” said Jim Moore, NeXolve President and CEO. “Through significant collaboration with NASA MSFC, NeXolve has developed and demonstrated the capability to design solar sails, produce solar sail material, and then fabricate, package, and test large solar sails using their unique mechanisms and processes.”
The 86m2 monolithic solar sail is made from CP1 film with a reflective coating. Stainless steel alloy booms, deploy these sails that then use reflected particles of light radiating from the sun to generate thrust.
“Solar Sails harness and reflect the Sun’s energy to produce a low but continuous acceleration in space. Over the long term, the continuous acceleration results in high velocity that enables deep space science missions. Solar sail missions can also be coupled with innovative sun swing-by trajectories to benefit from even more free energy,” said Jim Pearson, aerospace products director.
NASA's Artemis I is the "most powerful rocket ever built" and is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.