Flexure Engineering is proposing a modification to the CubeSat standard to meet the requirements of lunar missions: longer duration, higher radiation, and more extreme thermal environments compared to Low Earth Orbit missions. The LunarCube standard would also address integration and operational issues of multiple LunarCubes on one ride-along mission or lander.

The proposed standard was discussed in a paper at the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March, 2012. Further discussions will take place at an open forum, the 1st International Workshop on LunarCubes (LunarCubes: The Next Frontier), which is scheduled to take place  October 4-6 in Mountain View, California. The proposed workshop schedule includes morning and afternoon sessions on software, electronics, mechanical issues, orbital missions, surface issues, and funding.

Flexure estimates there could be five to ten lunar-lander ride opportunities in the coming decade, based  on five national space programs and 25 Google Lunar X-Prize teams. In addition, with weak stability boundary transfers from Geosynchronous Earth Orbit to lunar orbit, every GEO satellite location is a potential starting point for lunar orbit missions.

For more information, see the LunarCubes website.

Written by Astro1 on May 11th, 2012 , Innovation, Nanosatellites

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    Gregg Scharfstein … Chief Engineer and Co-Founder of Flexure Engineering here … Thanks for posting this blog. We appreciate your support. We are very excited about LunarCubes … a concept that will change the world. We have already received tremendous support for this workshop. Moon Express will be presenting … they are one of the contenders for the Google X Prize. We also produce a workshop called Lunar Superconductor Applications (LSA) … LSA 3 will be in Florida’s Space Coast in April 2013 (see lsa2013.com for more info)

    May 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm