GNC challenges and opportunities of CUBESAT science missions deployed from the lunar gateway

Himangshu Kalita, Miguel Donayre, Victor Padilla, Anthony Riley, Jesse Samitas, Brandon Burnett, Erik Asphaug, Mark Robinson, Jekan Thangavelautham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Lunar Gateway is expected to be positioned on-orbit around the Moon or in a Halo orbit at the L2 Lagrange point. The proposed Lunar Gateway is a gamechanger for enabling new, high-priority lunar science utilizing CubeSats and presents a refreshing new opportunity for utilization of these small spacecraft as explorers. In context, CubeSats are being stretched to their limits as interplanetary explorers. The main technological hurdles include high-bandwidth communications and reliable high delta-v propulsion. Advances in deep-space attitude determination and control has been made possible from the recent NASA JPL MarCO missions. Due to these limitations, CubeSats are primarily de-signed to be dropped-off from a larger mission. The limited mass and volume have required compromises of the onboard science instruments, longer wait times to send back science data to Earth, shorter mission durations or higher accepted risk. With the Lunar Gateway being planned to be closer to the Moon, it will provide significant savings for a propulsion system and provide a primary relay for communication apart from the DSN and enable tele-operated command/control. These three factors can simplify the mission enabling routine deployment of CubeSats into lunar orbit and enable surface missions. In this paper, we present preliminary designs of 2 CubeSat lunar lander design that will explorer lunar pits, Mare Tranquilitatis and the remnant magnetic fields Reiner Gamma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGuidance, Navigation, and Control, 2019
EditorsHeidi E. Hallowell
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Pages233-244
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780877036616
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event42nd AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, 2019 - Breckenridge, United States
Duration: Jan 31 2019Feb 6 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume169
ISSN (Print)0065-3438

Conference

Conference42nd AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, 2019
CountryUnited States
CityBreckenridge
Period1/31/192/6/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Kalita, H., Donayre, M., Padilla, V., Riley, A., Samitas, J., Burnett, B., Asphaug, E., Robinson, M., & Thangavelautham, J. (2019). GNC challenges and opportunities of CUBESAT science missions deployed from the lunar gateway. In H. E. Hallowell (Ed.), Guidance, Navigation, and Control, 2019 (pp. 233-244). [AAS 19-046] (Advances in the Astronautical Sciences; Vol. 169). Univelt Inc..