Okay, here is what we really need bad to make micro-sats and microprobes
feasible: an SSPS: Solar System Positioning System so that space probes
can easily figure out their position at all times and run their
navigation routines off that data rather than having to deal with star
sighting, wasting fuel and/or power on spinning the spacecraft around
trying to get a reading. I mean, what are we, in the 17th century or
what? Why are we still using ancient navigation techniques? There should
be an SSPS satellite in each of the three Earth-Sol Lagrange points.
This would be a good investment of public money, and its even
constitutional for libertarians: space is a 'channel of commerce', or a
'navigable waterway', so the gummint is responsible for maintaining
I am currently designing a 180x200x200 millimeter probe bus that will
use GaAs/GaAnt solar cells fed focused sunlight from 2 inflated 2 meter
dia. mirrors (theoretical output: 2.99 kW) to power the electric
thruster of choice. Fuel tank is 150mm dia spherical. Pick your own wall
thickness, pressure, contents. Maneuvering thrusters will be solid state
pulse ignition chemical micro-thrusters off-the-shelf. Navigation will
depend on SSPS to be in place.
You decide what payload you want and how quickly you want it wherever
you are going. I figure with this size bus you could deliver a laptop
sized replicator facility to any NEA within a few months of launch.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:42 MDT