description is based on the proposed design, combined with some new information
based on other tether-mission lessons learned and brainstorming that took place
on the last day of the Mars Society conference. The design will evolve as the technical team forms.
The TEMPO3 mission is designed to demonstrate the generation
of artificial gravity using a CubeSat satellite. A tether will connect two parts of the satellite, and
cold-gas jets will fire, imparting a spin. Telemetered data will be beamed to Amateur Satellite (AMSAT)
operators around the world, and will include, at a minimum, an identifier for
the satellite and the measured gravity within the spacecraft.
The proposed budget is $500k: $250k for assembling and launching the satellite, $150k for
a chartered Zero-G flight to test primary assumptions in the mission, and $100k
for outreach and other needs.
Referring to the accompanying diagram, the satellite is
divided into two parts. The small
part on the left is inactive, and serves to hold the tether before deployment
and as a counterweight after spin-up.
The larger part on the right is active, and contains the power systems,
electronics, transmitters, and the thruster. Once again, the details of this design will be refined over
For flight readiness, the CO2 cartridge is screwed in to the
tank connection. Then the two
parts of the spacecraft are connected with a heat-sensitive ribbon, compressing
the springs between them. The
tether is completely coiled within the spool.
The flight profile, as currently envisioned includes:
from the carrier spacecraft and the CubeSat standard P-POD.
- A timer
waits the required time before deploying and transmitting.
deployments take place (antenna, etc)
timing of the following will be determined through analysis
flows through the magnetic coil, producing a torque to make the
spacecraft align with Earth's magnetic field. The alignment of the coil is meant to prevent a spin
around the X or Y axis, which would make the thruster firing less
flows through the wire in the wax plug holding pressure within the CO2
tank. The plug breaks free,
allowing the CO2 inside to release in one thrust. The structure spins up.
flows through a 'hot wire' resting against the heat-sensitive ribbon
connecting the two halves of the spacecraft. Eventually, the ribbon melts through, and the portions
magnetic coil is turned of at some point during this sequence.
this point, the spacecraft is spinning and broadcasting its generated
possible, another thrust action will be added to demonstrate doing a
delta-v while spinning with only one active mass. This experiment may need to
deferred to a later demonstration mission.