Danish Amateur Team Sends Satellite into Space

  

 

 

 

–the Danish team participating in the $30 million GoogleLunar X PRIZE contest–has taken the first big step toward landing a

 

 

 

small robotic mobile rover on the Moon. In December we are launching our test satellite MiniRomit1 from

the South Pacific Island of ‘Eua, in the Kingdom of Tonga.

 

The launch

 

 

importantly, we will test our rocket engine which will subsequently be 

 Small satellites

 

cannot do that today.If everything goes well we should, after a year’s time, be out in a 700-
kilometer orbit (we start in a 310- kilometer orbit). If we don’t succeed

in boosting our orbit, the satellite will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere after

a few months and burn up.

When the rocket reaches its orbital altitude, the satellite is deployed

using a spring-loaded device. MiniRomit1
 

 

 

then

powers up and conductsa systems test.

 

 

 

 

The satellite must

stabilize itself so that it has the rightorientation (with the propulsion system pointing aft). The spacecraft
will immediately start its engine so that it can begin its journey to a

higher altitude, away from any traces of atmosphere that would produce

drag, slow it down, and shorten its orbital lifespan.

 

MiniRomit1

 

 

 

is made up of two CubeSats. A CubeSat is a mini-satellitewith the dimensions 10 x 10 x 10 centimeters. The double CubeSat has
the dimensions 10 x 10 x 20 centimeters and an estimated weight of

about two kilograms. The sides of the CubeSat are covered with solar

cells on all surfaces except the aft end, where the rocket motor sits.

Euroluna bought two of the four available CubeSat payload slots on

Interorbital Systems’
 

 

NEPTUNE 30

rocket that will carry a mixedmanifest of 4 CubeSats and 26 TubeSats on its maiden launch.
One of the two CubeSat modules contains the OBC

(OnBoardComputer), the communication printed circuit board, and the

camera board which controls six cameras – each 1.3 megapixels. In

addition, a battery will provide power when MiniRomit1 passes into the

night-side shadow of the Earth.

The second CubeSat module contains Euroluna’s propulsion system

(rocket engine), which is an electric ion accelerator. The device

accelerates metal ions across an electric field and shoots them out

through a nozzle, causing the rocket to move forward and overcome

drag caused by the few air molecules at the 310km orbital altitude. This

thrust will move the satellite to a higher orbit (path around the

Earth). The energy for the system comes from solar cells, and

propulsion is achieved using only a few grams of metal.

 

Euroluna

 

 

 

was founded in2007 by Palle Haastrup and
Søren Rasmussen from

Denmark.

Today Euroluna consist of

mostly
 

 

 

family and friends

 

between the age of 16 and 60
– most of them with a

background in ingeneering –

and a passion for space.

Euroluna is participating in

the30 million dollar

Google Lunar X Prize

 

contest.

The first prize of 20

 

million dollar

 

 

 

goes to theteam that is first to land a
rover on the Moon, drive

500 meters and sends

images back to Earth –

before the end of 2012.

Euroluna is the
 

 

 

onlyDanish team

 

 

 

 

in thecompetition.
 

 

 

 

 

used for our lunar voyage. If the engine meets expectations, it will be

groundbreaking for nanosatellites, which can then use our engine to

move around in space.

 

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