NASA will send a mini-satellites CubeSat to other planets
Photo: NASA i>
Satellites CubeSat - relatively inexpensive, and at the same time functional. Because such satellites can create entire modular system, where a separate unit - a CubeSat with specific functions. Agency NASA plans to send satellites CubeSat to other planets, and this project has already begun to be implemented.
The Goddard Space Flight Center is now planning to establish a system of two CubeSat. One of the satellites will serve as transporters for the second. And the second is designed as a lander, and the probe will be able to make a descent into the planet's atmosphere. These descent (speed, atmospheric density, pressure, temperature) will be transmitted to the parent unit, which will be returned to Earth.
Jamie Esper, the author of the project (Photo: NASA) i>
The small size of the probes allows you to send them into space on a ship that will send satellites to other planets. Being thrown into space, "transport» CubeSat reveal miniature solar panel, and go to the goal, carrying the CubeSat-Probe. The cost of such a project would be much lower than the cost of implementing all other projects using satellites and interplanetary probes. CubeSat - very cheap (relative to other spacecraft) device, you can collect them quickly enough, creating dozens of satellites at a time.
The prototype system will be tested in the summer of this year. "Probe" is first dropped from the stratosphere, the lander will be approximately the speed of sound. The second experiment (assuming successful completion of the first one) will be executed in 2016 - then the CubeSat sent back to Earth from the ISS already. The project requires a certain amount of funds, and author of the idea, Jamie Esper, plans to raise funds from outside sources.
According Esper, this project - the only one of its kind, no other team of scientists has not developed anything like it.