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Micromission spacecraft: a low-cost, high-capability platform for space science missions

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5 Author(s)
Deininger, W.D. ; Ball Aerosp. & Technol. Corp., Boulder, CO, USA ; Andreozzi, L. ; Epstein, K.W. ; Norman-Gravseth, K.L.
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The Ball Micromission Spacecraft (MSC) is a multi-purpose platform capable of supporting science missions at distances from the Sun ranging from 0.7 to 1.7 AU. In the baseline scenario, MSC is launched as a secondary payload on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, to GTO using the Ariane 5 structure for auxiliary payloads (ASAP5). The maximum launch wet mass is 242 Kg and can include up to 45 Kg of payload depending on AV needs. The on-board propulsion system is used for maneuvering in the Earth-Moon system and injecting the spacecraft into its final orbit or trajectory. For Mars missions, MSC enables orbiting Mars for science payloads and/or communications and navigation assets, or for precision Mars fly-bys to drop up to six probes. The micromissions spacecraft bus can be used for science targets other than Mars, including the Moon, Earth, Venus, Earth-Sun Lagrange points, or other small bodies. This paper summarizes the current spacecraft concept and describes the multimission spacecraft bus implementation in more detail.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )