KitCube is MIT STARLab’s entry in the NASA CubeQuest Centennial Challenge’s Lunar Derby Challenge.
For the most up to date information, please visit the official KitCube webpage.
KitCube is a 6U CubeSat designed by MIT 16.83 undergraduate and 16.89 graduate students to win a 2018 Space Launch System (SLS EM1) opportunity to be deployed on a trajectory heading toward the Moon and to win the Lunar Derby Challenge for successful lunar orbit insertion, and high data rate burst transmission and max data throughput from lunar orbit. Over 40 students have been involved in the design to date, preparing for the first of four Ground Tournaments in August 2015. (Update: KitCube was selected in Ground Tournament 1!)
|Size: 6U, 239 mm x 366 mm x 116 mm||Power: 25 W orbit-avg. gen, 3x30 W-hr LiPo batteries|
|Wet Mass: 12.29 kg incl. 3 kg prop (~500 m/s delta-V)||Comms: L-3 Cadet UHF/S, Laser DL TX at 1550 nm|
|Ground Stations: NASA Wallops UHF/S and OCTL||ADCS: BCT XACT, 2 x star trackers, 6 x sun sensors|
|Propulsion: 4 x 0.5 N Busek green monoprop thrusters||Avionics: Pumpkin PIC24 MB + PPM, custom boards|
See an animation of the assembly of KitCube’s key components: KitCube Exploded Animation
Concept of Operations
|Mission Phase||Actions||Beginning of Phase||End of Phase|
|Powered Off||Deliver for EM-1 integration|
Separation from EM-1
|2. Deployment||Detumble, deploy arrays, system health checkout||Separation from EM-1||End of system checkout [~12 hrs]|
|3. Lunar Transfer||Timed Prop Burns||End of system checkout||Desired stable lunar orbit|
|4. Nominal Ops||TX Competition Data||Desired stable lunar orbit||EM-1 deployment + 365 days|
|5. Decommission||Prop burns, if necessary||End of CubeQuest challenge||KitCube disposal|
A baby beaver is called a “Kit”.