Launch of Efir (Ефир, Bulgarian for “aether”) our first 1U CubeSat. Its primary mission will be to demonstrate the functionality of the first subsystems developed by our team. Most importantly, Efir will test communications, navigation and attitude control subsystems that will be critical for future missions, as well as collect data on global light pollution.
The satellite structure will be labeled with cryptocurrency logos as a nod to our research in aerospace applications of blockchain technology. Efir is planned for launch as early as Q3 2018 on a Low Earth Orbit at an altitude of 400 kilometers and an inclination of 51.6 degrees. Efir will complete all objectives of Phase 01, although additional CubeSats may be launched.
If Phase 01 is completed with Efir, Q4 2020 will be the earliest projected launch of a Lunar probe. An earlier probe will involve a larger element of risk, as thrusters, navigation systems and attitude control will be making their maiden flight on the lunar orbiter. The smallest possible configuration is a 6U CubeSat supplied with a miniature rover and an array of measurement instruments.
The Lunar mission will have a diverse range of objectives. First and foremost, it will demonstrate an ability to send probes outside Earth orbit, where a completely different set of challenges awaits. Long distances result in measurable delays in communication and poorer accessibility, meaning that the probe must be able to make basic decisions on its own. The lack of a magnetosphere not only exposes the probe to extreme radiation, but also makes attitude determination and navigation more difficult.
The Lunar probe will take measurements of the Moon’s weak magnetic field patches and examine their influence on the propagation of moondust. The data will allow us to provide better understanding of physical processes in the Moon’s crust, potentially paving the way for further study in the viability of Lunar mining activities and setting up human habitats. The orbiter will then release a landing module, bringing a miniature rover to the surface for regolith analysis.
Successful completion of Phase 02 will open the doors to true deep space exploration. With the necessary propulsion, navigation, ADC, energy and communication subsystem technology, the Initiative will take a look at our closest planets – Mars, Venus and potentially Jupiter.
The deep space probe will be used to master cutting-edge innovation that will propel human exploration of the Solar System. Among the technologies envisioned for this project are advanced artificial intelligence, harnessing ambient energy or transferring energy over large distances, and an ultra-precise time dilation measurement instrument designed to map time dilation in Earth’s neighborhood. The Initiative will also pursue prefabricated structures for Lunar habitats and life support systems for Low Earth Orbit and the Moon.
Additionally, we will begin work on the means to transfer basic terrestrial services like construction, food and healthcare into space. This will include designing prefabricated, modular and 3D-printed Lunar habitats, greenhouses and food storage units, low-gravity construction equipment, radiation shielding, environmental and thermal control systems, remote medical examinations, and low or microgravity medical treatment procedures and instruments.