HUNTSVILLE, AL (Team FREDNET PR) – The Open Space Society (http://teamfrednet.org/), the latest entry in small satellite access to Earth Orbital Space today announced the availability of its first Small Commercial Payload Launch Opportunity. The initial launch, which leverages The Open Space Society’s technology developed during its five-year history as well as its participation in the NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (NASA ILDD) program and Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP), will take place in January 2015. Expanded launch details will be made available in a subsequent announcement.
The Small Commercial Payload, also known as the Small Cubesat Payload (SCP), will consist of 50-100 Cubesat units, each 1U unit comprising a 1000cc cube volume with a total mass not exceeding 1kg. Experimenters may apply for 1U, 1x2U, 1x3U, 2x2U, or 2x3U slots within the SCP deployment module. A few additional reserved-size slots may be available within the SCP to support special access programs. The SCP module is designed to be carried in several configurations, including as an independent “top stage” aboard their first Lunar Spacecraft deployed while in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), as an independent launch payload module, or (in a version still in conceptual design) as a Lunar Orbital deployment module.
For those unfamiliar with Cubesats and the metric system, a Cubesat is an (approximately) 4x4x4 inch cube weighing less than 2.2 pounds. The Cubesat standard is widely used in programs of professional researchers, university engineering departments, high school science departments, and smaller national research institutes as an entry-level satellite form-factor allowing experimenters to fly orbital experiments at manageable costs. In the past, cubesats have sometimes launched within the spare capacity of a larger primary payload system. This launch by the Open Space Society is one of the first to provide a dedicated module for deploying a large constellation of Cubesats aboard a single spacecraft stage. The cost to launch a single Cubesat is typically less than $100,000, and in the industry rates currently average $85,000 per 1U cubesat unit.
Launch parameters and data are included in the formal SCP Call for Experiments and Participation, which is being distributed to key researchers concurrent with this press release. Applications and Letters of Intent are now being accepted, and an “Earlybird Discount” is being offered on the first units reserved by experimenters who file applications and letters-of-intent prior to March 29, 2013.
About Team FREDNET, The Open Space Society, Inc.
Team FREDNET, The Open Space Society, Inc. is a next generation Space technology, engineering, and exploration firm that specializes in small spacecraft and satellite development for cost-effective, innovative Space access. Designing commercial orbital and cislunar robotic spacecraft and missions at paradigm-shifting efficiencies allows the Open Space Society to create more “Accessible Space” for commercial, non-government, education, and entrepreneurial clients. Founded in 2007 as “Team FREDNET” by industry entrepreneur Fred Bourgeois, The Open Space Society evolved from an early Google Lunar X PRIZE competitor to a viable Space Access business by persistently pursuing innovative solutions. The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in and around the Huntsville, Alabama region, with personnel located in more than 60 countries around the globe. The Open Space Society was selected in 2010 as one of only four currently active contractors under the $30.06 million dollar NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data program (NASA ILDD), and is currently eligible to receive up to an additional $9.4 million from NASA for data related to its development of commercial space programs. For more information, please visit http://teamfrednet.org/ or email email@example.com.
About The Google Lunar X PRIZE
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. In order to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million Prize. Teams are also eligible to win a $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving ten times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission. For more information, go to www.googlelunarxprize.org.