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CU-E3 [University of Colorado]

CU-E3 (Colorado University Earth Escape Explorer) is a planned nanosat mission by the University of Colorado, which was selected by NASA's CubeQuest Challenge.

CU-E3 is designed for a communications technology demonstration mission, slated to travel more than 2.5 million miles into space. As a Deep Space Derby entry, the diminutive spacecraft will reach an orbit of about 10 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Blue Canyon Technologies has partnered with the CU-E3 team and provides the XB1 6U CubeSat saellite body.

CU-E3 will be outfitted with what’s called a “planar” antenna, a deployable array in which all of the elements are in one plane, yet provide a large aperture for directional beam control.

CU-E3 was one of 13 cubesats planned to be carried with the Artemis 1 (Orion CM-002) mission into a heliocentric orbit in cis-lunar space on the maiden flight of the SLS (Block 1) iCPS launch vehicle in 2022. In August 2021 it was announced, that Cislunar Explorers won't be ready in time for the Artemis-1 mission.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology, interplanetary
Operator: University of Colorado
Contractors: University of Colorado (prime); Blue Canyon Technologies (bus)
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: ~14 kg
Orbit: Solar orbit
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CU-E3 - 202x with ?

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