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SPASE [AeroAstro]

The SPASE (Small Payload Access to Space Experiment) was developed by AeroAstro as part of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Future-X program as a prototype for very small scientific satellites.

SPASE incorporates AeroAstro's Bitsy-SX platform, based on the Bitsy modular electronics technology. SPASE carries a NASA MSFC Microgravity payload (Micro-gravity Crystal Growth Demonstration, MCGD).

The SPASE on-orbit mission lifetime is expected to be at least 6 months. The spacecraft kernel's design and orbital parameters are intended to support low earth orbit (LEO). The prolonged microgravity environmental conditions are expected to deliver optimal sucrose crystal growth. The spacecraft kernel will have two general operational systems: the spacecraft kernel system and a sucrose crystal growth demonstration system. The primary goal of this mission is to provide the opportunity to demonstrate its miniature SPASE spacecraft kernel. The MCGD will constitute the sole payload for this demonstration flight, along with spacecraft kernel-to-payload interface hardware.

The Future X SPASE spacecraft kernel was to be launched as a STS HitchHiker payload while integrated into a "top opening" Hitchhiker canister.

The spacecraft is fully assembled and integrated with the payload, waiting for a Shuttle Hitchhiker launch opportunity. In late 2003, it was cancelled.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Micro Gravity, Technology
Operator: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Contractors: AeroAstro
Equipment: Microgravity Crystal Growth Demonstration (MCGD)
Configuration: Bitsy-SX Bus
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, Li-Ion batteries
Lifetime: 6 months
Mass: 35 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SPASE - cancelled CCK LC-39 Shuttle with ?


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