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SFS News: Interorbital Systems - Interorbital Systems’ Sea

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:19 pm
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SFS News: Interorbital Systems - Interorbital Systems’ Sea 
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Post SFS News: Interorbital Systems - Interorbital Systems’ Sea   Posted on: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:19 pm
Randa Milliron informs me of a new press release from Interorbital Systems, this follows their recent appearance on the BBC, see article Here.

"Interorbital Systems’ Sea Star: Providing the Ride with BOOST-UP".

(MOJAVE) How will the next generation of small satellites reach their full cost-cutting potential if no affordable, frequent launch opportunities are open to them? To actualize the cheap-access-to-space dream, the space industry must be willing to apply a radical design philosophy to the building and launching of new rockets on which these ‘future sats’ will ride to orbit.

Once destined to cost millions and sometimes billions of dollars, huge monolithic satellites were often priced higher than the rockets needed to propel them to their orbital locations. The current trend in satellite science is to break up what used to be one huge, massively expensive and vulnerable satellite, and to distribute what were formerly that one satellite’s centralized tasks among a flock, swarm, or constellation of inexpensive, easily replaceable small sats or CubeSats. A CubeSat is just that: a satellite designed as a cube measuring 10×10×10 centimeters, weighing one kilogram or less: think tissue box. CubeSats represent an evolutionary next-step in the industry: ‘plug-and-play’ (PnP) satellites. The small sats, made largely of commercial-off-the-shelf components, deploy as rapid-response, low-cost, simplified modular systems that can stand alone or function as part of a distributed orbiting array.

Clustered in universities and small start-ups around the world, CubeSat and nanosat pioneers are generally students operating on shoestring budgets. These intrepid young men and women must work in the same way independent filmmakers produce a no-budget movie: they must beg, borrow, and yes, sometimes even steal---well, one might call it ‘adaptively reuse’---in order to turn the dream of building an experimental space-based project into reality.

But a Cubesat’s promise does not end with its construction. The more daunting challenge that keeps hundreds of space science projects earthbound is the scarcity of launch opportunities. The expense of buying passage for a CubeSat payload is often more than a small business or an academic institution can afford, and usually more than a government or military entity would like to spend. Waiting for an opportunity to launch as a secondary or tertiary payload is often a frustrating, if not endless process. Global competitions among hundreds of student satellite projects for these rare flights leave all but the one or two lucky winners without a ride to orbit. To keep this whole new small-sat approach cost-effective, an inexpensive, dedicated launch vehicle and low-cost, rapid-response launch services are urgently needed to carry small experimental, academic, government, and private-sector nano-, pico-, and micro-sat payloads to orbit. Mojave rocket manufacturer Interorbital Systems’ ocean-launched Sea Star microsatellite launcher will fill those needs---for 12-to-15 CubeSats at a time, and for under $500,000.

Roderick Milliron, Interorbital Systems’ President and Chief Technology Officer explains, “IOS views Sea Star as a driver for the entire CubeSat/NanoSat community. The rocket, with its revolutionary design, and its at-the-ready, rapid-response launch capability, will serve as an enabling technology for lofting these innovative small sats. Sea Star will speed the evolution of this new space science movement through low-cost, high frequency launches. Sea Star is truly a plug-and-play launch vehicle created specifically for these plug-and-play satellites. It’s a COTS vehicle in the old sense of the term: Commercial-Off-the-Shelf; in Sea Star’s case, the shelf it’s taken off just happens to belong to Interorbital Systems.â€

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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:59 pm
Nice Update and video
Been a while since we last heard from them!!


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:59 am
Randa joined a few weeks back, member "IOSCEO". It is good to see an update.

Let's hope they keep coming! :)

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