New Satellite Launch Vehicle To Carry CubeSat Swarm in 2013

Super Strypi – SPARK

2013 should see the first flight of a new satellite launch vehicle.

Super Strypi, also known as SPARK (Space-borne Payload Assist Rocket – Kauai), has been developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii and Aerojet. The rocket is based on an enlarged version of Sandia’s Strypi sounding rocket.

The all solid fueled vehicle uses a GEM-46 (LEO-46) motor of Delta-2H heritage as first stage. A Orbus-7S (LEO-7) motor acts as second stage and a Star-30BP (Spark-30) or an Orbus-1 (LEO-1) as third stage. It is spin and fin stabilized during fist stage burn and has attitude control for the two upper stages. The low cost rocket will be launched from a rail launcher and can put a payload of 250 kg into a 400 km sun-synchronous orbit.

The Super Strypi vehicle will be launched from a rail-launcher at Barking Sands, Kauai (Pacific Missile Range Facility) towards the end of 2013.

Conceptual representation of a cluster of EDSN satellites illustrating their ability to communicate and share data as a network.  Credit NASA

Super Strypi will be carrying a swarm of CubeSats, the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN). The CubeSats are an unusual size of 10 by 10 by 15 cm (1.5U) and weigh 2 kg. The EDSN swarm will demonstrate distributed, multipoint space weather measurement and are expected to operate for at least 60 days and have an orbit life-time of up to 4 years.

ORS Project – Super Strypi

Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Project – Super Strypi

NASA – Small Spacecraft Technology Program

Gunter’s Space Page 2013