Interorbital Systems CEO Randa Relich Milliron on The Space Show

Randa Relich Milliron CEO Interorbital Systems

Randa Relich Milliron CEO Interorbital Systems

In this edition of The Space Show Randa Relich Milliron CEO of Interorbital Systems talks about the latest developments at the company which is developing a low-cost satellite launch capability using the Neptune rocket. She indicated the first launches will be sub-orbital.

A number of amateur radio CubeSats and TubeSats are planning to be launched by Interorbital. A launch manifest can be seen at http://www.interorbital.com/Launch%20Manifest%20Page%20_1.htm

Wes Faler also appears on the show. He has been building an Ion powered TubeSat for an Interorbital launch. Wes plans to use a closed cell foam filled with pressurized nitrogen, vaporizing the supporting plastic and releasing the enclosed nitrogen using a spark system similar to that used by Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs).  PPTs create an arc across the face of a solid Teflon bar, turning a few micrograms of Teflon into plasma.  The plasma moves along the PPT’s cathode and anode by Lorentz forces, much the same way that a rail gun accelerates its conducting projectile.

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TubeSat aims to test Ion Engine

FRETS1 TubeSat – Image Credit Wes Faler

Wes Faler is building a small satellite called Fluid & Reason Engine Test Satellite 1 or FRETS1.

FRETS1 is a TubeSat-style picosatellite that aims to fly in 2013 on an Interorbital Systems Neptune rocket into a 310 km sun synchronous orbit. Its mission is to test a new kind of ion engine, one designed for higher thrust and lower power than traditional designs.

It’s planned to use a closed cell foam filled with pressurized nitrogen, vaporizing the supporting plastic and releasing the enclosed nitrogen using a spark system similar to that used by Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs).  PPTs create an arc across the face of a solid Teflon bar, turning a few micrograms of Teflon into plasma.  The plasma moves along the PPT’s cathode and anode by Lorentz forces, much the same way that a rail gun accelerates its conducting projectile.

This video gives a brief overview of what a TubeSat is.

Watch SatTV Technology Update – TubeSat

Note it is understood the first launches will take place in California rather than the site mentioned in the video.

Building An Ion Engine http://www.science20.com/satellite_diaries/building_ion_engine-81149

FRETS1 TubeSat http://frets1.wordpress.com/

Interorbital Systems http://www.interorbital.com/

Tubesat – Image Credit Interorbital Systems