The Cislunar Explorers are a pair of streamlined, sustainable spacecraft on a mission to orbit the Moon. They act as self-propelled engineering demonstrations, proving the technology readiness of water as rocket fuel, simple optical navigation, and more. Key subsystems complement each other in a symbiotic design aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of space exploration.
Both spacecraft launch mated together as a “6U” sized-box that could fit in a briefcase. They hitchhike into space alongside a larger spacecraft as a secondary payload; our intended ride is NASA’s EM-1 test of the Space Launch System, on which spots are available via the CubeQuest Challenge.
Spacecraft development takes place at Cornell University, with a dedicated team of researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates. We have already submitted our completed design for the first Ground Tournament of the CubeQuest Challenge. From now and throughout 2016, we are focusing on validating and integrating our design into functional prototype spacecraft. Check out our blog to follow along!