The Cislunar Explorers are competing in NASA’s CubeQuest challenge! This competition is part of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, a broad effort to encourage development of novel spacecraft technologies. The CubeQuest has several components, with a total of $5 million in prizes between them:
- Four Ground Tournaments, a series of increasingly rigorous design reviews from August 2015 to February 2017.
- The three highest scoring spacecraft at the fourth Ground Tournament were to launch on EM-1, NASA’s first launch of the Space Launch System and next test of the Orion spacecraft.
- The Lunar Derby, a competition among selected spacecraft (and those that can secure their own, independent launches) to achieve and maintain lunar orbit for as long as possible.
- The Deep Space Derby, a similar competition to escape Earth’s gravity as far as possible into deep space.
We have achived success at all four of the ground tournaments, earning a selection for a secondary payloads slot on EM-1 alongside twelve other CubeSats, including two other CubeQuest competitors!
- 3rd place at Ground Tournament 1, earning a $20,000 prize
- 1st place at Ground Tournament 2, earning a $30,000 prize
- 2nd place at Ground Tournament 3, earning a $30,000 prize
- 1st place at Ground Tournament 4, earning a $20,000 prize
After launch, we will compete in the Lunar Derby, with the goal of achieving and maintaining lunar orbit. See our spacecraft design for more about the Explorers that will pursue this mission.