AstroX NASA Sub-Orbital Flight for Dust and Micrometeorite Collection

Blodgett, Dorin
Brown, Kevin
Choi, Heather
Lampe, Ben
Robinson, Eric
Stephens, Michael
Suriano, Anne-Marie
Weber, Patrick
In 2010, NASA laid the foundations for the RockSat-X mission. RockSat-X will provide full access to the space environment which AstroX will use to analyze the composition of the upper atmosphere through which the payload will pass. The goals for this project include collecting micrometeorites and other space dust to study the composition of detritus in low Earth orbit, measuring the rmal and acceleration loads on the rocket, and capturing visual evidence of successful payload operation. The primary objective of the AstroX mission will be completed through the use of classic silica aerogel tablets with an open pore structure. These tablets will be secured to a telescopic boom in order to maximize the distance between the rocket and the tablets. This boom will be actuated with a DC electric motor and will be sealed with aerospace-grade rubber. The entire structure of the payload will be fabricated from 6061-T6 Aluminum. This brings the total mass of the payload to approximately 8.7 pounds. The secondary objectives will be accomplished by using thermocouples, accelerometers, and an optical camera. The data collected will be transmitted over the telemetry system during flight and recorded to on-board memory. Launch will occur in mid-July of 2011.
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