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Lessons Learned from the Flight Unit Testing of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout Flight SystemThe Near Earth Asteroid Scout flight mission is set to launch on the maiden voyage of the Space Launch System as a secondary payload. The spacecraft will be jettisoned in cis-lunar space and embark on an ambitious 2.5 year mission to image an asteroid. The spacecraft is uniquely equipped with an 85m2 solar sail as the main propulsion system. The monolithic sail system is designed to package within a 6U volume for launch and then deploy during flight. The NEA Scout team has presented in the past to the International Symposium on Solar Sailing topics related to the engineering development unit and design efforts to achieve flight hardware build. This paper will focus on the lessons learned from building and testing the NEA Scout flight system. Focus will be on the mechanical, software, and electrical interfaces as well as preparation for subsystem environmental tests, including thermal vacuum. Due to the unique design of the spacecraft, the solar sail subsystem was required to be located in the center of the spacecraft. This requirement lead to design challenges such as designing and accommodating critical cable harnesses to run through the center of the sail subsystem, packaging and deployment design of the sail subsystem, and integrated testing efforts through an avionics test bed to verify and validate a complete system architecture.

Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lockett, Tiffany Russell (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Johnson, C. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
few, A. C. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Stewart, E. R. (Jacobs Engineering Group Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2019
Publication Date
July 30, 2019
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS 2019)(Aachen)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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