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€890
pledged of €40,000pledged of €40,000 goal
13
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, January 19 2019 11:00 AM UTC +00:00
€890
pledged of €40,000pledged of €40,000 goal
13
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, January 19 2019 11:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

The Space Junk Issue - If we don't clean up, space flight as we know it will be impossible in the near future

Space Debris Environment (source European Space Agency)
Space Debris Environment (source European Space Agency)

The space debris environment especially in the low earth orbit is an increasing risk for all spaceflight missions (currently there are over 700 000 pieces of space debris larger than 1cm and millions of smaller than one cm). Without effective mitigation measures the debris density will increase to a level where spaceflight becomes more and more endangered. Especially collision fragments will become a dominant part in the debris population larger than 1 cm. Therefore, to ensure safety for future space flight, end-of-life de-orbiting of satellites and upper stages is necessary. Especially now considering the surge of nanosatellites and mega constillations of multible hundred of satellites.

ESA: Space Debris - A Journey to Earth:

Why a dragsail?

For the de-orbiting of satellites in the low earth orbit using an on-board de-orbiting device, several concepts are applicable. They are based either on a propulsion system or on interaction with natural phenomena in the low earth orbit. If a satellite utilizes a propulsion system it can be an advantage that only additional propellant needs to be added to perform a de-orbit maneuver. Using a propulsion system at the end of life requires the functionality of the propulsion system after ~10-15 years in orbit as well as the need for a GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) system to ensure the force vector acts in the desired direction. For satellites that do not have an adequate propulsion system and to ensure that a reliable de-orbit can be performed an independent de-orbit module should be considered, either as main de-orbit solution or as a backup system to ensure a redundancy for the de-orbitation. The NABEO subsystem presented here relies on the utilization of the natural drag decay in low earth orbit by increasing the drag area of the satellite at EOL (End of Life).

Drag augmentation devices (sometimes referred to as Dragsail) are using the residual earth atmosphere present in the low earth orbit. For initiation of the de-orbit maneuver a large surface is deployed which increases the drag effective surface of the satellite. Thereby the drag force is increased as well causing accelerated decay in orbit altitude. Advantageous about a drag augmentation device is that it does not require any active steering and can be designed for passive attitude stabilization. Thereby it is also applicable for non-operational, tumbling spacecraft. In order to accelerate the natural orbit decay the drag area needs to be increased without significantly increasing the mass of the satellite. It is therefore necessary to deploy a very light-weight dragsail at EOL (End of Life) of the satellite.  

The NABEO dragsail Subsystem and it's launch on Rocket Lab's "It's Business Time" Mission in November

Since four years, the team at HPS GmbH (SME from Munich) is working on developing dragsail subsystems to remove satellites from Low Earth Orbit, mostly for satellites between 100kg to 1000kg. Due to the surge in nanosatellite launches, it was clear that a smaller and simpler subsystem is needed for these nanosatellites. Therefore, the team devloped the NABEO subsystem which is a 2.5m2 dragsail deployed from a < cube sat envelope (10cm x 10cm x 10cm). In 2018 a leap in the development was achieved that resulted in the first mission to space onboard the Rocket Lab rocket "It's Business Time" rocket.

The NABEO team with the unfolded sail at the Rocket Lab facility in Auckland, NZ
The NABEO team with the unfolded sail at the Rocket Lab facility in Auckland, NZ

On the 11th of November at 4:50am Central European Time, the NABEO-1 dragsail technology demonstrator  was launched into space onboard the Rocket Lab Electron rocket #ItsBusinessTime. This dragsail is a means to passively remove satellites from highly congested Low Earth Orbit regions after their mission life without the need for the spacecraft to be still alive.

Rocket Lab: It's Business Time Launch - 11/11/2018:

The #ItsBusinessTime rocket was launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 at the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island of New Zealand. The NABEO-1 subsystem was attached to the kick stage (3rd stage) of the Electron rocket and stays on the kick stage for its deployment which was commanded 2 hours intro the flight. Currently, the team at HPS GmbH is waiting for a confirmation of the dragsail deployment with the help of the Falcon Telescope Network who will also try to investigate the de-orbit behavior of the kick-stage with the attached dragsail via their optical telescopes.

NABEO1 in space (silver box in the centre) (source Rocket Lab)
NABEO1 in space (silver box in the centre) (source Rocket Lab)

Our next launch with Rocket Lab in March/April 2019 - Why we need your support

Due to the fast development of NABEO1 within a couple of month to achive the launch deadline of "It's Business Time", many improvements in the design and teh functionality of the NABEO dragsail subsystem where implemented after the submission of the hardware to New Zealand in May 2018. 

The flight ready NABEO2 flight models.
The flight ready NABEO2 flight models.

Therefore, to fly the improved NABEO2, the NABEO team already booked a slot on the Rocket Lab Electron rocket that has an expected launch date at the end of March/beginning of April 2019. To become a real option for the big space companies to use NABEO as a space junk removal deveice for their mission is that it demonstrated its deployment in space, because only hardware that was flown in space before, will fly in space in the future (sounds strange, but that is unfortunately the truth). To make this NABEO2 mission a reality, the remaining launch costs of 40k€ needs to be covered, therefore we are asking for your support. Furthermore, we also want to use this kick-starter to raise awareness for the space junk issue and that we need to fix this.

Any additional budget reaching over the remaining 40k€ launch costs will be used for establishing a live feed from the deployment, further testing of the hardware to ensure it's reliability or even a remanufacturing of the NABEO subsystem for a follow up mission.

Please help us to make space flight sustainable ... because we are in dire need of outer space

Risks and challenges

As this is a demonstration, there is the risk that it will not deploy once it is in space (but we are trying to reduce this risk by testing, testing and more testing on the ground within the proper environment). An other risk is that the launch might be delayed due to weather or technical constraints but we are certain that it will launch at some point (currently planned for end of March/beginning of April 2019)

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Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

Usage of the best materials that can sustain also long times in space

Reusability and recyclability

As the subsystem developed here is to reduce space junk, all materials are choosen so that they completely disintegrate in the upper atmosphere

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About US$ 11

    Stay up to date

    Weekly email updates on the assembly, testing and verification leading up to launch and frequent updates leading to the launch, mission patch sticker

    Includes:
    • Updates via email
    • NABEO mission sticker
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    Pledge €25 or more About US$ 28

    See NABEO in the nightsky

    Information after the mission when and where the dragsail can be spotted at your location during de-orbit (within 6 month after launch) + all information on the mission

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
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    Pledge €50 or more About US$ 56

    A proper space memory

    Embroided NABEO mission patch + all information on the mission

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Updates via email
    • Embroided NABEO mission patch
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €75 or more About US$ 84

    Even better space memory

    Signed picture of the mission/launch with a piece of the sail foil + all information on the mission

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Updates via email
    • Signed mission picture + piece of sail foil
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About US$ 113

    Ask the team: personal Q&A session

    Personal Questions and Answer Session over webex with the team + all mission information

    Includes:
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Persanal Q&A
    • Updates via email
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €200 or more About US$ 225

    Your name going into space

    Your name engraved on the structure of the NABEO2 box that goes to space + all mission information

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Name engraved in NABEO box
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €400 or more About US$ 451

    Your signature/picture going into space

    Your signature or picture engraved on NABEO2 box going into space + all mission information

    Includes:
    • Your signature or picture on NABEO
    • Updates via email
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,000 or more About US$ 1,126

    Get outreach

    Premium supporter (everytime we present NABEO at a conference around the world, we will have your name/logo in our presentation and we will mention you + all mission information

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Your name/logo included in all NABEO presentations
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €2,000 or more About US$ 2,253

    Meet the team

    Get the NABEO team for a whole evening to talk about the space debris problem and the NABEO dragsail (+ travel costs (flight & hotel (we would be also happy with a couch 😉 ) + all mission information and signed picture/sail foil

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Signed mission picture + piece of sail foil
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €4,000 or more About US$ 4,505

    3D printed model of NABEO

    Get a full size 3d printed model of the dragsail cube + all mission information + a signed mission picture with a piece of the sail foil

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Signed mission picture + piece of sail foil
    • 3D printed model of NABEO
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €6,000 or more About US$ 6,758

    Join us for the launch

    Come with us to New Zealand for the launch (current plan is to watch the launch at the Mahia Peninsula close to the launch pad, another option would be to watch it in Auckland at Rocket Lab (TBC) (not including flight to New Zealand) + all mission information and signed mission picture with piece of foil

    Includes:
    • NABEO mission sticker
    • Updates via email
    • Signed mission picture + piece of sail foil
    • Position of NABEO in the nightsky during de-orbit
    • Launch campaign
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Funding period

- (30 days)