Alpha selected for NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative
NASA has announced the ninth round of candidates for CubeSat space missions, currently scheduled to fly starting in 2019. Alpha has been selected as a candidate, as well as fellow SSDS flight experiment, Pathfinder for Autonomous Navigation. Read more here.
Distance travel in space
Even with current technological advances, space travel has its limitations. For example, if we want to explore star systems, such as Alpha Centauri, with chemical propulsion it would take 75,000 years to reach this destination. There are other alternatives to current propulsion methods but they can be expensive and unfeasible.
With the latest developments in nanotechnology and microelectronics, space travel can be achieved without the need carrying heavy payloads and the use of traditional propulsion technologies. Inspired by science fiction, the Alpha CubeSat seeks to deploy a solar-powered sail that will drive a ChipSat (Sprite) spacecraft that weighs only 4.2 grams.