NASA selects Purdue for small spacecraft collaboration

Purdue is among nine university teams selected by NASA to collaborate on the development and demonstration of new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft. The Purdue project, “Distributed Attitude Control and Maneuvering for Deep Space SmallSats,” will further develop a film-evaporation micro-scale thruster that uses water as a propellant for precision pointing and attitude control of small spacecraft and deployable structures.
AAE graduate student in a lab
AAE graduate student Kate Fowee showing 1U cubesat prototype with four FEMTA microthrusters

Purdue is among nine university teams selected by NASA to collaborate on the development and demonstration of new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft.

Beginning this winter, each university team will work with NASA engineers and scientists on two-year projects.

The Purdue project, “Distributed Attitude Control and Maneuvering for Deep Space SmallSats,” will further develop a film-evaporation micro-scale thruster that uses water as a propellant for precision pointing and attitude control of small spacecraft and deployable structures. Purdue will collaborate with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

These collaborations are directed toward making small spacecraft, some of which weigh only a few pounds, into powerful and affordable tools for science and exploration missions.