Low Cost Deep Space Exploration Spacecraft

A New Capability for Space Exploration.

Xplorer is designed to do something no spacecraft has done to date: use its own propulsion system to go from low Earth orbit to an Earth departure trajectory. We designed this spacecraft to take advantage of the relatively low cost and high availability of commercial rideshare launches to low Earth orbit. With this capability, we enable both our own asteroid prospecting missions as well as a number of other exploration and high delta-V applications at the same time.


Great Performance

The ESPA sized Xplorer can give a 10 kg payload a delta-V capability of approximately 5 km/s, taking it from low Earth orbit into interplanetary space. It then provides all of the services a stand-alone mission requires, including deep space communications, navigation, attitude control, thermal control, and substantial payload power. For maneuvering close to celestial objects, Xplorer’s Reaction Control System offers full six degree of freedom propulsive maneuvers.

Easy Integration

Xplorer has flexible payload interfaces, but also takes advantage of standard CubeSat formats. So, a payload designed to these standards is extremely easy to integrate. The spacecraft effectively acts as a propulsion, communications, control and navigation platform taking your instruments into deep space.

Flexible and Quick

Xplorer can launch on a variety of commercial rideshares to low Earth orbit, and decouples launch timing from orbit raising and Earth departure maneuvers. This gives its missions significant independence. Plus, this spacecraft can go from contract to flight in one year.

Xplorer Key Characteristics

  • Completely self-contained missions, subject only to commercial rideshare launch
  • Up to 5,000 m/s delta-V for 10 kg payload
  • Propellant can be off-loaded to make room for heavier payloads at less delta-V
  • 12U inboard volume for payload, and 8U outboard volume
  • Up to 2.5 AU operating distance from Earth
  • Up to 500W power generation at 1 AU from sun
  • > 1 kbps data downlink from 2 AU from Earth
  • 64 GB on-board data storage capacity
  • 3+ years design life


The Xplorer qualification model program is expected to be complete in 4Q 2019, with flight model deliveries available starting in 2020. We are using this platform as the basis of our own Prospector spacecraft, which we aim to launch to an asteroid in early 2020.

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