Spacecraft design project multipurpose satellite bus MPS
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The thrust of this project was to design not a single spacecraft, but to design a multimission bus capable of supporting several current payloads and unnamed, unspecified future payloads. Spiraling costs of spacecraft and shrinking defense budgets necessitated a fresh look at the feasibility of a multimission spacecraft bus. The design team chose two very diverse and different payloads, and along with them two vastly different orbits, to show that multimission spacecraft buses are an area where indeed more research and effort needs to be made. Tradeoffs, of course, were made throughout the design, but optimization of subsystem components limited weight and volume penalties, performance degradation, and reliability concerns. Simplicity was chosen over more complex, sophisticated and usually more efficient designs. Cost of individual subsystem components was not a primary concern in the design phase, but every effort was made to chose flight tested and flight proven hardware. Significant cost savings could be realized if a standard spacecraft bus was indeed designed and purchased in finite quantities.
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