“Is it possible to measure an atmosphere from space without an extra landing mechanism?”
“Would it be possible to do this without parachute and almost stable?”
“Is this feasible without an active propellant drive?”
These are the questions we want to solve, the reasons why Daedalus is going to fly to the edge of space in March 2018.
A long way to go, but with a lot of ideas in our minds, we began creating three concept designs, that might suit our requirements:
- The “Glider”
- The “SpaceDrop”
- The “SpaceSeed”
Different concepts with pros and cons. Till the Selection Workshop we were working on all three to decide which one would be the best choice. After the Selection Workshop in Bonn it became clear: The “SpaceSeed” will be the one to work with. But read more about that here…
On its way down from nearly 100km of altitude, the SpaceSeed is going to collect basic atmospheric data, which is a new and innovative way to do it with the atmospheric measurements today mostly being realized with a balloon. Balloons usually reach a height of 20-30km. This can only be done, however, if a balloon already exists on the ground including the measuring unit.
So, as long as you are on the Earth, no problem. However, how is that supposed to be realized on other planets?
Our approach starts a bit higher, because we do not want to measure ascending, but descending with a SpaceSeed dropped from high altitude. This allows us to reach a much larger range of measurements and also gives us the chance to create a good atmospheric model without having ever landed there before.
With the SpaceSeed, however, we also pursue a different goal. Inspired by the bionic design of the maple seed, the SpaceSeed is supposed to turn itself and thus a gentle descent for aerospace mission. Thus, no parachute is needed at the end of the flight, which makes another complex part unnecessary. This also opens up new fields of application for the SpaceSeed, since parachutes cannot be used everywhere. This makes the SpaceSeed more stable in flight and more resistant to winds.
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