2012.C.2.1 ULA Rideshare with CubeSat Missions for Lunar and Planetary Exploration


Jake Szatkowski (1)

  1. United Launch Alliance


C.2 – Propulsion Issues and Launching Capabilities for Interplanetary CubeSat Missions




United Launch Alliance (ULA) launch vehicles have a long history of providing high-value payload accommodations for a variety of customer spacecraft and missions, including planetary missions to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and Asteroids.

Rideshare – the approach of sharing available performance margin with a primary spacecraft – provides satellite developers the opportunity to get their spacecraft to orbit and beyond in an inexpensive and reliable manner. The ULA Atlas V and the Delta IV LVs have Rideshare capabilities that support a wide range of spacecraft sizes, from the smallest CubeSats, to the largest dual-manifest payloads. I will brief an overview of the rideshare capabilities that are available with current status.

This presentation will focus on CubeSat – Rideshare delivery options for the Moon, Mars, and NEO’s. Reference missions using the Adapter Deck (A-Deck) system and a new 3rd-stage solution called the Multi-payload Utility Lite Electric (MULE) Stage will be discussed.


  • Download slides in PDF format here
  • Low quality video available here


  • Optional paper not submitted

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