2019.P.1.4. Payload of the 3-U ManitobaSAT-1 Cubesat for Space Weathering Studies


Edward Cloutis (1)
Stephanie Connell (1)
Vishnu Reddy (2)
Mary Ramirez (1)
Alexis Parkinson (1)
Nathalie Turenne (1)
Jesse Kuik (1)
Evan Stanish (1)
Cain Kiddell (1)
Krista Kubanek (1)
Philip Ferguson (1)
Matthew Driedger (3)

  1. University of Winnipeg, Canada
  2. University of Arizona, U.S.A.
  3. University of Manitoba, Canada




asteroids; meteorites; space weathering; lunar; analogues


ManitobaSAT-1 is a 3-U cubesat mission tentatively slated for flight in 2021-2022. The purpose of this mission is to examine the spectrum-altering effects of exposure of geological materials relevant to various planetary bodies to the low-Earth environment. The goals are to better understand the rates and types of space weathering that may affect different airless planetary surfaces. While the low-Earth environment is not completely consistent with planetary environments such as the Moon, it does represent an important step forward in quantifying the effects of exposure of planetary surfaces to the space environment. At a minimum, it is an important adjunct to Earth-based experiments that can simulate some aspects of the deep-space environment.
The payload will be an array of ~30 geological samples that are vacuum-sintered fine-grained powders (generally <45 µm) with dimensions of 10 mm diameter and 2 mm thick. A retaining ring will hold the samples in place, providing a visible area of 8 mm diameter. The samples will be imaged while in orbit using two 1Mp colour cameras of known Bayer patterns, so that changes in blue, green, and red wavelengths can be independently assessed. The lifetime of the mission is expected to be ~12 months.
The payload consists of the following materials:
(1) Terrestrial samples: (a) silicates: olivine (~Fa10); pyroxene (~Fs10); serpentine; saponite; obsidian; glassy basalt; (b) organic-bearing materials: anthracite coal; bituminous coal; oil shale; graphite; albertite; gilsonite; shungite; (c) carbonates: natrite; (d) oxides: goethite; (f) sulfides: troilite.
(2) Astromaterials: H5 chondrite; L5/6 chondrite; LL5 chondrite (including light and dark lithologies); CM2 carbonaceous chondrite; CV3 carbonaceous chondrite; CR2 carbonaceous chondrite; CO3 carbonaceous chondrite; diogenite; eucrite; ureilite; iron meteorite; E chondrite; lunar highland breccia; pallasitic olivine.
(3) Astromaterial simulants: lunar mare simulant; CI carbonaceous chondrite simulant; CM carbonaceous chondrite simulant; CR carbonaceous chondrite simulant; mesosiderite simulant.
(4) Calibration standards: space-grade Spectralon; alodized aluminum.
The number of samples likely exceeds the available payload capacity, but we expect that not all samples will survive environmental testing (launch vibration and thermal vacuum testing).


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