AcubeSAT is a 3U CubeSat designed to perform a biological experiment, probing the dynamic regulation of gene expression of eukaryotic cells in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), utilizing advances in Synthetic Biology and MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems). Besides potential experimental readout, our goal is to demonstrate that the payload design can be utilized for a variety of applications, therefore rendering multiplexed cell analysis in-orbit considerably more approachable.
Over the past year, after having been accepted in ESA’s Fly Your Satellite! Programme, the AcubeSAT team has been working hard to improve the design also presented in OSCW 2019. The culmination of our efforts was the submission of the CDR, a 1100+ page collection of documents detailing mission and spacecraft design. With contributing to open science, open access and open source still being our main drive, we pushed to share additional information, including milestone-documents that, while part of every space mission, can be scarcely found online, if at all.
Our presentation has a two-fold goal. By briefly recounting our progress, we aim to spark a conversation regarding some aspects of space-mission design where the open-source community is still severely unrepresented, and ways to change this overall situation for the better. Additionally, we hope to share some lessons learned, aiming to bridge the gap between the legacy aerospace development methodologies and the agile approach preferred for low-cost access to space.