The potentialities of GEO and higher orbits are huge. From weather applications to Earth monitoring, networks, IoT, M2M relay and communications, and even asteroids and lunar mining, but many applications of these orbits are precluded to CubeSats.
CubeSats era began when private companies lowered the price of access to LEO, what would happen when we will lower it for GEO and deep space?
With the current costs of chemical upper stages, send to GEO or to the Moon and beyond just 1 kg cost more than 150.000 $, making practically inaccessible deep space.
But that will no longer be not true.
The TransOrbits are simple transfer vehicles powered by electrical propulsion that can carry a payload of 16 kg (two 6U CubeSats) to those orbits with far greater efficiency and a cost nearly an order of magnitude lower.
Those transfer vehicles, launched in LEO by a traditional launch vehicle, use electrical propulsion with energy provided by the Sun instead of using chemical propulsion. The system, with a little longer transfer time (35 days instead of a few hours), can reduce the amount of fuel required per kg of payload to less than a few hundred grams.
The TransOrbit are exploration vehicles, built with already existing or just developed technologies, the first Generation is made of only already existing technologies, Gen2 will be built with the first TechDev derived ideas.
In that way the cost can be reduced at the beginning to just 55k$/kg, an then with a higher payload and orbital refuelling even potentially to 10k$/kg
The first design is a 6U Cubesat sized TransOrbit, with an expected launch for 2021 for an LEO to TLI transfer. Following the same year is planned the first commercial launch.
Deep space will become a great market in the next years, will you take part in it?
Now is the real moment to act