Feb 15

3U CubeSat integrated with Prox 1 (launched on Falcon Heavy / STP-2 mission)

LightSail-2 solar sailing demo (approx. date)
Apr 17


Northrop Grumman CRS mission #11 (NG-11, on Antares 230) (approx. date)
Aug 15

North American Eagle 800-mph supersonic car

World land speed record attempt (approx. date)
Nov 15


Northrop Grumman CRS mission #12 (NG-12, on Antares 230) (approx. date)


Ecliptic Presenting Spinning Lander Concept to Solar System Exploration Community

2011 Jun 22

Laurel, MD – June 22, 2011 – For the first time, a novel concept for landing on a broad variety of solar system bodies is being presented to the international solar system exploration community.  The venue is the 9th Biennial Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference, hosted this year at Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel.

Ecliptic CEO Rex Ridenoure is summarizing the "spinning lander" concept in a presentation on June 22.   This concept was developed by commercial satellite pioneer and National Medal of Technology awardee Harold Rosen (ex-CTO of Hughes Space & Communications), who in the early 1960s led the team to first place a satellite in geostationary orbit (Syncom).  

Rosen had the idea for a spinning lander in the early 1960s, but never applied it to a real mission concept until 2007-2008, as part of his Google LUnar X PRIZE team entry, the Southern California Selene Group.  Ridenoure was Deputy Project Manager for this effort.

Rosen's novel lander concept is patent-pending*, and he assigned his patent rights to Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation in 2010.


* Note:  The patent was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on 2013 January 15.   See patent 8,353,481:  "Spin-Stabilized Lander".

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