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In short: My goal is to get knowledge about general travel in space and navigating to a certain object - with literally "low cost" tech.

My primary interest is how to control and move a device in space, not about getting to orbit or space, lets assume for simplicity it would be possible to ride "piggyback" on something else going up there, and the device gets ejected at a certain point. Lets assume at the same point a commercial satellite is deployed. From there, the challenge would be to actually travel to the moon - one way of course.

The payload is estimated very low, around 1kg of communication, sensors and power to bring up there, and not more. The device would have just to land on the moon - no certain spot or other parameters, just land there and transmit back to earth.

What would be the absolute necessarily needed stuff to have on board to actually get there? And how is it possible to navigate in space? I suspect that the engine would either have to be some kind of rocket-powered device, or i have seen other things like ion-thrusters.

What type of transmitter could make it back to earth from moon? Lets say very low data rates, for example from temperature sensors or similar

Also there is the question remaining if this is a very difficult objective in terms of electronics - for example are there any special components needed (like extra fast/precise FPGA's or sensory stuff).

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    $\begingroup$ Asking for a complete spacecraft design seems awfully broad. You've asked about engines, communication systems, landing gear, etc. $\endgroup$ Jul 5 '21 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Even if the payload you're thinking of is 1 kg, your spacecraft is going to have to have a lot of supporting systems that will make it much bigger. Have a look at the answers to Is it possible to identify the main systems that would be present in a generalized space station? Many of those will also have to be on your cubesat. They'll tumble randomly without attitude control, batteries will freeze (as pointed out below) without insulation and heaters, loose power without power management, etc. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 '21 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ For example, Wikipedia's Cubesat; design lists the following categories: Structure, Computing, Attitude control, Propulsion, Power, Telecommunications, Antennas and Thermal management. It should also mention that for attitude control you also need attitude sensors of some kind. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 6 '21 at 0:41
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Low Earth Orbit to the lunar surface needs 5,670 m/s of delta-v assuming it's a high thrust rocket. That's a pretty serious rocket. Something like an ion drive can replace 2/3 of that but you'll need even more delta-v since you lose the Oberth effect. (You still need a high thrust rocket to land on.)

And note that you're not landing a 1kg probe unless you don't care if it survives the night. Something that small can't protect itself from the cold of a lunar night.

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