Mars Microspacecraft Missions are proposed cheap launch missions costing less than $50 million that can be carried out by the Italian Space Agency to Mars to research Mars, ranging from the use of one spacecraft to multiple constellations of mini spacecraft.
Under a study contract, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) developed the mechanical system concept for a Mars Microspacecraft to launch in a twin configuration on an Ariane V ASAP (Auxiliary Payload). As a member a multi-disciplined team, ASI developed the mechanical configuration and preliminary structure design for the spacecraft in two configurations, a probe carrier and an orbiter. The term microspacecraft was used in a Jet Propulsion Laboratory publication in 1981.
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Burke, J.D. Micro-spacecraft 15/10/1981 (Report). JPL Caltech.
Technology for Small Spacecraft (Report). Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, National Research Council. 1994.
"Affordable Spacecraft: Design and Launch Alternatives, A Background Paper". Ota-Bp-Isc-60. U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. January 1990.
Sarsfield, Liam (September 1996). Federal Investments in Small Spacecraft (Report). RAND.