MISTRAL, which stands for MIni-SaTellite with Re-entry capacity and Aircraft-Launched, is a smart re-entry system applicable to any space capsule, which can be coupled to a multi-role platform and be launched from an aircraft. Being launchable from an aircraft gives the system flexibility and reduces operating costs, making it versatile enough to suit a wide range of applications. Thanks to this flexibility and quick operating mode, the re-entry system can be used in small institutional, public and private missions with a low budget.
Not only will MISTRAL be smart, but it will be green and social too. Equipped with a micro-platform management system, named “Space Twitter”, the system allows the orbiting capsule to send automatic “tweets” or brief messages to special micro-stations on Earth on an ongoing basis, providing constant updates about its operating status.
Made with new ultralight alloys, new materials and cutting-edge green technologies, MISTRAL will feature an innovative modular “umbrella” opening and closing system to ensure active control of the return trajectory while bringing its payload and samples back to Earth.
This unique technology may well find further applications in aerospace, making a major contribution to keeping space clean by considerably decreasing the amount of debris in space and supporting the autonomous return of space systems at the end of their life cycle.
One of the key problems for researchers to solve quickly is the identification of a solution to the threat represented by more than 20,000 stray objects in space. Inert satellites, rocket fragments and debris gravitate around the Earth, creating a major risk of collision for operative satellites in orbit.
MISTRAL is an innovative research programme, funded by Regione Campania and developed by Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) and Campania Aerospace District.