The pre-shipment review was completed in May, demonstrating the flight hardware has successfully passed all environmental and performance tests and is authorized for shipment to the launch site for final integration on the Minotaur IV launch vehicle, built and operated by Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va.
FASTSAT is a small, microsatellite class spacecraft bus that will carry six experiment payloads to low-Earth orbit. One of FASTSAT\'s mission objectives is to demonstrate its ability to eject a nanosatellite from a microsatellite while avoiding re-contact with the FASTSAT satellite bus. Credit: NASA/MSFC, Doug Stoffer
Engineers will pack the satellite into a shipping container for delivery in early July to the launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska. FASTSAT is scheduled to launch no earlier than Sept. 1, 2010.
Mission operations for FASTSAT and all six experiments will be managed from the newly configured small satellite control room at the Huntsville Operations and Science Control Center at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
"An outstanding team of engineers and scientists worked diligently to get us to this milestone," said FASTSAT Project Manager Mark Boudreaux at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. "We are ready to perform the remaining activities, ship the spacecraft to Alaska and integrate FASTSAT on the launch vehicle."
FASTSAT will be flying on the STP-S26 mission -- a joint activity between NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program, orDoD STP. FASTSAT and all of its six experiments flying on the STP–S26 multi-spacecraft/payload mission have been approved by the Department of Defense Space and Experiments Review Board.
"The outstanding work and accomplishments from the FASTSAT Team illustrate joint activities at their finest," said U.S. Air Force Col Stephen D. Hargis, DoD STP director. "This is a clear example of what is possible when NASA and the Air Force put their minds together for a common goal…mission success and maximizing access to space."
One of the six experiments on the FASTSAT bus, NanoSail-D, is designed to demonstrate deployment of a compact solar sail boom system that could lead to further development of this alternate propulsion technology and FASTSAT's ability to eject a nanosatellite from a microsatellite -- while avoiding re-contact with the FASTSAT satellite bus. NanoSail-D , managed by the Marshall Center, will be the first NASA solar sail deployed in low-Earth orbit. It was designed and built by NASA engineers at Marshall in collaboration with the Nanosatellite Missions Office at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. This experiment is a combined effort between the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation, both located in Huntsville and NASA.
The other two technology experiments include the Threat Detection System and the Miniature Star Tracker, both managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
In addition, the spacecraft carries three atmospheric instruments built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in partnership with the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The instruments include the Thermosphere Temperature Imager (TTI), designed to measure the temperature, atomic oxygen and molecular nitrogen densities of the thermosphere; the Miniature Imager for Neutral Ionospheric Atoms and Magnetospheric Electrons (MINI-ME), a low-energy neutral atom imager that will detect neutral atoms formed in the plasma population of the Earth's outer atmosphere to improve global space weather prediction; and the Plasma and Impedence Spectrum Analyzer (PISA), a device that will test a new measurement technique for the temperature and density of thermal electrons in the ionosphere – which can interfere with radio-based communications and navigation.
The satellite was designed, developed and tested at the Marshall Center in partnership with the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation and Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville. Dynetics provided key engineering, manufacturing and ground operations support for the new microsatellite. Thirteen local firms, as well as the University of Alabama in Huntsville, were also part of the project team.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
New epidemic management system combats monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria
15.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses
13.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences