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!
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences