Space station poised to launch open-source satellites
ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 3 August aboard a Japanese resupply vehicle (which is also carrying fresh food, supplies and a talking humanoid robot).
Known as CubeSats, each mini satellite packs an array of devices – including cameras, spectrometers and a Geiger counter – into a cube just 10 centimetres to a side.
The cargo ship carrying the CubeSats should arrive at the ISS on 9 August, and the satellites will then be deployed using a robotic-arm technique tested last year. The method can put several small satellites into orbit around Earth, eliminating the need for dedicated launch vehicles and making citizen-science missions like ArduSat more affordable.
"No one has given people access to satellites in the same way that we're doing with ArduSat," says Chris Wake of NanoSatisfi, the San Francisco company that builds and operates the satellites.
The maiden launch was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, with backers buying some of the satellites' time slots to run experiments.
Sources and more information:
Remember Kirbo the first humanoid robot in Space from one of our earlier posts? You probably heard of ArduSat already. Well, JAXA - the "Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency" - the same agency, that sent Kirbo on its way to the International Space Station (ISS), has taken ArduSat on board in order to release it into space.
(Phys.org) - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched an H-2B cargo rocket into space - a portion of which is bound for a rendezvous with the International Space Station. After it docks, two CubeSats - ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X - held in its cargo module will be deployed into an orbit above the Earth.
( via newscientist.com )
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