Some people aren’t convinced miniaturized satellites (“microspace“) have a mega-future. Folks, Tuesday’s record of 29 small spacecraft launched on a converted Minuteman missile has already been broken. Today, 32 mini-, micro-, and nanosatellites were launched on a converted ex-Soviet missile. And they aren’t just schoolkids and classified government projects this time: four imaging satellites, and radio gear, were flown for commercial companies:
–Dubaisat-2 will take Google-style pictures of Earth, for disaster monitoring and commercial sale (e. g., to Google). A minisatellite, the builders (United Arab Emirates and a Korean contractor) got it down to “only” ~300 kg despite 1m resolution and electric thrusters.
–STSat-3 (Science and Technology Satellite-3) is the KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) infrared mission. It will observe both Earth and space in IR.
Secondary payloads on the converted R-36M (“Dnepr”) include:
–UNISat-5, University of Rome space debris monitor- 28 kg. It also carries cubes, below…
–AprizeSat 7 and 8 will send UHF messages for field users (ships/trucks) for pay- 12 kg.
And then come the microsatellites:
–WNISat-1, to monitor shipping lanes for icebergs, built by AXELSPACE for Weather News, Inc. 10 kg.
–Delfi-n3Xt is a 3U (10x10x30 cm) Dutch technology demonstrator.
–Dove 3 and 4 are Planet Labs Inc.’s try for Google-style imaging, but squeezed in a 3U size.
–Triton 1 is a technology demonstrator (including ship traffic control) by Solutions In Space BV.
–OPTOS is a 3U set of experiments from INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial).
–GOMX-1 is a 2U field experiment for air traffic control by satellite.
–CubeBug-2 is an Argentine flight test, in 2U size.
And then come the nanosatellites:
–NEE-02 Krysaor is Ecuador’s second satellite, again in 1U
–HINCube is a Narvik University flight demonstration
–ZACube-1 is a Cape Peninsula University of Technology field test
–ICube-1 is Pakistan’s first CubeSat
–HumSat-D is a University of Vigo flight test for education and communcations
–First-MOVE is a Technical University of Munich component test
–Velox-P2 is a component test from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
–UWE-1 is a radio experiment from the University of Würzburg
–FUNCube-1 is an amateur radio satellite
–$50Sat (or Eagle-2), also from Morehead State, is a 1.5Q Pocket Cube (5x5x7.5 cm) radio experiment ejected by UNISat-5
–WREN, a German Pocket Cube (5x5x5 cm), is an advanced demonstrator ejected by UNISat-5
–PUCPSat-1 isn’t just Peru’s 1U satellite… it will eject Pocket-PUCP
Feeling futuristic yet? WREN, despite being 5x5x5 cm, has a camera, 3-axis stabilization, and micro-thrusters. It’s a full spacecraft, no flying beeper. If you aren’t yet convinced, plenty of universities will pass you by.