Empire Strikes Too (or рах рах бластофф!!!)

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:

SkySat-1, Skybox Imaging’s try for Google-style imaging.  Another minisatellite, it’s 100 kg.

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.

BRITE-PL will do Polish astronomy at just 6 kg.  A 20x20x20 cm cube, it’s the University of Toronto’s CanX platform, a larger version of the CubeSat standard.

CINEMA 2 and 3 are 3U science craft from UC-Berkeley, Kyung Hee University, etc.

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

BEAKERSAT 1 (or Eagle-1) and QUBEScout S1, from Morehead State and University of Maryland, respectively, are 2.5Q Pocket Cube component tests, carried and ejected by UNISat-5

$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

Credit: Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú

Credit: Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú

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.


3 thoughts on “Empire Strikes Too (or рах рах бластофф!!!)

  1. Pingback: Followup: Rah Rah Wren | cableflux

  2. Pingback: Followup: More Legwork (Still Not Enough) | cableflux

  3. Pingback: Flock-1 Not Done | cableflux

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