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Kentucky Space Confirms SuccessfulA Operation of Tiny Experimental Spacecraft

Eagle-1, a PocketQube class satellite that measures 5cmx5cmx15cm and weighing just 430grams (just under one pound), was launched on November 21, 2013 on a DNEPR-1 rocket from Dombarovsky Cosmodrome at Yasny, Russia.

This extremely small experimental satellite (which is one of, if not, the smallest functional spacecraft ever placed in orbit) was deployed in orbit by a larger satellite Unisat-1 developed in a partnership between Kentucky Space (KS), Morehead State University (MSU) and the University of Rome La Sapienzia Aerospace Engineering School and a commercial spin-off called the Group of Astrodynamics for the Use of Space Systems (GAUSS, Inc.). Since the November launch, KS ground ops has confirmed that the Eagle-1 is functioning normally with all systems performing as expected.

This class of satellite, which was originally proposed by MSU Professor Robert Twiggs, further demonstrates the power and potential of new micro technologies in space. Eagle-1 was designed and built by Twiggs, KS and MSU students along with the involvement of Dr. Garrett Jernigan and students at Sonoma State University in California.

The PocketQube class satellite is envisioned to have a wide range of applications including: space network nodes, sensor platforms, inexpensive test-beds and novel satellite constellations that are inexpensive, redundant and spatially organized.

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Source : Kentucky Space

Published on ASDNews: Dec 12, 2013


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