Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's FASTSAT satellite readies for shipment to Alaska

Date:
June 8, 2010
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA has successfully completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review of the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, a small, microsatellite class spacecraft bus that will carry six experiment payloads to low-Earth orbit.

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

NASA has successfully completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review of the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, a small, microsatellite class spacecraft bus that will carry six experiment payloads to low-Earth orbit.

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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA's FASTSAT satellite readies for shipment to Alaska." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608182653.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2010, June 8). NASA's FASTSAT satellite readies for shipment to Alaska. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608182653.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA's FASTSAT satellite readies for shipment to Alaska." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608182653.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — After more than two years, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover reached Mount Sharp, its long-term destination. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Elon Musk has been talking about his goal of colonizing Mars for years now, but how much of it does he actually have figured out, and is it possible? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — The three-man crew touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday after more than five months of science experiments in orbit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — Two solar flares which erupted in our direction this week will arrive this weekend. The resulting solar storm will be powerful but not dangerous. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins