Celebrating with work – Cubesat invasion from ISS !

How to celebrate annivensary 18 years/100 000 passed orbits properly? It seems that crew members missed cake and any kind of party, but have deployed impressive number of Cubesat satellites during last three days!

After passing 100000th orbit on May 2016 in the morning, crew members of International Space Station had no time for further celebrating. Their daily task schedule was precisely planned and filled with multiple tasks. One of them was deploying series of the Cubesat satellites on 16, 17 and 18 May 2016. Satellites were deployed from Japanese Kibo module using Nanoracks deployment device. On 16 May 2016 two NODES satellites were deployed. They were built with parts left from EDSN program by NASA, which was devoted to testing networking with constellation of 8 Cubesat satellites. NODES-1 and NODES-2 are identical 1.5U Cubesat with dimensions of 10cm x 10 cm x 17 cm. They are operating under Android operating system which executes EDSN software necessary for planned tests. Satellites on altitude of 450 km will perform series of experiments devoted to data relay, command relay and gathering data on radiation around ISS with Energetic Particle Integrating Space Environment Monitor (EPISEM). Tests will be basically testing  transmitting data from ground control station to NODES-1 and from NODES-1 to NODES-2 and in the opposite direction. Next satellites deployed on 16 May were STMSat-1, 1U Cubesat satellite built by elementary school students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School. It is equipped with camera, which will take picture of Earth every 30 seconds and HAM transceiver along with powering system, computer and antenna. Next was CADRE satellite, which is 3U Cubesat, developed by students of the University of Michigan. Its mission is devoted to testing different technologies like deployable solar panels, ADCS system pointing and various measuring systems, which could be potentially installed on Cubesats in nearest future. Next satellite was MinXSS-1 (Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer), which is 3U Cubesat equipped in SXR spectrometer for observation of solar SXR emission. Satellite was funded by NASA under Heliophysics Technology and Instrument Development for Science (H-TIDeS) program. On May 17, 2016, series of Flock satellites were deployed: 1, -1B, -1C, -1D, -1D', -1E, -1F, -2, -2B, -2C, -2D, -2E, -2E'. These are observation satellites by Planet Labs and will become part of the constellation of Flock satellites. Satellites deployed on May 17 were equipped with CCD cameras and will provide imagery with a resolution of 3 m – 5 m operating from 400 km orbit with an inclination at 52°. Rest of the contracted Flock satellites was deployed yesterday; these were four spacecrafts: Flock-2e-3, -4 and Flock-2e'-3, -4. Yesterday also four 3U Lemur-2 satellites were deployed. They belong to Spire Company and are equipped in STRATOS imaging device along with SENSE AIS system which is dedicated for ship tracking. They are powered with solar arrays and weighs 4 kg.

On picture above: Nanoracks in action.