Thursday, 8 August 2013

ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X CubeSats launched into space CAD Drawing of ArduSat.

ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X CubeSats
launched into space
CAD Drawing of ArduSat.
Credit:
Peter Platzer / Wikipedia.
(Phys.org) —Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA) has
successfully launched an H-2B cargo
rocket into space—a portion of which
is bound for a rendezvous with the
International Space Station. After it
docks, two CubeSats—ArduSat-1 and
ArduSat-X—held in its cargo module
will be deployed into an orbit above
the Earth.
The two tiny cube-shaped satellites
will be pulled from the same cargo
module that holds Kirobo—a talking
humanoid type robot designed to
study whether astronauts might
benefit from an electronic
companion. The small satellites usher
in a new low cost era in space
technology—each will offer the
possibility of non-professionals
running real-time experiments
aboard a real orbiting satellite.
Both of the miniature satellites are
loaded with technology, including
cameras, ozone and CO 2 sensors, a
Geiger counter and temperature
gauges. They also have an onboard
computer running Arduino, an open-
source platform that allows for
controlling instruments aboard the
craft. Arduino was chosen because it
is an already established platform
used by educational institutions and
hobbyists alike.
Both craft have a set list of objectives
to fulfill before time runs out—both
will plummet to the Earth at some
point in time between three and
seven months. Once its initial
objectives have been fulfilled, the
satellite will be made available to
other projects run by customers on
the ground. $125 will get a user
three days worth of satellite time
while $250 will get a whole week.
Since each satellite is capable of
running 16 experiments
simultaneously, there will be plenty
of opportunities for schools and
other organizations to take advantage
of this unique opportunity.
Shortly after docking with the ISS,
ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X will be
pulled from the cargo module by a
robotic arm which will then release
them into space. The two CubeSats
were partly built in Australia and
were also partly funded via a
Kickstarter project. The aerospace
company responsible for their
creation is Nanosatisfi LLC—their
stated goal is to "democratize access
to space." They deployment of the
two CubeSats is just the beginning
they have told reporters. They hope
to send up hundreds or even
thousands of tiny satellites allowing
almost anyone with a desire to
perform experiments in space, a
platform for doing so.

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