CubeSat phones home to confirm orbit

The first of NASA’s new mini satellites that was launched last week has radioed back to confirm it is in orbit and operational. 

The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) CubeSat spacecraft was launched last week from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

It is the first in a new series of six NASA-managed technology demonstration missions set for the coming months using CubeSats to test technologies that can enable new uses for these miniature satellites, which measure 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm.

“Technology demonstration missions like OCSD are driving exploration,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“By improving the communication capability of small spacecraft to support data-intensive science missions, OCSD will advance the potential to become a more viable option for mission planners.”

See Space cubes – the tiny satellites transforming space exploration and NASA’s website on the use of CubeSats at http://www.nasa.gov/cubesats

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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