Air Force rocket to launch NASA satellite

Dec 06, 2006

NASA says its GeneSat-1 spacecraft will be carrying bacteria inside a miniature laboratory when it's launched into orbit Monday by a U.S. Air Force rocket.

The satellite will be a secondary payload on an Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket that will lift off from Wallops Island, Va., to deliver the Air Force TacSat 2 satellite into orbit.

"The Small Satellite Office at NASA's Ames Research Center teamed up with industry and local universities to develop the fully automated, miniature GeneSat spaceflight system that provides life support for small living things," said S. Pete Worden, director of the National Aeronautic and Space Adminstration's Ames Research Center.

Although the biological test will last only 96 hours, the GeneSat-1 team will evaluate the stability of the orbiting payload's systems for up to a year. The knowledge gained from GeneSat-1 will help scientists understand how spaceflight affects the human body; specifically, the intestinal bacteria that help humans digest food.

Students from Santa Clara University will control the 10-pound spacecraft in orbit from the Ames mission operations center.

Monday's 3-hour launch window opens at 7 a.m. EST.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover studies rock-layer contact zone

Related Stories

NASA widens 2014 hurricane research mission

May 29, 2014

During this year's Atlantic hurricane season, NASA is redoubling its efforts to probe the inner workings of hurricanes and tropical storms with two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flying over storms and two ...

NASA aces delicate operation with aircraft tail

Mar 28, 2014

Descending inch by inch, the crane operator cautiously lowered the fragile cargo toward the hard floor below. Dozens of eyes, human and electronic, watched along to ensure a clear path. One slip, one inadvertent ...

NASA's latest smartphone satellite ready for launch

Mar 14, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's preparing to send its fifth in a series of smartphone-controlled small spacecraft into orbit. PhoneSat 2.5 will ride into space as part of the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo resupply mission ...

Kepler marks five years in space

Mar 07, 2014

(Phys.org) —Five years ago today, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to find planets around other stars, called ...

Recommended for you

What is a terrestrial planet?

10 hours ago

In studying our solar system over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery ...

Working out in artificial gravity

11 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.