ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X CubeSats launched into space

Aug 08, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
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 are loaded with technology, including cameras, ozone and CO2 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 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 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.

Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

Related Stories

European cargo craft undocks from space station

Sep 29, 2012

The European Space Agency says its cargo craft has successfully undocked from the International Space Station after a failed separation caused by communication problems earlier in the week.

Recommended for you

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

3 hours ago

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

The worst trip around the world

3 hours ago

As you celebrate the end of the year in the warmth of your home, spare a thought for the organisms riding with a third-class ticket on the International Space Station – bolted to the outside with no protection ...

Four Galileo satellites at ESA test centre

4 hours ago

ESA engineers unwrapped a welcome Christmas present: the latest Galileo satellite. The navigation satellite will undergo a full checkout in Europe's largest satellite test facility to prove its readiness ...

Funding challenges for Orion and SLS

4 hours ago

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress, which exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve ...

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.