Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
First Student-Developed Mission In Which Satellites Orbit And Communicate

File image.
by Staff Writers
Austin TX (SPX) Mar 25, 2011
Two satellites designed and constructed by students at the Cockrell School of Engineering successfully separated in space March 22, completing the most crucial goal of the mission since its Nov. 19 launch and making them the first student-developed mission in the world in which satellites orbit and communicate with each other in real-time.

The satellites separated March 22 at 6:35 a.m. Central Standard Time. Now that they're apart, the 60-plus pound, tire-sized satellites will be able to perform the main goals of the project and could pave the way for more complex satellite missions that require real-time coordination between small satellites.

Traditionally, larger and expensive satellites have been commonplace in space missions but the satellites developed by more than 150 aerospace engineering graduate and undergraduate students could demonstrate the potential for space technology that's more affordable and accessible-a forward-looking approach that's attracted the interest of the Air Force and NASA.

The smaller satellites could also help prevent tragedies like the Columbia space shuttle disaster, which, unknown to the shuttle's crew, had a hole in the left wing that caused it to disintegrate upon reentry to the Earth's atmosphere Feb. 1, 2003, killing all seven onboard.

"If they would have had the technology that could go outside the shuttle and inspect it, then the hole could have been discovered," Lightsey said.

The students, led by their faculty advisor Professor Glenn Lightsey, built the satellites over the course of seven years using a shoestring hardware budget of $250,000 - a small amount compared to the millions typically spent on spacecraft missions.

They were launched into orbit from Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex in November, a moment that was considered the pinnacle of the students' years of work. But the real moment of truth came early Tuesday morning when they separated, said Lightsey.

"We had to work through some problems on the satellites to get the separation to occur, but the student-team figured out a way to get the command to work. I am very proud of all of them," said Lightsey. "We have achieved a true first in spacecraft engineering."

The satellites will collect scientific data and be able to report their location and proximity to each other to students and amateur radio operators tracking their orbit some 400 miles above.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
University of Texas at Austin
Space Technology News - Applications and Research



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


TECH SPACE
WTA Releases New Satellite Operator Benchmarks Report
New York NY (SPX) Mar 24, 2011
The World Teleport Association has published a new report, Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011, in which teleport operators worldwide rate the commercial and operational performance of the top satellite operators, with the intention of driving positive industry improvements. Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011 provides satisfaction ratings and feedback from 70 interviews with teleport execut ... read more







TECH SPACE
First Student-Developed Mission In Which Satellites Orbit And Communicate

Light Technology Reduces Painful Side Effects Of Radiation and Chemotherapy

Study: Supernovas source of cosmic rays?

ASTRA Increases Reach Over All Platforms

TECH SPACE
Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad

Gilat Announces New Military Modem For Robust Tactical Satcom-On-The-Move

Advanced Emulation Accelerates Deployment Of Military Network Technologies

Tactical Communications Group Completes Deployment Of Ground Support Systems

TECH SPACE
Two Ariane 5 And One Soyuz Flights Are Now Being Prepared

Another Ariane 5 Completes Its Initial Build-Up At The Spaceport

ILS Protests Unfair Subsidies To Arianespace

SES And ILS Announce Launch Of SES-6 On ILS Proton In 2013

TECH SPACE
Compact-Sized GLONASS/GPS Receiver

GPS Mundi Releases Points Of Interest Files For Ten More Major Cities

LockMart GPS III Team Completes Key Flight Software Milestone

N. Korea rejects Seoul's plea to stop jamming signals

TECH SPACE
Bombardier, COMAC team up to market, sell jetliners

China airlines to challenge EU carbon tax: report

Singapore Airlines to suspend half of Tokyo flights

NVision Scanner Helps Get Aircraft Accessories To Fit Right First Time

TECH SPACE
Tiny 'On-Chip Detectors' Count Individual Photons

'Quantum' computers said a step closer

Pruned' Microchips Are Faster, Smaller, More Energy-Efficient

Silicon Spin Transistors Heat Up And Spins Last Longer

TECH SPACE
Against The Tide: Currents Keep Dolphins Apart

Measurements Of Winter Arctic Sea Ice Shows Continuing Ice Loss

Secretary Salazar Charts Future For Landsat Satellite Program

Scanner eyes Earth's coastlines from space

TECH SPACE
Race to save oil slicked penguins on remote British island

EPA proposes 1st mercury emissions limits

Russian police search office of outspoken activist

China cleaning up 'jeans capital'


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement