thecosmosmadeconscious

thecosmosmadeconscious:

We lived in a sandy-colored stone house with an engraved winged serpent and solar disc above the door. It seemed like something straight out of ancient Sumeria, or Indiana Jones — but it was not, in either case, something you’d expect to find in upstate New York. It overlooked a deep…

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Meet Space Station’s Small Satellite Launcher Suite
April 3, 2014

Image of Cyclops hardware.
Image Credit: NASA

Illustration of Cyclops flight hardware with SpinSat satellite attached.
Image Credit: NASA

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata prepares a batch of NanoRacks CubeSats for deployment.
Image Credit: NASA

A set of CubeSats is photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member after deployment by the NanoRacks Launcher attached to the end of the Japanese robotic arm.
Image Credit: NASA
It used to be that building and launching a working satellite was an enormously expensive and complex undertaking, feasible only for governmental and military agencies. But the CubeSat revolution of the past decade has placed satellite technology within reach of private companies, universities and even unaffiliated individuals. That revolution has been boosted by the existence of the International Space Station, which provides an additional launching platform enabled through regular commercial cargo flights.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.
Putting the tiny satellites into orbit from the space station isn’t as simple as shoving them out an airlock. It requires a special apparatus called a CubeSat deployer. This tool places a satellite into position to be grabbed by one of the space station’s robotic arms, which places the CubeSat deployer into the correct position to release the miniature satellites into their proper orbits. At present, two CubeSat deployers operate aboard the station: the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) and the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. The upcoming launch of the SpaceX-4 commercial resupply mission, currently scheduled for August will enhance the space station’s satellite deployment capabilities with the delivery of Cyclops. This tool, also known as the Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS), will provide still another means to release other small satellites from the orbiting outpost.

Meet Space Station’s Small Satellite Launcher Suite
April 3, 2014

Image of Cyclops hardware.
Image Credit: NASA

Illustration of Cyclops flight hardware with SpinSat satellite attached.
Image Credit: NASA

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata prepares a batch of NanoRacks CubeSats for deployment.
Image Credit: NASA

A set of CubeSats is photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member after deployment by the NanoRacks Launcher attached to the end of the Japanese robotic arm.
Image Credit: NASA
It used to be that building and launching a working satellite was an enormously expensive and complex undertaking, feasible only for governmental and military agencies. But the CubeSat revolution of the past decade has placed satellite technology within reach of private companies, universities and even unaffiliated individuals. That revolution has been boosted by the existence of the International Space Station, which provides an additional launching platform enabled through regular commercial cargo flights.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.
Putting the tiny satellites into orbit from the space station isn’t as simple as shoving them out an airlock. It requires a special apparatus called a CubeSat deployer. This tool places a satellite into position to be grabbed by one of the space station’s robotic arms, which places the CubeSat deployer into the correct position to release the miniature satellites into their proper orbits. At present, two CubeSat deployers operate aboard the station: the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) and the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. The upcoming launch of the SpaceX-4 commercial resupply mission, currently scheduled for August will enhance the space station’s satellite deployment capabilities with the delivery of Cyclops. This tool, also known as the Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS), will provide still another means to release other small satellites from the orbiting outpost.