Cubesats galore

I’m sure everyone has read, seen, or heard about the latest feat regarding cubesats this November:  29 cubesats were deployed from one rocket launched in the US; and another 33 cubesats were deployed from a rocket launched by the Russians.

The US launch was done courtesy of Orbital Sciences from Wallops Island, in Virginia using a Minotaur I rocket.  The launch occurred 20 November and you can watch the video below.

On 21 November, the Russian Dnepr launch was conducted by Kosmotras from Yasny, in Orenburg, Russia.  There does seem to be some discrepancy in numbers, as the Kosmotras site only says 24 cubesats were deployed.  You can go to their site to see what payloads were released and who owns them.  It looks like all satellites from the Russian launch were released into a sun-synchronous Low Earth Orbit.  Video of that launch below.

This fact might interest you:  both launch systems are based on intercontinental ballistic missile systems that probably targeted areas in either the US or Russia.  The Dnepr is based on the SS-18 Satan and the Minotaur I is based on the Minuteman II.

There is another way to deliver cubesats into orbit, though, and it’s pictured below.  You can just shoot them from a launcher on-board the International space station.  You can read more about that from Discovery News.  And while Discovery calling it a cannon is hyperbole, it gives a person a great idea of what’s happening with them.  Sounds more intriguing, too.

The JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer in action. Cubesat Cannon just sounds so much better, though.

One thought on “Cubesats galore

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