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[BBC] Shuttle Endeavour docks at International Space Station - Page 3

post #21 of 27
They're replacing the shuttle (and about time). We're still going to need a reusable platform for earth orbit to place and repair our satellite network. Alot of the GPS satellites are getting old and starting to fail...
post #22 of 27
Quote:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...?taxonomyId=13

NASA's Endeavour carries tiny, space-traveling satellites

As NASA's space shuttle Endeavour works its way toward the International Space Station today, it's carrying prototypes of fingernail-sized satellites that are expected to someday travel to Saturn.

The shuttle lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Monday and is expected to rendezvous with the space station on Wednesday. Endeavour's 16-day mission includes delivering robotic parts and an S-band communications antenna, as well as three small satellites.

The satellites, which look like thin, 1-in. square computer chips, have been in development for three years at Cornell University. Once the shuttle delivers the prototypes, which have been named Sprite, they will be attached to the outside of the space station where they are expected to collect information on solar winds.

The prototypes are expected to work outside the station for "a few years" and then will be returned to Earth and examined to see how they stood up to the harsh conditions of space, according to Cornell.

Within the next decade, researchers are hoping to launch an army of the postage stamp-size satellites and let them travel without any power except the force of natural solar winds.

Cornell scientists are planning to have the satellites travel to Saturn, and as the devices work their way through the planet's atmosphere, they are designed to collect data about chemistry, radiation and particle impacts.

Each satellite prototype is identical expect for a unique transmission signature so scientists can distinguish which chip satellite is communicating with them.
anyone?
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
And the Shuttle has docked at the ISS!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13441435
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post #24 of 27
I'm curious how these tiny tiny satellites will be able to transmit data, won't they require an antenna or dish of some type to be able to transmit data those distances? And what about power requirements? If they are anything like a smartphone they'll be dead within 2 days. If they are solar, a 1" cube doesn't have the surface area to produce sufficient energy to send a signal from Saturn to earth I don't think.
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by strap624 View Post
I'm curious how these tiny tiny satellites will be able to transmit data, won't they require an antenna or dish of some type to be able to transmit data those distances? And what about power requirements? If they are anything like a smartphone they'll be dead within 2 days. If they are solar, a 1" cube doesn't have the surface area to produce sufficient energy to send a signal from Saturn to earth I don't think.
I don't think they would be sending them up if they didn't know what they are capable of doing!
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by strap624 View Post
I'm curious how these tiny tiny satellites will be able to transmit data, won't they require an antenna or dish of some type to be able to transmit data those distances? And what about power requirements? If they are anything like a smartphone they'll be dead within 2 days. If they are solar, a 1" cube doesn't have the surface area to produce sufficient energy to send a signal from Saturn to earth I don't think.
They get their energy from the solar wind.
Quote:

A group of Cornell-developed, fingernail-sized satellites may travel to Saturn within the next decade, and as they flutter down through its atmosphere, they will collect data about chemistry, radiation and particle impacts.

Three prototypes of these chip satellites, named "Sprite," will be mounted on the International Space Station. When the MISSE-8 panel is removed and returned to Earth in a few years, the survival of the prototypes will be assessed.

Although grapefruit-size satellites have been launched before, they have functioned much like larger satellites. The flight dynamics of a chip satellite are fundamentally different from these larger "CubeSats."
"Their small size allows them to travel like space dust," said Peck. "Blown by solar winds, they can 'sail' to distant locations without fuel. ... We're actually trying to create a new capability and build it from the ground up. ... We want to learn what's the bare minimum we can design for communication from space," Peck said.
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-...-endeavor.html
post #27 of 27
Kinda sad, only one more Space Shuttle launch. In my life time(15 years) I've only seen one live launch. Sad that they're not going to be anymore. frown.gif
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