NASA Sends 4 CubeSats into LEO Written 19 July 2023


Rocket Lab Electron rocket | Credit: Aerospace America; AIAA–©

ExecutiveBiz reports that NASA “has deployed a set of four small satellites to low Earth orbit aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle to test autonomous spacecraft swarm technologies in space.” The 6U-sized CubeSats “lifted off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand and will demonstrate their ability to conduct maneuver planning, communications networking, relative navigation and autonomous positioning as a group with minimal supervision from ground mission controllers, NASA said Monday.” Funded by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology, the six-month Starling mission “is expected to pave the way toward advancing autonomous robotic swarms for future space and lunar science and exploration missions.”
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