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Current Affairs > Science and Technology > 2018-12-16 > Science and Technology

Rocket Lab  launched 10 NASA CubeSats

What in news:

·         More than 250 students have been involved in the design, development and construction of the CubeSats scheduled to be flown as payloads on Rocket Lab's Electron rocket.

About the news:

·         In its first mission for NASA, the American aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab launched 10 small research satellites, or CubeSats, from New Zealand, the US space agency said.

·         Rocket Lab  launched the ELaNa-19  EST from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

·         The CubeSats were built by three NASA centres, seven universities, and a middle school under the NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or (ELaNa-19) mission.

·         ElaNa-19 is NASA’s first to be completely dedicated to launching CubeSats under the agency’s Venture Class Launch Services program for small-satellite launches.

·         More than 250 students have been involved in the design, development and construction of the CubeSats scheduled to be flown as payloads on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.

·         The 10 CubeSats are named as CubeSail, CeREs, NMTSat, CHOMPTT, ALBus, STF-1, ISX, Resat, Shields-1 and DaVinci, NASA said

·         These are built to standard dimensions of one unit (1U), and can be 1U, 2U, 3U or 6U in size.

·         They generally weigh less than 1.33 kg per U — 6U may be up to 12 kg.

·         They will be placed in RailPODs aboard the Electron rocket that will ferry them to space.

·         After the main payload deploys, the CubeSats separated from their RailPODs. After 45 minutes in orbit, the CubeSat transmitters will turned on and university ground stations will listen for their beacons, determine their small satellites’ functionality and announce operational status.

·          CubeSat mission durations and orbital life vary but are anticipated to last at least three years.

·         Upon mission completion, the CubeSats fall to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere, NASA noted.

About Cubesats:

·         A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiples of 10×10×10 cm cubic units.

·         CubeSats have a mass of no more than 1.33 kilograms per unit, and often use commercial off-the-shelf components for their electronics and structure.

About Rocket lab:

·         Rocket Lab is a private American aerospace manufacturer and smallsat launcher with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary.

·         It has developed a suborbital sounding rocket named Ātea and currently operates a lightweight orbital rocket known as Electron, which provides dedicated launches for smallsats and CubeSats.

Expected prelims question

Cubsats are

1.                   miniaturized satellite

2.                   mass of less than 1.33 kilograms per unit

3.                   Cube Sail one of miniature satellite.

Which of the above statements are correct.

a)                   Only 1 and 2

b)                  Only 2 and 3

c)                   Only 1 and 3

d)                  None of the above

Answer: C


Expected mains question

Describe about Miniature satellites. And add anote on recently launched miniature satellites i.e.Cubesats by NASA.