Sunday, April 06, 2008
One of the three candidates for the ORS Jumpstart mission this summer is a university-built experiment. Cornell's CUSat is a 44-kg payload comprising two satellites. WHen separated, the satellites will maneuver about 10 meters apart, and one will send three-dimensional images of the other to a control center where a 3D virtual representation of the target will be reconstructed. The objective is to improve the capability of an inspection spacecraft to diagnose or identify a satellite of interest. Other options for Jumpstart include the Air Force Research Laboratory's Plug and Play experimental satellite or SpaceDev's Trailblazer.