Saturday, June 28, 2008

The little asteroid hunter

Here's another article on one of most intriguing microsatellite projects, Canada's NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite). Bearing a striking resemblance to a digital camera, it's a good reminder of how technological advances are allowing important science to be done by smaller and less costly spacecraft. To be launched in 2010, the 65-kg, $12M spacecraft will perform dual missions: hunting for asteroids and serving as a platform for high Earth Orbit (HEO) space object surveillance. Microsats no longer have to be single-mission or single-purpose, as was often the case with older, bulkier, and less flexible technology.

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