Thursday, December 15, 2016
Microsatellites: CYGNSS takes wing
One of the advantages of microsats is that you can deploy them affordably in constellations to measure a given phenomenon from many points at once, or to make sure one satellite is always over a given area beneath the orbital planes. Orbital's really cool Pegasus launcher (the first private launcher in the US and the first aircraft-launched space booster known to be a success) placed 8 29-kilogram CYGNSS hurricane-watching satellites in orbit today. Congratulations to Orbital, to the satellite builders (SWRI and University of Michigan, with Sierra Nevada building the deployment mechanism), and to NASA.