Small satellites: Taking advantage of smartphones and other consumer technologies, tiny satellites are changing the space business
ALTHOUGH widely used, satellites are expensive to build and to launch. That began to change last year. On November 19th Orbital Sciences, an American company, launched a rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. It carried 29 satellites aloft and released them into low-Earth orbit, a record for a single mission. Thirty hours later, Kosmotras, a Russian joint-venture, carried 32 satellites into a similar orbit. Then, in January 2014, Orbital Sciences carried 33 satellites up to the International Space Station (ISS), where they were cast off a month later.
Many of these 94 satellites were built in a standard format known as a CubeSat, a 10cm (4 inch) cube weighing 1.3kg (2.9lb) or less. Some comprised units of two or three cubes. After a decade of fits and starts, during which some 75 CubeSats were launched, satellites of this scale and other small satellites are moving from being experimental kit to delivering useful scientific data and commercial services.
In the next five years or so some 1,000 nanosats, as small satellites of 1-10kg are called, are expected to be launched. Some will be smaller than a CubeSat; others bigger and heavier. Some are like a matryoshka doll: the Russian launch included a satellite that launched eight smaller ones, including four PocketQubes (a 5cm cube format). One of these smaller satellites, developed in Peru, released its own tiny bird.
The Latest on: Nano satellites
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The Latest on: Nano satellites
- India-Brazil space cooperation reaches new heights with Amazonia-1 satellite launchon February 28, 2021 at 3:26 am
PM Modi congratulated Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on the successful launch of Brazil's Amazonia-1 satellite by PSLV-C51.The Space sector has been identified by the leadership of India and Brazil a ...
- ISRO launches PSLV C-51 carrying 19 satellites successfully from SHARon February 28, 2021 at 3:15 am
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists efforts had paid off. The PSLV C-51 rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center Shore in Sriharikota was a success.
- Five student-built satellites piggyback on PSLV-C51, soaring dreams of young mindson February 28, 2021 at 1:21 am
The rocket lifted off with Brazil's Amazonia-1 as primary satellite and 18 co-passenger payloads. These small rideshare payloads included 'Satish Dhawan Satellite' (SDSAT) built by Chennai-based Space ...
- Explained: ISRO’s PSLV-C51 launch and why Pixxel India’s Anand satellite missed the flighton February 27, 2021 at 9:57 pm
Even ISRO chairman K Sivan had said that the launch of PSLV-C51 would be “special” because of Pixxel India’s satellite since it marked the beginning of a new age in which private companies would ...
- DNA Explainer: ISRO to launch 19 satellites today - everything you need to know about the missionon February 27, 2021 at 5:29 pm
PSLV C51 Amazonia 1 mission will carry Brazil s Amaz nia 1 as the primary payload along with 18 other guest satellites including 5 Indian satellites ...
- ISRO to launch 19 satellites, one with Modi’s picture on panelon February 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch 19 satellites Sunday as part of the first dedicated commercial PSLV mission for its commercial company NewSpace India Limited ...
- How to watch the Indian Space Research Organisation launch 19 satellites tonighton February 27, 2021 at 10:19 am
The Indian Space Research Organisation will be launching 19 satellites tonight, including a Brazilian satellite to monitor the deforestation of the Amazon.
- ISRO to launch 19 satellites, inlcuding one with Modi’s picture engraved on panelon February 27, 2021 at 2:51 am
One of the nano satellites to be launched has an engraved picture of PM Modi on the top panel of the satellite as well as Bhagavad Gita in a flash.
- Kenya to launch mini nano-satellite, rockets in Auguston February 25, 2021 at 5:53 am
Kenya is set to launch a series of mini-satellites and rockets from its Malindi Space Centre. Kenya Space Agency Chairperson James Aruasa on Thursday said the launch was to happen early this year but ...
- Nano Satellites Market Size: Top Countries Segmented By Applications and Geography Trends, Share, Growth and Forecasts 2026on February 22, 2021 at 11:18 am
Global Nano Satellites Market report makes some important proposals for a new project of Nano Satellites Industry before evaluating its feasibility. This report also discusses the ...
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