Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Inside Orbital Sciences’ Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, this closeup shows the Space Technology 5 (ST5) spacecraft's microsatellites mounted on the payload structure. The spacecraft will be enclosed for launch. The ST5 contains three microsatellites with miniaturized redundant components and technologies. Each will validate New Millennium Program selected technologies, such as the Cold Gas Micro-Thruster and X-Band Transponder Communication System. After deployment from the Pegasus, the micro-satellites will be positioned in a “string of pearls” constellation that demonstrates the ability to position them to perform simultaneous multi-point measurements of the magnetic field using highly sensitive magnetometers. The data will help scientists understand and map the intensity and direction of the Earth’s magnetic field, its relation to space weather events, and affects on our planet. With such missions, NASA hopes to improve scientists’ ability to accurately forecast space weather and minimize its harmful effects on space- and ground-based systems. Launch of ST5 is scheduled from the belly of an L-1011 carrier aircraft no earlier than March 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base."
Also see my previous post on The Pegasus.