October 5, 2012
Astronauts Launch Techedsat From International Space Station
April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A small cube-like satellite launched from the International Space Station on Thursday and it has NASA engineers, student interns and amateur radio enthusiasts around the world listening.
TechEdSat was released from the new Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer aboard the space station at 11:44 am EDT.
The small satellite measures only 4 inches to a side and carries a ham radio transmitter. Developed by a group of student interns from San Jose State University (SJSU) who were mentored by the staff of NASA's Ames Research Center, TechEdSat was brought to the ISS aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle which arrived July 21. The ISS crew processed it for launch.
"TechEdSat will evaluate plug-and-play technologies, like avionics designed by commercial providers, and will allow a group of very talented aerospace engineering students from San Jose State University to experience a spaceflight project from formulation through decommission of a small spacecraft," said Ames Director S. Pete Worden.
This mission highlights collaboration between NASA, academia and industry to set the standard for future missions with small satellites known as Cubesats. The cost for TechEdSat was less than $30,000 because the engineers used only commercial off-the-shelf hardware and simplified the design and mission objectives.