ASK OCE — April 4, 2006 — Vol. 1, 1 Issue 7
NASA’s Space Technology 5 (ST5) successfully launched on March 22, 2006, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a Pegasus XL rocket.
ST5 is testing new micro-spacecraft technologies and operations’ techniques. The three spacecraft will conduct science validation using measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field collected by the miniature boom-mounted magnetometers on each.
Miniaturized components and technologies are integrated into each of the ST5 micro-satellites. Each micro-satellite weighs approximately 25 kilograms (55 pounds) when fully fueled and is about the size of a 13 inch television.
ST5’s three full-service micro-spacecraft constitute a major step toward the use of constellations or swarms of small spacecraft to accomplish science that cannot be done with a single spacecraft. Although small compared to their counterparts, each of the spacecraft is considered full service. They contain power, propulsion, communications, guidance, navigation and control functions found in larger spacecraft.
The ST5 project was built and tested at Goddard for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. It is an instrumental part of the New Millennium Program, which develops and tests critical and revolutionary technologies needed to enable future endeavors in space.