Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

CubeSat

SkyCube: the first satellite launched by you

Southern Stars Group LLC, the company responsible for the popular SkySafari apps for iOS, Android and Mac OS X, is thinking a little bigger with its next project. The publicly funded SkyCube is a miniature CubeSat satellite that will orbit the planet, transmitting low-resolution images of the Earth while broadcasting short messages from sponsors in the form of data pings. In short, it's the world's first social space mission.  Read More

SSTL's STRaND-2 nano-satellite uses Kinect technology for approach and docking

Little satellites grow up to be big satellites. At least, that’s what will happen if Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) gets its way. Working in conjunction with the University of Surrey, the UK-based company plans to launch a pair of nano-satellites into orbit equipped with Kinect motion-control sensors that will allow the minisats to seek each other out and dock to form a new, larger satellite. If this technology proves successful, it has the potential to change the way satellites are built, maintained and even disposed of by changing satellites from individual machines into intelligent building blocks.  Read More

An Interorbital Systems TubeSat in low Earth orbit

Interorbital Systems (IOS), a rocket and spacecraft construction company founded in 1996, has announced the age of the Personal Satellite. For US$8,000, IOS provides the TubeSat Personal Satellite (PS) Kit, complete with launch to low Earth orbit (LEO). A TubeSat is a (very) low-cost alternative to the CubeSat - for comparison, by the time you have assembled a CubeSat and had it placed in orbit, your cost will be well north of US$100K.  Read More

A CubeSat with solar sails could be sent on a mission to the Martian moon Phobos (Image: N...

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program provides funding to study a small number of highly advanced spaceflight concepts, with the goal of understanding the technological possibilities which will guide the development of future space missions. Under this program, a JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) researcher has proposed the use of a pair of CubeSats for an autonomous mission to retrieve samples from Phobos, Mars' larger moon.  Read More

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