Astronauts fired this small, rectangular hunk from the International Space Station today. The payload will separate into two autonomous satellites as part of a research program to take us one tiny step closer towards making asteroid mining a reality.
Right now, the cost of studying the atmosphere of a distant planet or moon is a multi-million dollar mission. But NASA is working to make space exploration way more affordable—using cheap, lightweight CubeSats.
Weather forecasting is one of those sciences that never seems to be quite as good as we want it to be. But what if it had more data? That's the idea behind Spire, a tech startup which wants to use a huge fleet of tiny, cheap satellites to tell you when it's going to rain.
Watch the International Space Station's cannon in action. It's name is J-SSOD and it's attached to the Japanese module Kibo. But wait, you say, what happened to the no weapons in space thing? Is this Death Star Alpha?
This might look like the start of a scene from Gravity, but you're actually looking at three nanosatellites—known as Cubesats—which have just been released in space.
There's a small army of adorable, little, (sometimes) phone-powered satellites out in space, circling the globe. And while they're damn impressive for their size, they face some challenges. They don't have much room for antennas, for instance. But MIT's new inflatable balloon antennas should change all that.
You don't need to be big to be impressive. This trio of tiny cubesats launched from the International Space Station yesterday, and looked totally badass floating out in the infinite ether.
On the surface of Earth, smartphones play a big part in our every day life. As it turns out, there's a lot they can do in orbit as well. That's why NASA has been developing tiny satellites that have Android phones for brains.