News

QB50-ISS ready to be launched

QB50-ISS CubeSats ready to be launched

By Davide Masutti

 

Brussels, Belgium – Two weeks ago the launch preparation activities managed by VKI/ISIS/NanoRacks were successfully concluded at Innovative Solutions In Space B.V. facilities. Twenty-eight (28) CubeSats of the QB50 constellation were integrated into eleven (11) NanoRacks 6U deployers. After a formal handover of the hardware to NanoRacks LLC, the CubeSats and the deployers were shipped to NanoRacks’s facilities in Houston (US). Today the hardware has been cleared out at the US customs and then it will be transported to the cleanroom of NanoRacks. In a window of time between Dec 19th 2016 to Jan 9th 2017 all deployers will be finally delivered to Lockheed Martin which is responsible for the Cargo Mission Contract (CMC).

From there on, Lockheed Martin will be in charge of loading the deployers into the Cygnus CRS OA-7 Cargo for a launch atop an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral SLC-40 on March 16th 2017 (date/time to be confirmed).

 

Additional CubeSats for the ISS

Additional three (3) CubeSats are making their way to Houston following different routes from Russia, India and California. These CubeSats will be then integrated into a single deployer directly by NanoRacks in their facilities.

 

When the CubeSats will be deployed into space?

The configuration of the deployment from the ISS has been defined during the integration campaign. The CubeSats will be deployed from the ISS into two consecutive airlock cycles separated by 60 days (exact dates to be confirmed by NASA according to the ISS crew schedule). The configuration of the deployment sequence with the correspondent sensor unit is given in the table below.

 

 

CubeSat ID

Size

Deployer

Airlock 1

Airlock 2

AU01

2U

D7

INMS

 

AU02

2U

D1

 

INMS

AU03

2U

D9

mNLP

 

AZ01

2U

D10

FIPEX

 

AZ02

2U

D6

 

FIPEX

CA03

3U

D12

 

mNLP

CN02 (BE02)

2U

D6

 

INMS

CN03 (BE03)

2U

D1

 

FIPEX

CN04 (BE04)

2U

D2

INMS

 

DE02

2U

D3

FIPEX

 

ES01

2U

D7

INMS

 

FI01

2U

D7

mNLP

 

FR01

2U

D4

FIPEX

 

FR05

2U

D5

FIPEX

 

GR01

2U

D6

 

mNLP

GR02

2U

D5

mNLP

 

IL01

2U

D5

mNLP

 

IN01

2U

D16

FIPEX

 

KR01

2U

D10

INMS

 

KR02

2U

D9

FIPEX

 

KR03

2U

D11

 

FIPEX

RU01

2U

D16

FIPEX

 

SE01

2U

D4

FIPEX

 

TR01

2U

D2

mNLP

 

TR02

2U

D3

mNLP

 

TW01

2U

D4

INMS

 

UA01

2U

D9

FIPEX

 

US01

2U

D1

 

INMS

US02

2U

D2

FIPEX

 

US03

2U

D16

INMS

 

US04

2U

D3

FIPEX

 

         
 

no. INMS

 

6

3

 

no. FIPEX

 

11

3

 

no. mNLP

 

6

2

 

Total

 

23

8

 

 

Contact

To learn more about the launch campaign and the next steps, please contact

 

Dr. Davide Masutti, QB50 Project Manager

Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics

Chaussée de Waterloo, 72

B-1640 Rhode-Saint-Genése, Belgium

Office: +32-2-359-9658

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

QB50 project in video

 

Presentation in French

First launch under Belgian jurisdiction and first Belgium nanosatellites in space

The first Belgium nanosatellites were successfully deployed this night in low earth orbit (600km altitude). This launch of two nanosatellites is the first application of the Belgian space law adopted in 2005 and revised at the end of 2013. Thanks to this legal framework, Belgium can authorize and supervise satellite missions in full accordance with the international treaties, the associated safety standards and the mitigation of space debris.

The embarked satellites are so called double CubeSats, having a 10 cm x 10 cm x 20 cm volume with a mass of less than 2 kg. They have been designed, manufactured and tested by several partners: the von Karman Institute VKI (BE), ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space (NL), Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UK), Technische Universitat Dresden (DE), Surrey Space Center (UK) and AMSAT (FR/NL).

The launch has been procured by the QB50 project, an EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) funded project. This launch mission, entrusted to ISIS, took place out of the base of Yasny in southern Russia, with a DNEPR rocket at 21:11 (Belgian time). The nanosatellites currently flying around the Earth at a velocity of about 7,5 km per second are already transmitting scientific and technological data to ground stations all around the world.

This successful launch is the precursor flight ahead of the main QB50 mission. QB50 is a space project led by a consortium of 15 international partners. The project foresees to send in 2016 into a low earth orbit a set of 50 CubeSats. 45 of those CubeSats will form a constellation and will investigate the lower thermosphere, one of the layers more rarely investigated. The remaining CubeSats will carry some technologies to be tested in orbit. Amongst them, the re-entry CubeSat of the von Karman Institute will be equipped with a thermal shield to allow the CubeSat to be saved during its reentry in the Earth atmosphere.

Philippe Courard, secretary of state for Science Policy, delivered his first mission launch authorization under Belgian jurisdiction. He expresses : “Belgium, the leader country in the space domain, has taken two new steps: Belgium took over responsibility of a mission launch and sent its first satellites into orbit.” He adds: “The Belgian Know-how in satellite development is widely recognized: for example, the PROBA satellites have been manufactured by the Belgian industry in the framework of the European Space Agency. The QB50 satellites were developed and launched under the jurisdiction of Belgium. This successful mission launch stresses the relevance of the investment made in the space research and innovation during the last 50 years. It’s a major event for our space policy.”

As the coordinator of the QB50 project, the von Karman Institute is very proud with this unprecedented precursor launch.

About QB50: www.qb50.eu

ISL ISL ISL ISL
picture credientials ISL BV, NL

Contact
VKI: Christelle Debeer - VKI Press Spokesperson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jan Thoemel – QB50 Project Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ISIS: Jeroen Rotteveel – ISIS CEO, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Joost Elstak – QB50 Precursor Mission Project Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ISIS delivers the first two QB50 satellites as part of the EU FP7 QB50 project

The QB50 project has reached another crucial milestone. The first two QB50 satellites have been delivered for shipment to the launch site after a successful flight acceptance test campaign. The satellites will form the QB50 Precursor mission that seeks to de-risk and validate key technologies of the QB50 main flight that will be performed in the coming years.

The following payloads were integrated into the ISIS satellite platforms:

QB50p1

  • INMS Payload from MSSL, UK
  • QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
  • Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
  • AMSAT-NL transponder from AMSAT-NL, The Netherlands

QB50p2

  • FIPEX Payload, University of Dresden, Germany
  • QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
  • Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
  • AMSAT-Fr transponder from AMSAT Francophone, France

ISISThe project was executed to an unprecedented timeline. Formal Kick-Off was in October 2013 and all hardware from the different partners was delivered for integration into the satellites in January 2014. This means that two satellites were delivered in just over 6 months. Furthermore, with a precursor launch scheduled in June, launch and operations will commence within 9 months of project Kick-Off.
This fast-track project shows how successful a close cooperation between academic institutes and experienced companies can be. With ISIS’ experienced team of engineers that design and build nanosatellites on a regular basis (ISIS remains on track to delivering 1 satellite system per month in 2014), throughput times of nanosatellite projects can be shortened significantly.
The upcoming launch of the QB50 precursor satellites will also be the first satellites to be launched that were funded through the EU’s FP7 space technology programme, in which a number of innovative small satellites will be launched in the coming years to demonstrate new European space technologies.
The lessons learned from the QB50 Precursor development and operations have already led to many recommendations to further improve and streamline the QB50 main flight. All teams involved in QB50 stand to benefit from the experiences gained over the last months.
About QB50: www.qb50.eu

VKI: Christelle Debeer - Communication - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Jan Thoemel – QB50 Project Manager - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ISIS: Jeroen Rotteveel – ISIS CEO - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Joost Elstak – QB50 Precursor Mission Project Manager - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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