The personal satellite?

Discussion in 'Astronomy' started by Porfiry, Nov 21, 2000.

  1. Porfiry Nomad Registered Senior Member

    <!--intro-->At a press conference today, One Stop Satellite Solutions announced that the company has developed technology which enables high-quality, small space satellites to be launched for the first time for as little as $45,000, compared to a cost of about $3 million to $5 million using current alternatives. Dale Richards, President of One Stop Satellite Solutions, said, "Just as Henry Ford made the automobile affordable to the masses for the first time in the early 20th Century, our CubeSAT satellite will make space satellites affordable to the masses for the first time in the early 21st Century."<!--/intro-->

    "With our CubeSAT satellites, which measure only 4 x 4 x 4 inches, space has been opened to individuals and groups in the general public, academic institutions and small as well as large businesses and corporations. These satellites will be launched on our Multi-Payload Adaptor, which could be viewed as a 'mass transportation' vehicle to space."

    As a result of the de-militarizing of nuclear missiles -- in the U.S. and Russia -- One Stop Satellite Solutions has launched its satellites on former U.S. Minuteman missiles and will launch future satellites on former Russian ICBM missiles. In January 2000, the company had a successful launch aboard the first Minotaur Missile (a Minuteman missile converted launch vehicle) in its Joint Air Force Academy-Weber State University Satellite program. The first launch of the CubeSAT satellite is scheduled for November 2001. Richards said his company is proud of its role in transforming former weapons of war into vehicles for peaceful purposes.

    Dr. Robert Twiggs, consulting professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University, inventor of the CubeSAT satellite technology, also addressed the news conference. He said, "With this program, we are opening an unprecedented new door for opportunities in space that have previously been closed. Now, based on inquiries we have received, I can envision some 100 to 200 of these small satellites being launched annually. However, to avoid littering space, we have plans to bring them back to earth once their programs have been completed."

    The technology that will be used by One Stop Satellite Solutions in the launch of its CubeSAT satellites, was first developed at the Center for Aerospace Technology at Weber State University, Ogden Utah. Weber State was the first university to have a payload launched on a NASA shuttle. In a prelude to the development of CubeSAT, the university launched WEBERSAT in 1990, a mission experts said could not be accomplished using only off-the-shelf commercial parts.

    The satellite was made by a team of Weber State faculty and students and was expected to have a lifespan in space of two years. Today, 10 years later, three of the four satellites launched on that mission are still in orbit and operating. Technology developed at Weber State was transferred to One Stop Satellite Solutions, and forms the basis for the company's space launch program.

    The Utah Centers for Excellence Program sponsored the development and commercialization of the technology. The Center plays a vital role in the growth of Utah's high-tech economy and partially funded the Center for Aerospace Technology at Weber State University, where the CubeSAT small satellite program was developed.

    Also attending the press conference was Vladimir Andreev, Director General of Kosmotras, the Russian company that is commercializing former Russian nuclear missiles, ICBMs today called Dnepr Rockets. During the Cold War, he was the "keeper of the codes," needed to activate his country's nuclear arsenal, if the order to do so had ever been given. Kosmotras is working with One Stop Satellite Solutions to provide decommissioned ICBM launch vehicles in Russia for CubeSAT satellite programs.

    Kosmotras and Thiokol Propulsion, of Brigham City, Utah, along with One Stop Satellite Solutions, have entered into an agreement, which calls for Kosmotras to provide relatively inexpensive launch opportunities using the Dnepr Launch Vehicle, supported by the governments of Russia and the Ukraine. One Stop Satellite Solutions will provide management and integration of small satellites into a single payload module utilizing the company's multi-payload adaptor. Thiokol will provide organizational and legal support for the joint program as a marketing agent of Kosmotras.

    One Stop Satellite Solutions, a private company founded in 1996 and headquartered in Ogden, Utah, has commercialized the technology under development for 15 years at the Center for Aerospace Technology at Weber State University. The company's mission is to provide its customers with lower cost, high-quality small satellites for more effective access to space. The company, in conjunction with the Center for Aerospace Technology, has successfully designed, engineered and manufactured eight low earth orbit satellites in the 100 to 500 pound class. The company's patented and proprietary technology provides attitude control that is more precise and less complex to operate than any other small satellite system on the market. Additional patents are pending that will allow this technology to be utilized in other control applications.

    The company demonstrated its satellite design and manufacturing capability in January, 2000 with the successful launch of a multi-use group of satellites aboard a decommissioned U.S. Minuteman missile, called a Minotaur launch vehicle.

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