NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said June 8 it had completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review of the Fast Affordable Science and Technology Satellite-Huntsville (FASTSat-HSV), a microsatellite that will carry six experimental payloads into low Earth orbit this fall. NASA said engineers will pack the satellite into a shipping container for delivery in early July to the launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska, where it will undergo final integration with the Minotaur 4 rocket slated to launch it into space in early September.
Built and tested at Marshall in partnership with the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation and Dynetics Inc. — both based in Huntsville — FASTSat-HSV will carry a mix of NASA and military experiments. Half of the six payloads are technology experiments, including NanoSail-D, a Marshall-led project designed to demonstrate deployment of a compact solar sail boom. The other two technology experiments are the Threat Detection System and the Miniature Star Tracker, both managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
The spacecraft also carries three atmospheric instruments built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in partnership with the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.