Miss Audrey Nice
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

01483 259278

At a 6-month mission review, engineers at the Surrey Space Centre and SSTL in the United Kingdom have reported on the continued in-orbit success of the highly advanced 6.5kg SNAP-1 nanosatellite mission. Following launch into a 700km low Earth orbit in June 2000 onboard a Cosmos rocket from Plesetsk, SNAP-1 had, by December 2000, achieved over 90% of its mission objectives – achieving a remarkable number of ‘world firsts’ in this class of highly complex and micro-miniaturised spacecraft: * the first fully 3-axis attitude stabilised ‘nanosatellite’ * the first nanosatellite with on-board propulsion demonstrating orbit control * the first in-orbit images of another spacecraft from a nanosatellite * the first successful use of GPS on-board a nanosatellite – used for orbit manoeuvring In June 2000, SNAP-1 imaged the Russian NADEZHDA satellite in orbit and, during the last few months, has been using its tiny on-board butane propulsion system to manoeuvre back into contact with the Tsinghua-1 microsatellite – planned for February 2001, thus completing its remaining mission objectives. SSTL has since supplied two SNAP nanosatellite platforms under contract to the US Air Force Academy for use in training cadets in satellite systems.

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