NASA and the State of Alaska agreed today to collaborate in a variety of activities of mutual interest involving small satellite development, advanced aviation, space exploration, education and science.
During a ceremony held at the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s (AAC) Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska, NASA’s Ames Research Center Director S. Pete Worden and Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Curtis Thayer signed a three-year non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement establishing a partnership for space exploration, scientific research and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM.
A Minotaur IV rocket is set to launch a set of innovative nanosats from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Friday evening. The launch is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 19, at 7:24 p.m. CST. The launch can be viewed on the web at this page, http://www.nasa.gov/fastsat, on Friday, Nov. 19, starting at 7 p.m. CST.
Below are NASA’s descriptions of three of the satellites to be launched: FASTSAT, NanoSail-D, and O/OREOS.
NASA’s FASTSAT (Credit: NASA)
NASA’s Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, will carry six small payloads to low Earth orbit, demonstrating a critical ability to provide low-cost and rapid response opportunities for scientific and technical payloads to get to space. FASTSAT is NASA’s first microsatellite designed to create a capability that increases opportunities for secondary, scientific and technology payloads, or rideshares, to be flown at lower cost than previously possible. It serves as a bus or platform that puts scientific research on the affordable fast track for governmental, academic and industry researchers.
The FASTSAT mission is a joint activity between NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program. The satellite was designed, developed and tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., in partnership with the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation and Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville.