Tyvak Facilitates CubeSat Missions on Commercial Atlas V Mission

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)

IRVINE, Calif., November 11, 2016 (Tyvak PR) – Today, seven National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) CubeSats launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) as an auxiliary payload on the DigitalGlobe Inc. WorldView-4 mission.

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. partnered with California Polytechnic (Cal Poly), ULA, Lockheed Martin and DigitalGlobe to secure this unique rideshare opportunity – the first of its kind for the NRO.

Ridesharing is a flight-proven, innovative approach to spaceflight that provides lower-cost access to space for companies and organizations that need launch, but don’t require a full rocket’s payload capabilities.

Tyvak served as the integrator for all seven CubeSats. ENTERPRISE is the fifth NRO mission to utilize ridesharing, but the first in which the organization has partnered with a commercial company to do so.

The CubeSats will be launched into space inside of ULA’s Centaur Aft Bulkhead Carrier and ejected from the bulkhead using dispensers provided by Tyvak and Cal Poly. All seven CubeSats are part of the several unclassified technology demonstrations listed below.

AeroCube-8: Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this experiment seeks to demonstrate an electronic propulsion system designed for CubeSats.

RAVAN: Developed in partnership between the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, L-1 Standards and Technology, Blue Canyon Technologies and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center RAVAN (Radiometer Assessment [using] Vertically Aligned Nanotubes), is a mission to measure Earth’s radiation imbalance – the single most important measurement for predicting climate change.

CELTEE: Sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab, CELTEE, or Clean Energy Low Temperature Emissions-Free Engine, is a demonstration of M42 Technologies’ Enhanced Locator Transponder. The transponder was developed using Low-SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) tracking technology.

OptiCube: Developed by Cal Poly,Opticube will provide a target for Earth-based equipment to calibrate their sensors, thereby enabling the study of orbital debris and improving small-object tracking.

DoD Nanosat Project: A Department of Defense experiment that will explore the over-the-horizon communication capabilities of CubeSats.

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc.

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terran Orbital, provides turnkey nano-satellite solutions for civil and commercial customers around the world. At Tyvak, we make space research and utilization more accessible today than it has ever been by leveraging unparalleled industry knowledge with state-of- the-art technology to develop small satellite solutions at a fraction of the cost of traditional spacecraft developers. Tyvak’s nano-satellite systems are adaptable, have low power consumption and are easily customizable to support multiple applications. Visit www.tyvak.com for more information.