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Affordable Orbital: Tiny Satellites Make for Democratic Access to Space [Slide Show]

Low-cost spacecraft called CubeSats are helping bring open-source, DIY culture to spaceflight

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ST@R-LITE:

At the Polytechnic University of Turin, in Italy, students built e-st@r, a CubeSat that, like Cal Poly's CP6, will test a magnetic system for controlling a satellite's orbital flight attitude.....[ More ]

DRAWING BOARD:

Fewell shows the CubeSat satellite he built, along with some of the calculations that went into designing it.....[ More ]

JUNIOR HIGH FLYER:

Even an eighth-grader can now build a satellite. Well, maybe not any eighth-grader, but Bryan Fewell of Honolulu did build one all by himself for his school's science fair. Bryan explains his project in this video .....[ More ]

SPRINGBOARD:

This mechanism was designed at Cal Poly to hold three CubeSats inside a rocket and deploy them in orbit.* The container uses a spring to eject the satellites.

*Correction (2/3/2011): The caption originally misidentified the place where the mechanism was designed.....[ More ]

SCRAPS AND SPARES:

Students at San Jose State University are designing a CubeSat tentatively named ReadySat Go , which will be little more than an "answering machine in space, made of Orchard Supply sheet aluminum and a second-hand Handy-Talky," team member Faith Chihil says.....[ More ]

CUBIST:

Justin Foley, a student at Cal Poly, works on the CP6 CubeSat in a clean room.....[ More ]

HANDS-ON SCIENCE:

Launched successfully in 2009, the CP6 CubeSat tested an experimental magnetic system for adjusting a satellite's flight attitude in orbit. It was designed and built by students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.....[ More ]

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