US space agency NASA, as a part of series of wireless sensor experiments which will be the first self-powered tests, released the Technology Educational Satellite or TechEdSat-6 into low-Earth orbit from the NanoRacks platform on November 20 that aims at expanding the capabilities of sensor networks for future ascent or re-entry systems.
This bread loaf-sized satellite was launched to the International Space Station on Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft from agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Novemeber 12 and comes under continuing series to demonstrate the "Exo-Brake" parachute device, advanced communications and wireless sensor networks.
This is fourth TechEdSat satellite carrying an updated version of the Exo-Brake that will demonstrate guided controlled re-entry of the small spacecraft to return science practices from space securely.
Michelle Munk, NASA’s System Capability Lead for Entry, Descent and Landing, said, "The Exo-Brake’s shape can be changed to vary the drag on the satellite. With the help of high-fidelity simulations, we will demonstrate a low-cost, propellant-less method of returning small payloads quickly, and to fairly precise locations, for retrieval".
"We are excited about tracking TechEdSat-6 as it re-enters the atmosphere.", he further added.
The TechEdSat series is a collaborative activity that involves NASA early-career employees, interns and trainees from various universities.