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Upcoming launch of EntrySat

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ISAE-SUPAERO, with support from the CNES’s JANUS program and in cooperation with ONERA, has designed EntrySat, the first CubeSat dedicated to the study of space debris reentering the atmosphere.

It will be launched from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on April 17th by an Antares rocket (NG-11) to be transported to the International Space Station by a Cygnus cargo unit. It will be put into orbit a few weeks later.

entrysat

The first CubeSat capable of analyzing space debris reentry

Controlling the evolution of space debris is an increasingly important question because, over time, this debris will become a real threat to space activities. We need to increase our knowledge of the processes behind a satellite’s destruction as it enters the atmosphere.

It was precisely in response to this question that a team of researchers at ISAE-SUPAERO designed EntrySat with support from ONERA and CNES. It will be used to study the reentry of space debris based on information from position, pressure, temperature and heat flow sensors. Beyond this main mission, EntrySat will also be used to perform various technological experiments in communication with the ground and to measure features of the atmosphere.

The largest CubeSat in the JANUS project

Promoted by the researchers and engineers of the Space Systems for Planetology and Applications team (SSPA) at ISAE-SUPAERO and involving all the departments at the Institute – including the Department of Mechanics, Structures and Materials which provided the test facilities for the CubeSat – EntrySat also benefited from the CNES’s expertise and test support.

This is the program’s fourth CubeSat, and the first French CubeSat in 3U format (10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm) produced for an academic project. Since the start of the project in 2014 and throughout its various phases, over 90 students have followed the project and worked with the research teams.

EntrySat will be controlled from Toulouse by the ISAE-SUPAERO ground station and operated by the Centre Spatial Universitaire Toulousain (CSUT) until its reentry, scheduled for 6 months to one year after going into orbit.

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