Satellite AeroCube-3
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 1U
Mass in kg 1084.4 g
Status Reentry 2011-01-06. Was operational until 2009-12-08, 203 days. Semi-operational without 2-way communication until reentry.
Launched 2009-05-19
NORAD ID 35005
Deployer P-POD (Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer)
Launcher Minotaur I
Organization Aerospace Corporation
Institution Non-profit
Entity type Government (Civil / Military)
Headquarters US
Launch brokerer Cal Poly, ?
Partners U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center

Tethered to the upper stage to image the launcher and ADCS sensor experiment.


After launch, AeroCube-3 will remain attached to the upper stage of its carrier rocket by means of a 61-meter (200 ft) tether. Experiments will be conducted to determine the satellite's flight dynamics. A wide-angle camera will be used to image the upper stage. The satellite will also reel in the tether, moving closer to the upper stage.

The primary systems demonstrated were a two-axis solar tracker and an Earth tracker, which could be used in the guidance systems of future satellites. It also carried a 0.6-meter (2 ft 0 in) balloon used for tracking tests and to increase drag, increasing the satellite's rate of orbital decay after its mission was completed.

Sources [1] [2]
Photo sources [1] [2]
Keywords Tether
Space photos AeroCube-3AeroCube-3AeroCube-3AeroCube-3AeroCube-3


Last modified: 2023-06-08

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