NASA has officially confirmed that the first of its miniature satellites, sent into the space on Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on October 8, is running fine. The NASA announced that the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) CubeSat spacecraft is in orbit and operational.
The Space research agency said that the CubeSat Satellites will play a key role in exploration and scientific research apart from serving its purpose in Technology demonstrations and educational investigations. It added that the newly designed nano satellites helps them to carry NASA missions at a low-cost platform in the areas of planetary space exploration, Earth observations, fundamental Earth and space science.
“CubeSat will also benefit students by letting them to engage in all stages of satellite developments by inexpensive means” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at Nasa headquarters in Washington, DC.
OCSD is the first in a new series of six Nasa-managed technology demonstration missions set to be launched during the coming months using CubeSats.
OCSD differs from other space-based laser communication systems because the laser is hard-mounted to the spacecraft body, and the orientation of the CubeSat controls the direction of the beam, the NDTV reported.
The second OCSD mission will be launched in February 2016.