16 October 2015ESA’s first technology-testing CubeSat, released last week from the International Space Station, is in good health and is set to start work on its six-month mission.“This tiny satellite was developed in only a year and now we are very pleased with the rapid progress made during the first few days in orbit to check its readiness for its mission,” notes Roger Walker, overseeing ESA’s technology CubeSat effort.GomX-3 was designed and built for ESA by Denmark’s Gomspace company. Engineer David Gerhardt adds: “Following its release from the Station on 5 October, much of the satellite’s proving phase is complete, demonstrating that it is operational and in good health.“We are now taking the first steps towards putting its technology payloads through their paces.”
Despite its small size of 10x10x30 cm, the nanosatellite precisely controls its orientation by spinning miniaturised ‘reaction wheels’ at varying speeds.
This precision is an important factor in the effectiveness of the mission’s technology-testing payloads.
One task will see GomX-3 pointing up towards to detect radio signals from telecom satellites in geostationary orbit to assess ...