October was a busy month for commercial spaceflight! Not only did SpaceX complete its first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, but Nanosatisfi completed its first successful high-altitude test of the ArduSat payload. Since the first high-altitude test didn’t get off the ground, this mission was a big moment for the Nanosatisfi team.
In the week leading up to the first test flight of the ArduSat sensor payload and flight computer, Jeroen and Joel from NanoSatisfi and Monroe from Team Prometheus converged in Lampasas, Texas, for preparations. But after a week of work, the flight was unable to execute as planned.
Earlier this summer I posted an introduction to ArduSat. At that time, NanoSatisfi’s Kickstarter was still in full swing. It’s now a couple months later, and I realize that I have not yet reported on the outcome of their campaign! There’s good news to report, as well as an exciting event taking place later this week.
A challenger appears! To the right is an artist’s rendering of ArduSat, an Arduino-based cube satellite. Announced this month, the ArduSat shares many of the same mission objectives as KickSat. Specifically, both projects aim to make space exploration easy and affordable for everyone. However, there are some key differences between these two projects that make ArduSat a welcome addition to the DIY satellite scene.