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NanoSail D

NanoSail D (launch and deployed) [NASA]

NanoSail D is a cubesat-based solar sail demonstrator. The mission goals are:

  • Establish ARC-MSFC collaborative relationship for future small satellite initiatives
  • Deploy a 10 m solar sail leveraging work by MSFC approved under the SMD In-Space Propulsion Program
  • Demo Orbital Debris Mitigation technology – drag sail
  • Ground Imaging to reduce spacecraft instrumentation
  • Add to flight experience – ARC Bus "light" experience

Two units of the NanoSail D satellites have been built. The first satellite failed to reach orbit due to a malfunction of the Falcon-1 launch vehicle first stage.

The second satellite was deployed from FASTSAT-HSV 01 on 06.12.2010 after launch on a Minotaur-4 HAPS rocket from Kodiak on 20.11.2010. The Nanosail D was to be ejected on 06.12.2010, but it failed to leave its deployer. The satellite was then spontaneously ejected on 19.01.2011 and successfully deployed the sail three days later.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: NASA Ames Research Center
Contractors: NASA Ames Research Center
Equipment: Solar sail
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Batteries
Lifetime: 7 days
Mass: 4 kg
Orbit: 330 km × 685 km, 9 (#D1, planned); 641 km × 652 km, 72 (#D2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
NanoSail D 2008-F01 03.08.2008 Om F Falcon-1 with Trailblazer, PreSat, Celestis 07
NanoSail D2 2010-062L 20.11.2010 Kd LP-1 Minotaur-4 HAPS with STPSat 2, FASTRAC 1, FASTRAC 2, FalconSat 5, FASTSat-HSV 01, RAX 1, O/OREOS, Ballast A, Ballast B