Spinsat is a small research satellite built by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and to be launched by the DoD Space Test Program (STP).
The satellite is 56 cm diameter sphere with a weight of 57 kg. It is powered by batteries. The payload is equipped with retro-reflectors, antennas, and Electrically-controlled Solid Propellant (ESP) Thrusters spread in pairs throughout the surface of the payload.
The Spinsat mission has three goals:
Spinsat is set for "soft stowage" launch in the pressurized portion of the SpaceX Dragon headed to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2014. A station crew member will carry the sphere, essentially packed in a fabric bag, from the Dragon into the station and leave it there until its scheduled deployment through the Japanese module's airlock. NASA safety experts approved the mission because the satellite's 12 thruster-clusters burn an inert solid fuel, and only when an electric charge is passed across it.
|Type / Application:||Research (Atmospheric density)|
|Operator:||NRL, Space Test Program|
|Equipment:||Laser retro reflectors|
|Propulsion:||12 × ESP thruster-clusters|
|Spinsat||-||2014||CC SLC-40||Falcon-9 v1.1||with Dragon CRS-4, RapidScat, Arkyd-3|