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STARS 1, 2 (Kukai, Gennai)

STARS 1 [Kagawa University]

STARS 1 [Kagawa University]

Kagawa University's STARS 1 (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite), also known as Kukai, consists of a Mother Satellite and a Daughter Satellite connected by a tether 10 m in length. The Mother Satellite (Ku) deploys the tether having the Daughter Satellite (Kai) at its end. Daughter Satellite has one arm, and the tether is attached at its end. Then attitude control by arm motion using tether tension is possible. Main mission is to take pictures of a satellite during tether deployment.

The objectives of the mission are:

  • Mother Satellite deploys tether having Daughter Satellite at its end;
  • Daughter Satellite controls attitude of CCD camera by robot motion;
  • Mother Satellite and Daughter Satellite communicate through Bluetooth.

The Daughter Satellite takes pictures of the Mother Satellite, and transmittes these to ground stations through amateur radio frequency.

The STARS 1 satellite was successfully launched, but suffered from problems during tether deployment, which eventually reached only a few decimeters and stability issues.

An improved version was launched as STARS 2. The maximum tether extension length is about 350 m. After nearly two months in orbit, STARS-2 reentered Earth's atmosphere on 26 April 2014.

Nation: Japan
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Kagawa University
Contractors: Kagawa University
Equipment:
Configuration:
Propulsion: None
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 4.2 kg (#1 mother), 3.8 kg (#1 daughter), 5 kg (#2 mother), 4 kg (#2 daughter)
Orbit: 666 km × 666 km, 98 (#1); 367 km × 381 km, 65.01 (#2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
STARS 1 Mother (Ku) 2009-002G 23.01.2009 Ta YLP-1 H-2A-202 with GOSAT, SDS 1, SOHLA 1, SpriteSat, PRISM, Kagayaki, KKS 1
STARS 1 Daughter (Kai) 2009-002# 23.01.2009 Ta YLP-1 H-2A-202 with GOSAT, SDS 1, SOHLA 1, SpriteSat, PRISM, Kagayaki, KKS 1
STARS 2 Mother (Gennai) 2014-009D 27.02.2014 Ta YLP-1 H-2A-202 with GPM-Core, ShindaiSat, TeikyoSat 3, KSAT 2, OPUSAT, INVADER, ITF 1
STARS 2 Daughter (Gennai) 2014-009H 27.02.2014 Ta YLP-1 H-2A-202 with GPM-Core, ShindaiSat, TeikyoSat 3, KSAT 2, OPUSAT, INVADER, ITF 1
Further STARS missions: