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AeroCube 14A, 14B (IMPACT 2A, 2B)

AeroCube 14 [The Aerospace Corporation]

The AeroCube 14 A & B or IMPACT 2A & 2B (), mission by The Aerospace Corporation consists two identical 3U CubeSats to demonstrate new star-tracker technology and test new nanotechnlogy materials and advanced solar cells in space. The investigation also tests a standardized interface for modular experiments that could reduce the challenges of integrating experiments onto a satellite and launching them into space. The satellites are part of the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) IMPACT program, led by the Advanced Systems and Technology directorate.

These technologies to be evaluated include:

  • A new star-tracker baffle technology to test the ability of the baffle to reject stray light from entering the detector by hitting off of the walls of the baffle while maintaining a small form factor on the satellite.
  • Nanotechnology payloads to test new and emerging materials in a space environment. These payloads include structural materials, thermal straps, and heaters. By performing these experiments in space, the materials are exposed to the space environment simultaneously, providing the data necessary to determine the space-worthiness of the materials.
  • An advanced solar cell experiment to evaluate the on-orbit performance of the solar cells and monitor any degradation with exposure to the space environment. Ground testing of solar cells is limited in the ability to simulate the full space environment. This research helps to provide additional information in the design of advanced solar cells for future space missions.
  • A standardized interface for modular experiments tests the ability of an experiment team and a spacecraft design team to develop missions independently from one another.

The satellites will be launched from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer mounted to the external surface of the Cygnus CRS-12 spacecraft. The Cygnus spacecraft raises its orbit to an altitude of ~500 km following unberthing from the International Space Station (ISS).

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: The Aerospace Corporation
Contractors: The Aerospace Corporation
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 3.5 kg
Orbit: 459 km × 475 km, 51.64° (#14A, 14B)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
AeroCube 14A (AC 14-A, IMPACT 2A) 2019-071D 02.11.2019 WI LC-0A Antares-230+ with Cygnus CRS-12, STPSat 4, HARP, Phoenix, RadSat-u, SOCRATES, Argus 02, HuskySat 1, SwampSat 2, AeroCube 14B, AeroCube 15A, 15B, Orbital Factory 2
AeroCube 14B (AC 14-B, IMPACT 2B) 2019-071F 02.11.2019 WI LC-0A Antares-230+ with Cygnus CRS-12, STPSat 4, HARP, Phoenix, RadSat-u, SOCRATES, Argus 02, HuskySat 1, SwampSat 2, AeroCube 14A, AeroCube 15A, 15B, Orbital Factory 2