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Altair Pathfinder (Altair 1)

Altair Pathfinder [Millenium Space]

ALTAIR Pathfinder or ALTAIR 1 is a 1×6U CubeSat technology demonstration mission by Millennium Space Systems.

The satellite establishes flight heritage for the majority of Millennium Space Systems' planned ALTAIR Core product line spacecraft design and for payload support technologies. The key ALTAIR core hardware designs are demonstrated and flown in their objective design configurations to retire technical risks, increase Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and gain flight heritage for active Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA space programs.

The ALTAIR Pathfinder spacecraft consists of subsystems which incorporate new technologies in direct support of needed capabilities. New elements for space usage in each subsystem are described. The Guidance, Navigation, and Control subsystem includes inertial reference units, star trackers, and conformal torque coils. The Command and Data Handling subsystem utilizes a new flight processor and level zero (no software) control. The Electrical Power Subsystem includes deployable solar arrays. The Structures subsystem uses an additively manufactured structure. The Thermal Control subsystem includes advanced passive thermal management technology. The RF Payload subsystem utilizes high performance front-end and on board processing.

The objectives of the mission are:

  • Risks reduction for Millennium Space' ALTAIR Core spacecraft, including radiation flight environment exposures for electronics specifically selected and screened for space use.
  • Demonstration of the on-orbit functionality of a new class of navigation sensors including low cost Star Tracker and Inertial reference units for attitude determination.
  • Demonstration of onboard processing for next generation radios and computing and a new RF front end are key components of the investigation.

Millennium Space Systems has signed a contract with NanoRacks LLC to launch the satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) via the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft was carried to the station in 2017 via the Cygnus CRS-7 cargo flight, from where the satellite was deployed on 17 May 2017.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Millennium Space Systems
Contractors: Millennium Space Systems
Configuration: CubeSat (1×6U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 4 deployable fixe solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: +28 days
Mass: 4 kg ?
Orbit: 401 km × 404 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Altair Pathfinder (Altair 1) 1998-067LS 18.04.2017 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with Cygnus CRS-7, SUSat, UNSW-EC0, i-INSPIRE 2, ZA-AeroSat, nSIGHT 1, Ex-Alta 1, LilacSat 1, NJUST 1, Aoxiang 1, SOMP 2, QBITO, Aalto 2, X-CubeSat, SpaceCube, DUTHSat, UPSat, Hoopoe, LINK, SNUSAT 1, SNUSAT 1b, qbee50-LTU-OC, BeEagleSat, HAVELSAT, Phoenix, PolyITAN-2-SAU, QBUS 1, QBUS 2, QBUS 4, IceCube, CSUNSat 1, CXBN 2, KySat 3, SHARC, Lemur-2 30, ..., 33


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