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Minisat 01

Minisat 01 [INTA]

Minisat 01 was a Spanish space agency, Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA) minisatellite to test a low-cost multipurpose bus with a payload consisting of three experiments and a technology demonstrator.

The 195 kg satellite measured 1145 × 1005 × 1170 mm, with four 45 W, 1.5 m deployable panels. The spacecraft power system was 28 V unregulated with 60 W average power requirement. Uplink and downlink was via S-band, 5 W at 1 Mbps, and data storage was 32 Mbyte. It was sunpointing 1-axis spin stabilized with an accuracy of 3 degrees. The spacecraft bus and payload roughly shared 50% each of the available mass.

The satellite was built by the spanish CASA company, and the selected payload to the MINISAT 01 was composed of three instruments and one technology demonstrator:

  • EURD (Espectrógrafo Ultravioleta extremo para la observación de la Radiación Difusa) was a spectrograph to study the background radiation in the extreme ultraviolet range. It was a collaboration between Spain and USA.
  • LEGRI (Low Energy Gamma Ray Imager) was a collaboration between Spain and UK to study the low energy gamma radiation from astronomic sources using detectors HgI2.
  • CPLM (Column of Liquid Bridge in Microgravity) was a spanish project to study the behaviour of liquid bridges in microgravity conditions
  • ETRV (Experiencia Tecnológica de un Regulador de Velocidad) was a mechanical speed regulator and deployment mechanism intended to deploy in the future such items as antennas, panels, and booms.

It was the first in a series of planned satellites based on this bus, and was designed to operate for 2 years. Allthough successful, no further satellites of the Minisat series were built.

The was launched on a Pegasus-XL from Gando airbase on the Canary Islands (Spain) on 21 April 1997, into a retrograde 570 km × 577 km orbit inclined at 151 degrees. The launch is reported to have cost US$10.4m.

MINISAT-01 reentered the atmosphere on 14 February 2002 after almost 5 years working successfully in orbit.

A second satellite of this series, Minisat 02, was planned to be launched in 2001.

Minisat 02 was to carry four experiments:

  • GOYA (Gamma-ray burst Observer Yearned-Always)
  • SIXE (Spanish Italian X-ray Experiment)
  • DOPA

The Minisat 02 mission was cancelled.

Nation: Spain
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: INTA
Contractors: CASA
Equipment: EURD, LEGRI, CPLM, ETRV (#01); GOYA, SIXE, DOPA, XRASE (#02)
Configuration: Minisat-0 Bus
Propulsion: None
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 2 years (design); 5 years (reached, #01)
Mass: 195 kg (#01)
Orbit: 570 km × 577 km, 151°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Minisat 01 1997-018A 21.04.1997 Ga, L-1011 Pegasus-XL with Celestis 01
Minisat 02 - cancelled


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