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Moonlighter [The Aerospace Corporation]

Moonlighter (Daily Atmospheric Ionospheric Limb Imager) is a 3U CubeSat cyber test platform developed The Aerospace Corporation in partnership with Space Systems Command (SSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

This 3U CubeSat will provide the national security space community with the ability to test and learn in realtime in orbit. Moonlighter is the world’s first and only hacking sandbox in space, designed and launched to advance the understanding of cybersecurity for space systems. It will serve a critical role in exercising defensive cyber operations (DCO); developing cyber tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs); and verifying end-to-end cyber threat assessment and prevention across the space enterprise.

The satellite was launched onboard the Dragon CRS-28 cargo spacecraft to the ISS, from where it was deployed in July 2023.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology, education
Operator: The Aerospace Corporation
Contractors: The Aerospace Corporation
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: x kg
Orbit: 400 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Moonlighter 1998-067VU 05.06.2023 CCK LC-39A Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-28, iROSA 1A, iROSA 1B, ESSENCE, Iris, RADSAT-SK, SC-ODIN, Ukpik 1, Maya 5, 6


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