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NACHOS (Nano-satellite Atmospheric Chemistry Hyperspectral Observation System) is an experimental 3U CubeSats designed by LANL for high-resolution hyperspectral imaging of trace gases.

The satellites consist of a LANL built Prometheus Block-2 1.5U CubeSat featuring the attached 1.5U NACHOS experiment module. Power and communications are handled via the Prometheus bus.

NACHOS is a technology demonstration of an ultra-compact, high-resolution, hyperspectral imager that is able to monitor fossil fuel burning and low-level passive degassing at volcanoes. If successful, it will be a paradigm shift in space-borne sensing—from expensive single-platform, large-satellite instruments, to agile constellations of relatively inexpensive instruments on small satellites.

The satellites have a unusual high mass for a 3U Cubesat due to 2 kg ballast to increase the orbital life time.

NACHOS 1 was launched in February 2022 on the Cygnus CRS-17 cargo craft. It will be deployed from Cygnus after departing the ISS.

The qualification model will be launched under the DoD Space Test Program on a NACHOS 2 on a LauncherOne in 2022.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Contractors: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 3-5 years
Mass: 6.25 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
NACHOS 1 2022-015D 19.02.2022 WI LC-0A Antares-230+ with Cygnus CRS-17, KITSUNE, IHI-Sat
NACHOS 2 2022-074B 02.07.2022 Mo RW12/30 LauncherOne with Recurve, Slingshot 1, Gunsmoke-L 1, MISR-B 1, CTIM-FD, GPX 2

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