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CryoCube 2 [NASA]

PATCOOL (Passive Thermal Coating Observatory Operating in Low earth orbit) is a nanosatellite developed by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) as a testbed for the performance of experimental cryogenic selective surface samples in LEO.

The PATCOOL CubeSat is designed to test the thermal samples when completely isolated from all sources of heat transfer aside from the Sun and deep space. A secondary objective is to test the ADAMUS Laboratory’s drag de-orbit device (D3), which can modulate the drag area of a host CubeSat while maintaining passive 3-axis stabilization using aerodynamic and gravity gradient torques. The PATCOOL design will be manufactured completely in-house, but off the shelf components will be purchased from space heritage companies such as AAC Clyde Space, CubeSpace, BeagleBoard, and others, whenever possible. The PATCOOL design is comprised of the payload housing, CubeSat structure, deployables, solar panels, and avionics.

To accurately portray the Sun’s affects on the samples, vehicle is kept zenith custom ADCS (attitude determination and pointing using a custom ADCS combining a single D3 boom with a tipmass and a magnetorquers for passive 3-axis stabilization. The PATCOOL software requirements can be considered a subset of D3.

The satellite was launched onboard the Dragon CRS-24 cargo spacecraft to the ISS, where it will be deployed later.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Contractors: NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Orbit: 409 km × 421 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
PATCOOL 1998-067TE 21.12.2021 CCK LC-39A Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-24, STP-H7, STP-H8, DAILI, TARGIT, GASPACS, Light 1, GT 1, FEES 2
Further CryoCube (CC) missions:

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