First Salvo of 16 Planet Labs CubeSats Completes ISS Departure Early Saturday


An initial salvo of 16 Planet Labs' Earth imaging CubeSats completed their NanoRacks LLC engineered departures from the International Space Station early Feb. 15.

blog post photo
Planet Labs' Flock 1 CubeSats begin largest ever satellite deployment on Feb. 11, emerging from the International Space Station with a boost from NanoRacks. Photo Credit: NASA Photo

Twelve remaining Planet Labs' Flock 1 CubeSats delivered to the six person orbiting science laboratory aboard Orbital Sciences Corp's "Orb-1" Cygnus re-supply capsule on Jan. 12 are scheduled for deployment in the coming days, comprising the largest single satellite deployment, according to NASA.

In all, the Cygnus mission delivered 33 of the tiny satellites for multiple users.

The deployments, supervised by ISS Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, began Feb. 11 as the spring loaded NanoRacks CubeSat dispenser passed through a small airlock from the inside of the ISS Kibo lab module to the Japanese robot arm mounted to an external experiment platform. The arm held and pointed the CubeSat-filled deployer away from the station for the carefully timed releases.

The four Planet Labs satellites dispensed on Feb. 11 were followed by two more on Feb. 12, four on Feb.13 and two on Feb. 14. Four that experienced deployment difficulties on Feb. 12 were ejected on Feb. 15.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Oct 8, 2015

The Case Of The Missing F-117 Parts (2001) 24

How AW&ST found out what had happened to the remains of a shot-down F-117....More
Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 9

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×