Sweden Does It, No Big Deal. U.S. Does It, Freak Out Expected

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The Swedish Prisma mission, which includes autonomous satellite formation flying, rendezvous, targeting, proximity operations, and inspection is about halfway through its planned 10 month mission.

From Spaceflight Now:

The mission reached a new first last week, when the satellites spent several days at close distances, eventually accomplishing an approach to a range of about 7 meters, or 23 feet, on Wednesday.

The satellites, called Mango and Tango (I think Hans and Franz would be better myself) were launched in June and separated in August.

Tango, the smaller of the two satellites, is about the size of a microwave. With a mass of 88 pounds, Tango has fixed solar panels and acts as the target during Prisma’s demonstrations.

The active spacecraft is Mango, a 331-pound satellite with the dimensions of a typical kitchen stove.

They’ll get closer as well.

Upcoming operations include an approach of Mango within 3 feet of Tango using a Swedish vision-based sensor.

If the U.S. were running this mission, the space arms controllers would likely be beating on the table with their Birkenstocks.  The Swedes?  Meh.

  1. […] Space servicing and repair and deploying and retrieving  spacecraft (it’s green, what’s not to love?!) involve proximity ops which tend to make arms controllers, Russia, and China freak out, unless it’s done by the Swedes. […]

  2. […] have been less costly to manufacture and launch a new one?  And while we’re at it, how about the Swedish Prisma mission, which is flying down to seven-meters of separation.  Can unmanned proximity space ops be done […]

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