NASA’s NanoSail-D, Like Galaxy 15, Is Back From the Dead

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , ,

…and then a miracle occurs.

The NanoSail-D has inexplicably (and beneficially) deployed itself after about 45 days of failing to do so.

NanoSail-D spent the previous month and a half stuck inside its mothership, the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology SATellite (FASTSAT). FASTSAT was launched in November 2010 with NanoSail-D and five other experiments onboard. High above Earth, a spring was supposed to push the breadbox-sized probe into an orbit of its own with room to unfurl a sail. But when the big moment arrived, NanoSail-D got stuck…

What happened more recently? 

For reasons engineers still don’t fully understand, NanoSail-D spontaneously ejected itself.

Maybe it was fortuitously bumped by a piece of space debris which ‘released the stiction’?


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