31 May 2011
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
Mini isn’t just for i-Pods anymore. Mason Peck, a Cornell University professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering led the production of three 1-inch square satellites that flew with the Endeavour space shuttle in May. The small satellites, called Sprites, have a big task of measuring conditions in space and collecting information on chemistry, radiation and particle impacts. Since they’re the size of a postage stamp, it will be easy for Sprites to drift with space particles and settle on the International Space Station for a few years. Large satellites can cost millions of dollars, which is why scientists are trying to downsize the technology. They hope the Sprites will open doors to future small-sized exploration for communication and further data collecting abilities in space. This is one small piece of technology for "one giant leap for mankind."