5 tiny satellites set for autumn launch from ISS
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has announced plans to launch five tiny satellites from the International Space Station's Japanese experimental module Kibo as early as this autumn.
JAXA said the satellites will be carried by an unmanned H-ll Transfer Vehicle, called Kounotori or HTV-3, scheduled to be launched July 21.
Astronaut Akihide Hoshide, who will stay on the ISS from July, and others will put them into orbit by using a robotic arm and a spring-propelled launcher for the first time.
JAXA unveiled the satellites on Monday, at the Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. Three of the satellites were made by members of the public and collected by the center and two were made by the U.S. National Aeronautics Space Administration.
One satellite, FITSAT-1 produced by a team led by Takushi Tanaka, a professor of the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, measures 10 centimeters cubed and will be used to take and send high speed photos and to blink Morse code in the night sky.
Another satellite, RAIKO was created by a joint team including Wakayama and Tohoku universities, is 20 centimeters long and is equipped with three cameras that will record images of the ISS, the earth and stars.