Encyclopedia Astronautica
MightySat 1


American military technology satellite. One launch, 1998.12.04.

MightySat was a United States Air Force Phillips Laboratory multi-mission, small satellite program dedicated to providing frequent, inexpensive, on-orbit demonstrations of space system technologies.

The MightySat payload was launched from the Shuttle via the Hitchhiker Ejection System, which was managed out of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The payload was deployed on flight day twelve.

The primary objective of the MightySat program was to provide on-orbit demonstrations of emerging technologies. Data from the mission was used to support decisions on the readiness of the tested technology for Air Force missions.

The Mightysat-1 payload was a non-retrievable spacecraft that would be deployed from the Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-88. The MightySat payload had five advance technology demonstration experiments. The Advanced Composite Structure, which serves as the structure for the vehicle, had no command interfaces with the spacecraft. All relevant data on the structure would be captured in ground testing. The Advanced Solar Cell Experiment would test the performance of dual-junction solar cells comprised of Gallium Indium Phosphide layers atop a Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) layer. These dual junction cells provide more power than conventional GaAs cells. As a result, this advance in space power technology could be useful for power-intensive sensors in the future and small satellite missions which had power constraints.

The Microsystem and Packaging for Low Power Electronics (MAPLE) experiment was a demonstration of advanced microelectronics and electronics packaging techniques. The objective was to provide an on-orbit demonstration of the electronics in the space environment. The Shape-Memory Actuated Release Device (SMARD) payload would demonstrate a new class of low shock release devices. Release devices were used to separate satellites from launch vehicle adapters, or to deploy antennae, solar arrays, and sensor covers. Such devices offer reduced shock levels because the separation time was longer. They were low-cost and could be completely reset. Lastly, the objective of the Micro-Particle Impact Detector (MPID) experiment was to place as many detectors into space to provide indications of natural and man-made orbital debris.

The payload would be mounted in the orbiter bay 6 port location on a GSFC-provided HH ABA, with the MightySat 1 canister mounted in the forward position and the HH avionics mounted in the aft position.

After the payload bay doors were opened, the crew would activate the power and signal path to the HH carrier via the standard switch panel. The satellite would be ejected from the HH canister on Flight Day 12. MightySat 1 was spring-ejected at a minimum rate of 1.7 fps and requires an overflight of a specific location in Albuquerque, N.M. within 6 hours of deploy. Once ejection was complete, flight operations were complete for the satellite. Telemetry and command capability would then be via the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at GSFC.

The program manager for MightySat-1 was Lt. Barbara Braun from the Air Force Research Laboratory.

History/Background

MightySat 1 was the first flight of a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Philips Laboratory/Space Experiments Directorate ejectable technology demonstration platform. Four advanced technologies would be demonstrated on MightySat 1. These technologies include a composite structure, advanced solar cells, advanced electronics, and a shock device.

Gross mass: 320 kg (700 lb).
First Launch: 1998.12.04.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Minotaur American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. The Minotaur 4 version used surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39A Shuttle, Saturn V launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. Construction began in December 1963. Complex 39A was completed on 4 October 1965. Complex 39A supported two unmanned and nine manned Saturn V/Apollo missions between 9 November 1967 and 8 December 1972. The site also supported the launch of the Skylab space station on 14 May 1973. Both complexes were modified to support Space Shuttle missions later on. Complex 39A supported the first Space Shuttle launch on 12 April 1981. More...

MightySat 1 Chronology


1998 December 4 - . 08:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-88.
  • Mightysat 1 - . Mass: 320 kg (700 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: McLean. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Mightysat 1. Decay Date: 1999-11-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 25551 . COSPAR: 1998-069C. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 381 km (236 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Summary: First flight of a USAF Philips Laboratory/Space Experiments Directorate ejectable technology demonstration platform. Four advanced technologies demonstrated, including composite structure, advanced solar cells, advanced electronics, and a shock device..

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