The University’s Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research (SOAR) is a 3U CubeSat and will be launched on SpaceX’s CRS-22 mission on 3 June 2021 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida to the International Space Station from where it will be deployed into orbit.
Whilst in orbit the satellite will be controlled from a ground station based on the University campus where experiments will be conducted and analysed. Data received from the satellite will be delivered back to scientists who will study the interactions between the residual atmosphere in these low orbits and new materials developed at the University that could reduce drag and increase aerodynamic performance.
Dr Peter Roberts, the scientific coordinator for DISCOVERER said: “The satellite represents the culmination of a huge amount of technology development over many years. We’re breaking new ground with a satellite designed specifically to explore aerodynamic effects in very low Earth orbits, whilst simultaneously measuring atmospheric parameters such as density and composition.”
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