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MEPSI

MEPSI 1A & Picosat launcher assembly (PLA) & MEPSI 1B [USAF]

The third in the MEPSI series (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems-based PicoSat Inspector) is a pair of tethered picosatellites, based on the CubeSat design, launched by a custom deployer aboard the STS-113 Endeavour mission on the 2nd December 2002. The spacecraft were manufactured for DARPA by the Aerospace corporation in collaboration with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The two spacecraft are cubic in shape, weight 1 kg each, and are connected via a 15.2m tether in order to facilitate detection and tracking via ground-based radar. The spacecraft carry a cold gas propulsion system, with 0.1N thrust with 5 thrusters. This propulsion system includes MEMS pressure transducers and was supplied by Vacco Industries under a US$152k contract. The spacecraft series has the aim of developing autonomous small sub-spacecraft that can be carried for remote inspection and servicing. Previous missions were flown in February 2000 and September 2001.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: DARPA
Contractors: Aerospace Corp.
Equipment: Tether
Configuration: Box
Propulsion: ?
Power: Batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 1.5 kg
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
MEPSI 1A 2002-052B 23.11.2002 CC LC-39A Shuttle with Endeavour F19 (STS 113), ITS-P1, MEPSI 1B
MEPSI 1B 2002-052B 23.11.2002 CC LC-39A Shuttle with Endeavour F19 (STS 113), ITS-P1, MEPSI 1A
MEPSI 2A 2006-055B 10.12.2006 CC LC-39B Shuttle with Discovery F33 (STS 116), ITS-P5, MAA, FCal, MEPSI 2B, RAFT1, MARScom
MEPSI 2B 2006-055B 10.12.2006 CC LC-39B Shuttle with Discovery F33 (STS 116), ITS-P5, MAA, FCal, MEPSI 2A, RAFT1, MARScom
MEPSI 3A - ? CC LC-39 Shuttle with ?
MEPSI 3B - ? CC LC-39 Shuttle with ?
MEPSI 4A - CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with ASTRO, NEXTSat/CSC, STPSat 1, CFESat, MidSTAR 1, FalconSat 3, MEPSI 4B
MEPSI 4B - CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with ASTRO, NEXTSat/CSC, STPSat 1, CFESat, MidSTAR 1, FalconSat 3, MEPSI 4A