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NEXTSat, or Next Generation Satellite and Commodities Spacecraft (NEXTSat/CSC) is an American technology demonstration satellite which was operated as part of the Orbital Express programme. It was used as a target spacecraft for a demonstration of autonomous servicing and refueling operations performed by the ASTRO satellite.[1] Launched in March 2007, it was operated for four months, and then deactivated in orbit.

NEXTSat was launched by United Launch Alliance on an Atlas V 401 rocket; serial number AV-013. The launch occurred at 03:10 UTC on 9 March 2007, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[2] The launch was contracted by the Space Test Program to launch the STPSat-1 spacecraft, and was named STP-1. It also deployed ASTRO; as well as FalconSAT-3, CFESat and MidSTAR-1.[1] The launch marked the first time United Launch Alliance had launched an Atlas V, the type having previously been operated by International Launch Services.

NEXTSat is a 224-kilogram (Template:Convert/LoffAonSon) spacecraft,[1] which was built by Ball Aerospace around the RS-300 satellite bus.[3] It was operated in low Earth orbit; on 9 March 2007, it had a perigee of 490 kilometres (Template:Convert/round mi), an apogee of 498 kilometres (Template:Convert/round mi), 46.0 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 94.49 minutes.[4] After completing operations, the ASTRO and NEXTSat spacecraft were separated, and ASTRO performed a separation burn. On 21 July 2007, NEXTSat was deactivated. As of 2007, it was expected to remain in orbit until around 2012.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Krebs, Gunter. "NEXTSAT/CSC". Gunter's Space Page. http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/nextsat.htm. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  2. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. http://www.planet4589.org/space/log/launchlog.txt. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  3. Krebs, Gunter. "Ball: RS-300". Gunter's Space Page. http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sat/ball_rs-300.htm. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  4. McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. http://www.planet4589.org/space/log/satcat.txt. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  5. Clark, Stephen (23 July 2007). "Satellite in-space servicing demo mission a success". Spaceflight Now. http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0707/23oe/. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
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