On Saturday, Nov. 20, FASTSAT made contact with ground stations at Svalbard, Norway and Kodiak, Alaska, and received commands from and communicated with mission controllers at the small satellite command center located at the Huntsville Operations and Science Control Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The satellite continues to function nominally as the commissioning phase of the mission continues.
NASA's Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, launched on Nov. 19 aboard a Minotaur IV rocket from Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska. FASTSAT is a unique platform that can carry multiple small payloads to low-Earth orbit creating opportunities for researchers to conduct low-cost scientific and technology research on an autonomous satellite in space.
FASTSAT is NASA’s first microsatellite designed to create a capability that increases opportunities for secondary, scientific and technology payloads, or rideshares, to be flown at lower cost than previously possible. The overall objective of the FASTSAT mission is to demonstrate the capability to build, design and test a microsatellite platform to enable governmental, academic and industry researchers to conduct low-cost scientific and technology experiments on an autonomous satellite in space.
FASTSAT establishes a platform and environment where science and technology research experiment payloads of low- and mid-level complexity can be flown responsively and affordably in low-Earth orbit