Faulty cubesat dispenser on ISS makes uncommanded ejections

by | Sep 8, 2014 | International Space Station, JAXA, Seradata News | 0 comments

Having flown to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Cygnus Orb 2 (Janice Voss) unmanned freigther spacecraft which was launched in July, the plan to deploy all 28 PlanetLabs’ FLOCK 1B Earth observation cubesats from ISS has had to be curtailed. On 22 August 2014, an intermittent electrical fault on the deployer mechanism attached to the Japanese robotic arm (outside the JAXA Kibo module) prevented some of the cubesat release attempts from working.  After eight of the Flock 1B 3U cubesats had been deployed, it was decided to end all further release attempts until a repair (probably involving a replacement electronics box launched to the ISS) had taken place.

However, at 1944 GMT on 23 August 2014, two more of the 3U cubesats, were unexpectedly deployed.  As this happened in an uncommanded way the deployer/dispenser was completely powered down as a precaution.  Bizarrely, in a fashion that seemed to indicated that the Nanoracks-built deployer/dispenser might have a “mind of its own”, two more satellites, were also subsequently ejected in an uncommanded manner at 0929 GMT on 5 September 2014.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Japan launches rare Epsilon rocket carrying multiple small satellites

A Japanese enhanced Epsilon rocket launched a multi-satellite mission on 9 November at 0055 GMT. The launch took place from Read more

IAC 2020 Online: Space Agency chiefs note Covid-19 problems and solutions…and their space cooperation attempts

At the Heads of Space Agency online plenary at the International Astronautical Congress IAC 2020, Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s Administrator, started Read more

HTV-9 freighter undocks from ISS after delivering battery upgrades marking the end of an era

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"] [et_pb_row admin_label="row"] [et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]The HTV-9 (H-2 Transfer Vehicle) cargo freighter undocked from the ISS and was released Read more

Epsilon-S rocket will be developed and operated by IHI

JAXA, Japan's equivalent of NASA, which is more formally known as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. has signed a deal Read more

Final H-2B launch delivers last of the current generation HTV freighters to LEO

On 20 May 2020, at 1731 GMT, the last planned launch of the MHI-built, H-2B variant took place. The mission Read more

JAXA approves MMX sample return mission to Phobos

On 19 February 2020, JAXA, alongside the Japanese government approved the development of the MMX mission. MMX - Martian Moon Read more

A selection of newspace business for Rocket Lab, Blue Canyon Technologies and Astroscale

Rocket Lab Rocket Lab has received a launch contract from NASA to carry the CAPSTONE, 12U CubeSat, to the Moon. Read more

Following launch pad issues Japan launches HTV-8 mission to the ISS

Lifting-off from the Tanegashima Space Center, Southern Japan, at 1605 GMT, 24 September, a Japanese H-2B rocket has carried an Read more