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US Air Force, Aerospace Corporation CubeSats Ready for Launch

By | November 4, 2019

Artist rendition of a Rogue CubeSat. Photo: The Aerospace Corporation

The Rogue CubeSat Program, a dual cube satellite program co-developed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and The Aerospace Corporation, finished preparations for launch and was fully integrated onboard Northrop Grumman’s Antares Cygnus launch vehicle at Wallops Island, Va., Nov. 1.

The target launch date is no earlier than Nov. 2, out of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Rogue is one of many experimental projects encapsulated in the NG-12 Cygnus launch headed for the International Space Station (ISS). Rogue will be stored until the release of the Cygnus capsule, and then deployed into its operating orbit.

The CubeSats were designed, built, and tested by The Aerospace Corporation. The Rogue CubeSats design emphasizes commercial-off-the-shelf sensors, non-exotic parts, and features a  laser communications system that aims to enable downlinks of large image files. The dual CubeSats will also use wavelengths for infrared sensing.