The CubeSats that make up NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative ELaNa 17 mission have begun their research in earnest. All three have been dispatched in orbit from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on the International Space Station. Orbiting on their own on separate paths, the individual spacecraft will relay data to researchers on Earth as they conduct their flights.
The CubeSats were packed inside a Cygnus spacecraft that was launched to the space station loaded with supplies and experiments for the astronauts.
Despite being not much bigger than a coffee cup, each satellite is packed with the devices needed to carry out their research. Each of the three spacecraft will tackle different research. IceCube is equipped with a sensor that will survey levels of ice in the clouds above Earth. CXBN-2 further refines observation techniques of cosmic background radiation for clues into the formation of the universe. CSUNSat1 will not look out for its research. Instead, the CubeSat is testing energy storage devices in space. For more about the three CubeSats dispatched this morning, go to https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-elana-xvii-mission-launches-three-cubesats