Each of NASA’s four Starling spacecraft stabilized themselves, deployed solar panels, and made initial contact shortly after their July 17 launch. Starling operators report nominal health for all the CubeSats.
The spacecraft are undergoing a series of preparation and testing activities, called commissioning, ahead of their mission to demonstrate autonomous communications, positioning, maneuvering, and decision-making capabilities. Starling’s commissioning phase includes three stages: spacecraft bus commissioning, payload commissioning, and propulsion system commissioning.
Three of Starling’s four CubeSats have completed spacecraft bus commissioning ahead of schedule. As of July 21, the mission team continues working to establish robust two-way communications with the fourth spacecraft so that it can join its fellow CubeSats in the next stage of commissioning.
Follow Starling updates here and on the NASA Ames homepage, and stay connected with the mission on social media.
Starling is funded by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington.