Northrop Grumman's 11th contracted cargo resupply mission for NASA launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Wednesday, carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.
This spacecraft will deliver about 7,600 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware to the International Space Station (ISS) and transport 60 small satellites, called ThinSats, into space.
The satellites are powered by Alta Devices gallium arsenide solar cells and will carry various electromagnetic, radiation and inertial sensors for scientific analysis of the atmosphere.
The ThinSats are part of a program to set a new standard for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education in the U.S. Dozens of teams of high school and college students were engaged in the preparation of the satellite hardware and analysis.
The satellites will be deployed into low earth orbit and allow live data transmission.
In the future, these ThinSats can be deployed into constellations and expanded to larger sizes for hosting larger payloads.