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Will cubesats lead to a new technological branch of astronomy? Goddard engineers are taking the necessary steps to make cubesat-sized telescopes a reality. (Credit: NASA, UniverseToday/TRR)
One doesn’t take two cubesats and rub them together to make static electricity. Rather, you send them on a brief space voyage to low-earth orbit (LEO) and space them apart some distance and voilà, you have a telescope. That is the plan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center engineers and also what has been imagined by several others.
Cubesats are one of the big crazes in the new space industry. But nearly all that have flown to-date are simple rudderless cubes taking photos when they are oriented correctly. The GSFC engineers are planning to give two cubes substantial control of their positions relative to each other and to the Universe surrounding them. With one holding a telescope and the other a disk to blot out the bright sun, their cubesat telescope will do what not even the Hubble Space Telescope is capable of and for far less money.
Read the rest of Making Cubesats do Astronomy (701 words)
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Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)