Astronauts Release Chasqui 1 Nanosatellite Into the Wilds of Space
It is time for Chasqui 1 to leave the nest. The Research Nanosatellite Chasqui 1 was built to improve the capabilities of satellite technology and on Monday, its caretakers on the International Space Station set it free so it could begin its mission.
The tiny satellite measures just 10x10x10 cm and it weighs a mere 2.2 lbs. Packed into this small space are mechanisms for altitude control, communication, and thermal control, all running on small but highly efficient solar cells. The satellite is also equipped with two cameras both visible and infrared- that will take pictures of the Earth.
Astronauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev conducted a 5- hour space walk on Monday in order to let Chasqui 1 slowly drift into orbit. While it doesn't sound all that exciting, the images from the excursion are breathtaking and more than a little bit reminiscent of releasing a wild animal back into its natural habitat