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New Millennium Program

Quick Facts

Mission Name:  Space Technology 5 (ST5)

About the Mission:  The New Millennium Program's (NMP) ST5 launched three miniature spacecraft, called micro-sats, to test innovative concepts and technologies in the harsh environment of space. During flight validation of its technologies, ST5 may measure the effect of solar activity on the Earth's magnetosphere, the region of upper atmosphere that surrounds our planet.

Objective:  ST5's objective was to demonstrate and flight qualify several innovative technologies and concepts for application to future space missions.

Project Manager:  Ardeshir Azarbarzin, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland —

Spacecraft (three):

Mass:  25 kilograms (just over 55 pounds) when fully fueled

Dimensions: 53 centimeters (20.7 inches) in length from flat-flat on the solar arrays. 48 centimeters (18.7 inches) high from solar array edge to solar array edge

Power:   ~20-25W at 9-10V, ~7-9 Ah Battery

Uplink:  @ 1Kbps

Downlink:  @1Kbps or 100Kbps (X-Band)

Data Storage:  20 Mbytes

Spin Stabilized at Separation:   (~20 RPM After Mag. Boom deployment)

Major Technologies:

  • Cold Gas Micro Thruster (CGMT)
  • X-Band Transponder
  • Variable Emittance Coatings for Thermal Control
  • CMOS Ultra-Low Power Radiation Tolerant Logic (CULPRiT)

Other technologies:

  • Miniature magnetometer
  • Miniature spinning sun sensor
  • Spacecraft deployment mechanism
  • Magnetometer deployment boom
  • Nutation Damper


Launch Date:  March 22, 2006

Launch Vehicle:  Pegasus XL rocket

Launch Site:  Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, California

Mission Duration:   90 days

Mission Complete and Satillites decommissioned: June 30, 2006

Ground Contact:  10-30 Minutes 2-3 Times Per Day

Operations:  Autonomous Constellation Management / “Lights Out” Operations


Perigee (lowest orbital altitude):   300 km (186 miles)

Apogee (highest orbital altitude):   4500 km (2796 miles)

Orbital inclination:   105.6 degrees (Sun synchronous)

Orbital period:   136 minutes

Number of orbits per day:   about 10.5

Constellation configuration:   "String of Pearls"

Major Contractors/Contributors:

  • Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • Kennedy Space Center, Floria
  • University of New Mexico, New Mexico, USA
  • Various commercial technology providers

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