Dec 14, 2023

The Starling Squadron: NASA’s CubeSats Take Formation in Space

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

NASA’s Starling mission will test new technologies for autonomous swarm navigation on four CubeSats in low-Earth orbit. Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies/NASA

NASA ’s Starling spacecraft are getting in formation: the mission team has spent the last two months troubleshooting issues and commissioning the four spacecraft, nicknamed Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.

Pinky, Inky, and Clyde have successfully completed their propulsion system commissioning and have executed maneuvers to get into their swarm operations configuration, maintaining a range between 50–200 km apart. The three have also successfully demonstrated two-way communications with their crosslink radios in this closer proximity.

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