TechSat 21 Program

From: Sue Worden (
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 19:18:37 PDT

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    The NOSS triangles are some of my favorite objects.  These proposed
    new clusters (see below) might prove to be even more interesting.
       Reference URL:
       Excerpt follows.  See Reference URL for full article.
          Birds inspire formation-flying satellites
          Posted: July 4, 2000
          Researchers here at the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Space
          Vehicles Directorate, and those at the Air Force Office of Scientific
          Research in Arlington, Va., have rolled out plans for a revolutionary
          new system of "formation-flying" satellites that can quickly adapt to
          rapidly changing mission requirements. And they got the idea by
          watching a flock of birds.
          AFRL's intriguing "Technology Satellite of the 21st Century," or the
          TechSat 21 program, envisions that collaborative clusters of
          interdependent microsatellites, each weighing about 100 kilograms and
          flying in close, bird-like formations, may eventually circle the
          earth, replacing many of today's single, larger satellites.
    Personal observation note:  The other night, I "nailed" Vanguard 2 Rk
    (00012/59-01B) in my 10x50 binoculars from a semi-dark sky site west
    of Austin, Texas, USA with approximate limiting magnitude +5.
    Congratulations to the reentry observers in California and Australia!
    Perhaps we will be similarly fortuned in Austin one of these days...
    --Sue Worden (
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