Eight Black Powder “D’ motors are being used by NASA to adjust a Picosatellite’s flight.
“Space Shuttle Picosat Launcher 5510/Picosat Solar Cell Experiment (SSPL 5510/PSSC). PSSC has picosatellites designed to test solar cells in space,” noted STS-126 SSP Flight Readiness Review (FRR) documentation on L2. “Picosatellites are ejected after ISS undock using a Non-Explosive Actuator (NEA) via spring force.
“SSPL 5510/PSSC is attached to PLB sidewall using the Adaptive Payload Carrier (APC). Deployment command/telemetry provided by crew via standard switch panel. Weight: 126 lbs; picosats deployed weight: 16 lbs.”
In a month’s time, its 8D model rocket motors – the same used by some rocket model rocketeers – will fire to adjust its orbit.
“Unused space being used to study micro satellite propulsion with solid rocket motors via ground command and tracked by radar,” added the presentation. “Picosat has ability to adjust its own orbit and will do so at end of primary mission. Burn is no earlier than 30 days after deploy.”
from NASASpaceFlight.com – see full story here