A Pioneering NASA Mini weather Satellite completes its mission

CubeSat has become a trending topic in the latest market trends. This detail follows after a pioneering NASA mini weather satellite completed its mission. RainCube’s design specifies the study of storms in space. It has a unique mark in history since it is the first science instrument to lift off on a CubeSat.

The satellite communicated with its Earth’s management team for the last time on 2020, December 24th, after almost two years in the Earth’s orbit. After the communication, the shoebox-size satellite plunged into the Earth’s atmosphere before burning up. RainCube, in other words, Radar in a CubeSat, was a technology designed to prove that minimizing the size of a weather satellite into a low-cost and small satellite would deliver a high-quality result. Its launch and work demonstrated that CubeSat is legit, and their work is equally good to that of a giant satellite.

RainCube lifts off to the Earth’s orbit in 2018, July 13th, from the International Space Station. From the project plan, the primary mission had a time limit of three months. How did the CubeSat instrument work? The weather satellite saw rain and different precipitation by sending radar signals off snowflakes, ice, and raindrops. Later, it would work out the time taken for a signal to bounce back and its strength on arrival. The scientist on the ground was able to monitor storms globally.

Since it has been in space for almost two and a half years, it has taken up all the storm measurements. RainCube’s principal scientist from NASA Jet Propulsion talked about the significant role behind the launch. He spoke of the weather satellite as an eye-opener to various scientists that a small satellite can do the trick instead of a complete satellite that is ten times bigger. Besides, the two satellites resulted in the same results.

After the initial three months target, the satellite remained in space under its recent destruction. In 2020, it worked alongside another CubeSat, TEMPEST-D, to study storms. The two satellites worked adequately. And although the instruments the CubeSats used were various, the methods were complementary. With that, the monitoring team was able to make better reports on the storms happening globally.

In a statement from RainCube Project manager Shannon Statham, the second phase was a discovery. The team learned that you could use two CubeSats to get better results when studying more about the planet.

In general, a CubeSat is a small instrument with a big mission. The current weather satellites can only view activities in space for a while before recovering. However, with the grand discovery, experts can use multiple CubeSats to work on the same mission. With that, studying the planet is easier and more convenient. Besides, it’s almost impossible to miss something when monitoring is 24-hours.

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