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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


MinXSS-2 launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 for the SSO-A SmallSat Express from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2018-12-03 18:34:00 UTC. The launch video is embedded below.

Deployment from the Spaceflight Lower Free Flyer occurred about 3 hours later at 21:28:22 UTC. Beacons were picked up shortly thereafter. Commissioning was completed on 2018-12-07. Automated operations with our three ground stations went into effect on 2018-12-11. The mission is planned to last about 5 years on orbit.

Launch of MinXSS-2


MinXSS-1 launched on ULA/Orbital-ATK OA-4 from Cape Canaveral at 2015-12-06 08:44:57 UTC.  The high resolution (4k) launch video is embedded below.

Deployment from the ISS was beautiful. It occurred at 2016-05-16 10:05:26 UTC. A high resolution (4k) video compilation of the photos taken of the deployment by astronauts on the ISS is embedded below.

A year later, MinXSS-1 burned up in the atmosphere as planned. We were in normal science operations up until just 2 days before burn up; when we received telemetry telling us that parts of the spacecraft hit temperatures > 300 ºC. The last received beacon was from a HAM operator in Australia at 2017-05-06 02:37:26 UTC.

MinXSS-1 was on orbit for 354 days, 16 hours, 32 minutes, and 0 seconds.

Deployment of MinXSS-1 from the International Space Station

Launch of MinXSS-1

Making of MinXSS

The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat is a student project to design, build, integrate, test, and operate a 34 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm satellite. Specifically, the intensity of the soft x-ray solar spectrum from 0.4 keV (30 Å) to 30 keV (0.4 Å) is measured, with resolution of ~0.15 keV full-width half-max. This region is of particular interest for observations of solar flares and active regions. The MinXSS project heavily involves its graduate students with scientists and engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). Over 40 graduate students, 3 undergraduate students, and one high school student have worked on MinXSS.