MinXSS launched on ULA/Orbital-ATK OA-4 from Cape Canaveral on Sunday, 2015 December 6 at 4:44:57.1 PM EST (2:44 MST). Four is now the MinXSS lucky number after ULA PM, Vernon Thorp, noted that this was OA-4’s fourth launch attempt at 4:44. The launch video is embedded below.
The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) is a 4-year, ~$1 million project to design, build, integrate, test, and operate a 34cm x 10cm x 10cm satellite that was launched on the OA-4 ULA Atlas V / Cygnus mission to the International Space Station on 2015 December 6 to take observations of the Sun. Specifically, the intensity of the soft x-ray spectrum from 0.4 keV (30 Å) to 30 keV (0.4 Å) will be measured, with resolution better than 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 student team members with scientists and engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). Over 40 graduate students have worked on MinXSS.