NASA CubeSat Launches as Rideshare on ESA’s First Ariane 6 Rocket  – NASA

NASA launched CURIE (CubeSat Radio Interferometry Experiment) as a rideshare payload on the inaugural flight of ESA’s (European Space Agency) Ariane 6 rocket, which launched at 4 p.m. GFT on July 9 from Europe’s Spaceport, the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, in French Guiana.

Designed by a team from the University of California, Berkeley, CURIE will use radio interferometry to study the primary drivers of space weather. 

CubeSats are built using standardized units, with one unit, or 1U, measuring about 10 centimeters in length, width, and height. The two-satellite CURIE mission launched as a 6U before separating into two separate spacecraft, each a 3U. The spacecraft will provide two separate vantage points to measure the same radio waves coming from the Sun and other sources in the sky. 

NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative selected CURIE in 2020 during the initiative’s 11th round of applications. NASA’s Launch Services Program, in collaboration with ESA, designated CURIE as one of eleven payloads supplied by space agencies, commercial companies, and universities for the first flight of ESA’s Ariane 6 rocket. 

Image Credit:  ESA/M. Pédoussaut



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