Status Report

Mission Demonstration Test Satellite-1 Status – 5 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2002
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The National Space Development Agency of Japan is carrying our tracking and controlling operations of the Mission Demonstration Test Satellite-1 (MDS-1) mainly through the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC). MDS-1 was launched by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 2 on Feb. 4, and is now called “Tsubasa” (meaning “a wing”), the name for the operational phase.

Tsubasa underwent spin-up and initial sun acquisition operations between the late evening of Feb. 4 through the early morning of the 5th. Now it is in stable condition.

Spin-up operation was to stabilize the satellite attitude by increasing the spin rate (rotation) of Tsubasa, because the rate had decreased due to the solar array paddle deployment. (Tsubasa is a “spin-stabilized” satellite, thus it stabilizes its attitude by spinning like a top.)

Sun acquisition operation was to confirm the relative Sun position to the satellite by the sun acquisition censor in order for the solar array paddles to always receive the sunshine. (With sunshine, the solar array paddles generates the power for the satellite.)

SpaceRef staff editor.