Last week, NASA astronaut Anne McClain installed the SlingShot small satellite deployer system on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. SlingShot, developed by SEOPS, LLC, will enable the deployment of small satellites—which fly as cargo on International Space Station (ISS) commercial resupply services missions—from Cygnus after it completes its primary mission and departs the ISS. After undocking, Cygnus will move to an altitude and inclination that are ideal, and the small satellites will be launched from the spacecraft to carry out missions that benefit life back on Earth.
The first small satellites will be deployed through SlingShot when Cygnus departs the ISS in February. The demand for small satellites has grown significantly over the last several years due to miniaturization technologies and the availability of deployment from the ISS. Read more in the Upward feature “Jumpstarting the CubeSat Revolution with Reliable Launch From the ISS.”