Starling Takes Flight - Nasa daily picture for July 19 (2023)

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Rocket Lab's Electron rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 1 on July 17, 2023.

On July 17, 2023, NASA’s four Starling CubeSats successfully deployed after having launched aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, shown in this image. NASA sent the team of four six-unit (6U)-sized CubeSats into orbit around Earth to see if they’re able to cooperate on their own, without real-time updates from mission control.

The four CubeSats will fly in two different formations to test several technologies paving the way towards a future where swarms of satellites can cooperate to do science in deep space. The Starling mission will last at least six months, positioning the spacecraft about 355 miles above Earth and spaced about 40 miles apart.

See more photos from the launch on Flickr and get the latest on Starling on the Small Satellite Missions blog.

Image Credit: Rocket Lab



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