The objective of the European project QB50 is to design and to deploy in space a network of miniaturized satellites to study the lower layers of the thermosphere, located between 200km and 400 km altitude. Funded by the European Union*, the project implements an international Consortium led by the von Karman Institute (VKI). The first of the two rockets that will take the QB50 constellation in space will lift off at the end of March from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
March 20, 2017
The launch of Orbital ATK’s seventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station will take place no earlier than Monday, March 27.
The additional time allows the ULA team to troubleshoot a hydraulic issue discovered on ground support equipment needed for launch. Orbital ATK has contracted with ULA for its Atlas V rocket for the launch service, which will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Atlas V and Cygnus remain secure and continue to undergo processing for launch.
March 9, 2017
Atlas 5 rocket assembled to launch the S.S. John Glenn
The pre-flight assembly process saw the first stage erected, followed by the integrated interstage, Centaur upper stage and boattail.
Packing and placement of the QB50 cubesats in the pressurize cargo module for Cygnus at Kennedy Space Center's Space Station processing facilities
Credit: United Launch Alliance
*This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development under grant agreement no .
The first beSPACE (http://be-space.eu/) Awards 2017 for "team of the Year" has been attributed this Friday 10 March to the QB50 team of VKI for managing QB50, a bold and innovative project that makes original use of the great capabilities offered by cubesats.
Dries Agten, President, stressed "It is not only an awe-inspiring engineering challenge, but also requires immense programmatic prowess. The team has managed to coordinate a huge network of partners and successfully steer them toward the accomplishment of one common goal. Moreover, the mission carried out by VKI itself, QARMAN, is a brilliant demonstration of "inside the box" thinking. beSPACE believes that the outcome of both the QARMAN and QB50 projects will pave the way towards new technological developments in space. It is also important to note that VKI started both of these initiatives from scratch, the core competence of the institute lying in fluid dynamics. A few year down the road, the VKI is now one of the leading actors in European cubesat research and the organizer of one of the most important annual symposiums on the topic. Lastly, the efforts of the QB50 team have significantly contributed to the reputation of Belgium in the global sector."
The objective of the European project QB50 is to design and to deploy in space a network of miniaturized satellites to study the largely unexplored lower layers of the thermosphere, , located between 200 km and 400 km altitude. Funded by the European Union, the project implements an international Consortium led by the von Karman Institute (VKI). The first of the two rockets that will take the QB50 constellation in space lifted off with next week. The full story is to be followed on the VKI website and on the VKI facebook in the next days.
On the picture from left to right, Guerric de Crombrugghe (beSPACE), Davide Masutti (QB50), Amandine Denis (QB50), Ertan Umit (QB50), Dominique Tilmans ( who was awarded "personality of the year" by beSPACE), Jan Thömel (QB50), Fabio Lorefice (designer of the award'statue).