QB50 constellation: launch and deployment storyboard

Logo QB50The 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.

Rocket Atlas 5Rocket Atlas 5Rocket Atlas 5

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


The QB50 cubesats placed in the pressurized cargo module of ATK's OA-7 CygnusPressurized cargo module of ATK's OA-7 Cygnus

Credit: NASA-KSC


 *This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development under grant agreement no [284427].
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