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Update on Launch of Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN)

Status Report From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On November 3, 2015, the eight small satellites of the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) mission were lost in the failure of the launch vehicle during the U.S. Air Force-led Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office's ORS-4 mission that was carrying them to orbit as secondary payloads.

The launch provider issued the following statement yesterday: "The ORS-4 mission on an experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle failed in mid-flight shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (7:45 p.m. PST; 10:45 p.m. EST) today from the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Additional information will be released as it becomes available."

The EDSN spacecraft were developed by an engineering team at the NASA Ames Research Center, and the project was sponsored by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The loss of these satellites is unfortunate, but the knowledge and experience gained by the project team in designing, building and testing the innovative EDSN satellites will not be lost and will benefit future spacecraft projects for years to come.

There will be an opportunity to complete some of the objectives of the EDSN mission in a follow-on mission called Nodes. The Nodes satellites were developed by the EDSN project team and have a similar design. Two Nodes satellites are scheduled for launch to the International Space Station in December for later deployment into orbit. The Nodes mission is intended to demonstrate some of the same capabilities as EDSN while incorporating some software enhancements for additional capability.

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