Successful Deployment for ELaNa V
The five small Cubesat research satellites in the ELaNa V payload were released from their carriers on the second stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket following the successful launch of SpaceX-3. The satellites, also called nanosatellites, are as small as 10 inches by 10 inches and are generally built to execute a variety of research goals.
The rocket launched at 3:25 p.m. EDT on April 18 carrying the Dragon spacecraft on a resupply flight to the International Space Station.
Launched: April 18, 3:25 p.m. EDT
Launch Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
› ELaNa V Fact Sheet (720KB PDF)
Educational Launch of Nanosatellites
Project ELaNa: Launching Education into Space
Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) is an exciting initiative created by NASA to attract and retain students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Managed by the Launch Services Program (LSP) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ELaNa reaches students by introducing educational spaceflight in high schools and colleges across the United States.
Students are heavily involved in all aspects of the mission from developing, assembling, and testing payloads to working with NASA and the launch vehicle integration teams. The ELaNa nanosatellites, or CubeSats, are held to rigorous standards similar to that of the primary spacecraft.
CubeSats are designed in standard units of 10x10x10 cm, about 4 inches cubed. CubeSats can be built in a single unit, or combined in units of two, three or six. A single unit must weigh less than 1.33 kg, or 3 pounds. On launch day, the tiny satellites are deployed one after another from a Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD), a standard CubeSat carrier system designed and built by Cal Poly students.
ELaNa missions were the first educational cargo to be carried on expendable launch vehicles for LSP. These payloads are selected through › NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which provides launch opportunities for small satellites.