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Cornell's Thumbnail-Sized Satellites Are Headed to Space


Cornell researchers are sending a tiny bundle to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission, and if all goes well their fingernail-sized satellites could be coasting through Saturn’s atmosphere within a decade.

The one-inch-square “chip sats” have been in development for three years at Cornell, and they are small and light enough to behave like space dust, meaning they could sail on solar winds deep into space with no onboard fuel supply. Their size is limiting however, and the Cornell team wants to see just how small they can go while still maintaining communication with Earth.

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