This will be the Minotaur 1's 25th mission, and the rocket will be carrying a record of 28 CubeSats—4-inch-cube satellites based around smartphone technology. An out-of-the-box smartphone is housed within the CubeSat structure, making for a relatively inexpensive spacecraft. Three of NASA's PhoneSats have successfully spent about a week in orbit. PhoneSat 2.4 will go into a higher orbit than any other PhoneSat has before.
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Orbital Sciences' Minotaur 1 rocket is carrying some historic cargo to space today. Alongside NASA's latest smartphone-enabled PhoneSat 2.4 is another tiny satellite, called TJ3Sat, built by students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. This CubeSat is the first satellite built by high school students and is set to launch from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 7:30 p.m. EST.
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