IceCube (spacecraft)

IceCube, also known as Earth-1,[3] was a 3U CubeSatsatellite[4] funded and developed by NASA.[5][6] Its goal was to demonstrate and map ice clouds through the use of its 883 GHz radiometer.


Deployment of IceCube and CXBN-2 from the International Space Station (ISS)
Names Earth-1
Mission type Technology demonstration
Operator NASAGoddard Space Center
COSPAR ID 1998-067LN[1]
SATCAT no. 42705[2]
Mission duration April 18, 2017 – October 3, 2018 (2017-04-18 2018-10-03)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Manufacturer NASA
Dry mass 4 kilograms (8.8 lb)
Dimensions 10cm x 10cm x 30cm
Start of mission
Launch date April 18, 2017 (2017-04-18)
Rocket Atlas V 401
Launch site Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 41
Contractor United Launch Alliance
Deployed from International Space Station (ISS)
Deployment date May 16, 2017 (2017-05-16)
End of mission
Disposal Re-entry
Declared April 18, 2018 (2018-04-18)
Decay date April 18, 2018 (2018-04-18)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Periapsis altitude 401 kilometres (249 mi)[1]
Apoapsis altitude 404 kilometres (251 mi)
Inclination 51.64°
883 GHz radiometer

. . . IceCube (spacecraft) . . .

IceCube was built to map ice clouds globally. It has a submillimeter radiometer to overcome the limitation of ice particles in clouds being opaque in the infrared and visible spectrums.[5][7] It was made to demonstrate a 833-gigahertz submillimeter-wave receiver as part of a technology demonstration mission.[3][4][8]

IceCube was a sun-pointing spin-stabilized 3U CubeSat with two solar panel arrays. In its compact form, it occupied a volume of 10 x 10 x 30cm.[9]

IceCube had a 883 GHz radiometer allowing the penetration of cloud layers and measurement of ice mass. At 883 GHz, radiation is highly sensitive to scattering allowing it to interact with ice in the clouds.[9]

Main article: Cygnus OA-7
Launch of Cygnus OA-7

Cygnus OA-7 launched on April 18, 2017 as the seventh flight of the Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS as under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program.[10] The Cygnus spacecraft docked with the ISS on April 2, 2017.[11]

IceCube was deployed from the ISS via the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer along with several other CubeSats on May 16, 2017.[12] It re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on October 3, 2018, ending its mission.[2]

. . . IceCube (spacecraft) . . .

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. . . IceCube (spacecraft) . . .

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