How did we capture the MP42 small satellite selfie in space? - NanoAvionics

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How did we capture the MP42 small satellite selfie in space?

  • 2022-09-19

On April 1st, 2022, several dozen of colleagues at NanoAvionics were seated in our conference room waiting for the SpaceX Transporter-4 mission to liftoff from Florida, as is usual during our small satellite launches. But one thing that wasn’t usual that day was an unusual payload integrated on one of the three satellites we had onboard the Falcon 9.

This specific payload wasn’t set to collect valuable data about the Earth, provide communications, or perform scientific measurements. It was linked to our new generation PC2.0 payload controller that we wanted to test in orbit, so its main objective was to generate lots of data for the payload controller to chew through. But more meaningful than data was its sentimental value for us and its storytelling power.

We are geeks, we love space, we love satellites, and this planet we call home. Our thirst for extending our senses to space and adoring the perspective it offers has been growing excessively for many years with each satellite launched. Eventually, we decided to put a selfie stick with a high-resolution camera on one of our satellites to gain and share a new perspective on the things we appreciate. And now it was shooting through the clear blue Florida skies inside a payload fairing on its way to space.

Besides our modified selfie camera, there are many other payloads flying onboard – the MP42 satellite marks our 5th satellite rideshare mission. Four customers shared the same satellite frame and onboard resources, whose missions ranged from in-orbit product demonstrations to 5G IoT services through one more of OQ Technology’s “cell towers” in space.

Check out this video to learn how we captured a small satellite video selfie from space: