NITESat Mission Achieves First Milestone

The NITESat nanosatellite mission achieved its first development milestone in September, successfully passing the Mission Concept Review.  The independent review panel examined the mission’s objectives and the concept for meeting those objectives.  All three reviewers found the mission very exciting and provided valuable feedback to the NITESat team.

NITESat (Night Imaging & Tracking Experiment Satellite) is a nanosatellite mission to acquire high quality night imagery of Earth from orbit to measure the quantity and quality of light pollution across the United States.  The mission offers an opportunity to make a marked increase in out understanding of the effects of light pollution on our environment and particularly the loss of the night sky.  Previous attempts to characterize nighttime illumination have suffered from numerous limiting problems, making accurate measurements of light pollution difficult to acquire.  NITESat plans to address some of these shortcomings with higher spatial resolution, synchronized ground callibration, collecting multispectral data to distinguish sources of illumination, and varied overpass times.

The NITESat mission is sponsored, designed, and built by the Adler Planetarium’s Far Horizons program and its participants.  Orbital Transports is providing the NITESat mission with space technology design and engineering, and project management services.

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