The Development of Small Satellite Systems and Technologies
The fascinating world of small satellites began when Sputnik launched the Space Age in October 1957 and surprised the world with the knowledge that humans could lift artificial satellites into Earth orbit. But that was nearly 60 years ago. Soon the rockets that were developed in the U.S.S.R. and the United States were capable of launching payloads that were not tens of kilograms or tens of watts in size and power but represented thousands of kilograms and thousands of watts. The drive to launch larger and larger civil spacecraft was accelerated by several factors. These included higher power (solar cell arrays), large aperture and high-gain antenna systems, and, in time, the building of space habitats to house astronauts and large scientific instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope.