MR & MRS SAT · Nanosat-8

The goals of the MR & MRS SAT project are to test new technologies in support of missions involving proximity operations, including the study of an R-134a-based cold gas propulsion system for use in formation flying applications and the development of a stereoscopic imager sensor used to determine the real-time relative position/velocity vectors between the satellite pair. Data obtained during the close formation flight phase of MR & MRS SAT will be evaluated for the benefit of future missions. Through the Lunar Derby, M-SAT also plans on overcoming the significant technological challenges of sending a cubesat to lunar orbit. As a result of the modest budget that accompanies a university level project; M-SAT requires the use of innovative, low-cost solutions to meet these objectives.

The M-SAT Team was accepted into the Nanosat-8 student competition in December 2012 with an official start date of January 2013. Nanosat-8 was sponsored by the Air Force and required that the team’s spacecraft be completed by January 2015 for a final competition review with nine other universities. At the review in January 2015, the M-SAT team was awarded first place.

MR & MRS SAT Timeline

  • M-SAT wins the Nanosat-8 competition.
  • Pre-Integration Review (PIR)
  • Silver Level Day-in-the-Life
  • Integration Ready
  • Gold Level Day-in-the-Life
  • Pre-Ship Review to AFRL
  • Flight-ready satellite is completed and shipped to AFRL.

Dr. Hank Pernicka

MR & MRS SAT Principal Investigator


Aaron Hensley

MR & MRS SAT Program Manager


Jill Davis

MR & MRS SAT Chief Engineer