MR & MRS SAT · Nanosat-8

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 Research Lab (AFRL) 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. The program is now in Phase B of the Nanosat-8 program, and will continue working with the Air Force Research Lab until all subsequent reviews are passed and the satellite is launched to the International Space Station.

This mission includes a paired satellite, the Missouri-Rolla Satellite (MR) and the Missouri-Rolla Second Satellite (MRS). 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 imaging sensor used to determine the real-time relative position and 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. A tertiary goal of the images obtained from MR SAT's stereoscopic system will allow a 3-D reconstruction of MRS, which could have potential importance when observation-type missions are being developed. 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.

MR & MRS SAT Timeline

  • M-SAT wins the Nanosat-8 competition.
  • Silver Level Day-in-the-Life
  • Pre-Integration Review (PIR)
  • 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


Matthew Davenport

MR & MRS SAT Program Manager


Matt Russell

MR & MRS SAT Chief Engineer