TBEx Launch: T-minus 4 Days

PPod stack

MXL’s first pair of coordinated satellites are scheduled to launch in 4 days.  This will be the first part of a constellation that we hope grows with additional nodes for space weather monitoring and technology demonstrations.  The Enhanced Tandem Beacon Explorers (E-TBEx) will map the Earth’s upper atmosphere to characterize how plasma bubbles develop in both space and time.  The satellites will broadcast phased locked radio signals that ground receivers will receive and process for ionospheric measurements.   Both E-TBExes were integrated at CalPoly with their PPOD launchers earlier this year in April, 2019.

The TBEx mission is a collaboration between SRI, the science leads and instrument builders, and MXL which contributed the bus.  The mission was funded by the heliophysics division of NASA and will be launched by the USAF. The two photos below show the E-TBEx satellites integrated in the Falcon Heavy and an E-TBEx integrated in its PPOD. The launch is targeted for no earlier than (NET) June 24 at 11:30 PM EST.

The two TBEx satellites are  scheduled to launch on 24 June 2019 23:30 EDT / 25 June 2019 03:30 UTC.  The countdown has commenced.

More information is found here.

PPod stack
PPod stack in preparation for integration.
Location of PPods
Location of the PPods inside the fairing.
Thanks to our friends at Calpoly for integration!