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Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

Institut aéronautique et spatial du Canada

Space Flight Laboratory deorbits the CanX-7 smallsat using drag sail technology

June 20, 2022 09:11 | April Duffy (Administrator)

CanX-7 burned up in Earth’s atmosphere in May, just five years after drag sail deployment and roughly 178 years before the satellite would have spent on-orbit without any deorbit technology.

CanX-7 was a 10x10x34cm smallsat built by SFL and funded by Defence Research and Development Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research CouncilCOM DEV Ltd., and the Canadian Space Agency. The satellite was launched in September of 2016 with a two-fold mission of demonstrating Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) message collection from space for global aircraft situational awareness, and then testing the deorbiting technology developed by SFL.

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