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Happy 4th Birthday to the ST-16

posted Nov 21, 2017, 8:02 AM by Doug Sinclair
On this day in 2013 the first five ST-16 star trackers were launched.  They were carried on Skysat-1, Skysat-2, and BRITE-PL1 (AKA BRITE-LEM).

All three spacecraft, and five star trackers, continue operational.  BRITE-LEM is performing photometric observations of nearby bright stars, while the Skysats are producing commercial Earth imaging data.

Over these four years the workhorse ST-16 design has gone on to inspire the upgraded ST-16RT2, and the basis for the Darkstar optical communications terminal.  There are now 37 ST-16 and derivative units on-orbit.