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A USB standard for satellites? Slingshot 1 takes to orbit to test one


Testing new satellites and space-based technologies has never been easy exactly, but it definitely could be easier. Slingshot 1, a 12U Cubesat mission just launched via Virgin Orbit, is an attempt to make building and testing a new satellite as easy as plugging a new keyboard into your computer.
To say it’s “USB for space” is reductive… but not wrong. The team at the Aerospace Corporation that designed the new system makes the comparison itself, noting that the military has made several attempts to create just this with the Space Plug-and-Play Architecture (SPA), which became the Modular Open Network ARCHitecture (MONARCH), and the Common Payload Interface Standard (CoPaIS). But the approaches haven’t taken off the way, say, the Cubesat standard has — which, by the way, Aeros …

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