Launched on Dec. 9th, 2016, the Technology Educational Satellite (TechEdSat-5) has spent nearly 2 months on board the ISS. On Monday, March 6th, the Satellite was deployed from the NanoRacks platform and entered into a low orbit around Earth to test a “parachute device” that could potentially allow the safe return of small Spacecraft’s from missions in deep space.
The technology is called the Exo-Brake and is designed to increase the drag on a payload for safe and accurate landing. The Exo-Brake releases a cross-shaped parachute from the back of the spacecraft and uses a system of mechanical struts and a flexible tension-based cord to guide the Spacecraft to a desired entry point without expending fuel.
Having been successful, NASA is now looking to develop technology for larger scale systems that could possibly mean easy passage of nanosatellites to reach the surface of Mars.