NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
ANDE satellite canister in orbit above the Earth. This is one of two canisters used to deploy the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE) satellites. Both canisters deployed a precision engineered small metal sphere, one made of brass and one made of an aluminium alloy. The different materials, and the perfect sphericity of the satellites, enabled the observed atmospheric drag to be used to model the density of the atmosphere in low Earth orbit (LEO). This in turn will aid orbital calculations for other satellites and spacecraft. The satellites also demonstrated new radio technology. They were deployed on 21 December 2006 from the Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-116 (10-22 December 2006).
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