Nodes 2, a 1.5U CubeSat part of a two-satellite in-space communications demonstration project, re-entered the atmosphere on September 23, 2017 after 495 days in orbit following a May 2016 release from the International Space Station. The Nodes CubeSats completed a cross-satellite communications demonstration that could build the foundation for real-time data return from future CubeSat constellations.
NORAD ID: 41478
Object: CubeSat, 1.5U
Mass: 1.7 kg
Launch: December 6, 2015
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
Launch Site: SLC-41 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launched aboard Cygnus OA-4 Cargo Spacecraft
Released from ISS: May 16, 2016
Re-Entry Prediction: September 23, 2017 – 08:33 UTC +/- 18 Minutes
Re-Entry Zone: Unknown
The two Nodes satellites to be deployed from ISS are an extension of the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) which was a swarm of eight satellites planned to demonstrate a networking architecture for the simplification of the operation of large groups of small satellites and paving the way to multi-satellite constellations making multi-point measurements of atmospheric conditions or other parameters that require spatially resolved measurements. Unfortunately, the original EDSN satellite constellation was lost in the failure of the inaugural launch of the Super Strypi launch vehicle in 2015, leaving only the two Nodes satellites to complete some of the objectives of the original mission.
The Nodes twins are almost identical to the EDSN satellites, only including modifications needed for their deployment from the International Space Station and some tweaks to the flight software.