August 02, 2001
On August 9, at 5:38 p.m., the Hitchhiker Experiments Advancing Technology (HEAT) payload will launch on-board the Endeavour Space Shuttle. The photo above shows a previous Hitchhiker payload (canisters in foreground) in the cargo bay of the space shuttle. HEAT consists of 3 separate payloads including Simplesat, which is a satellite designed at Goddard to evaluate, among other things, a demonstration of a Global Positioning System (GPS) while in a free-flyer low Earth orbit. Simplesat will be deployed at an attitude away from the Sun to protect its optical equipment (at an altitude of about 230 miles), and it's projected to have a lifetime of approximately 100 days. Hitchhiker payloads fly in mounted canisters, of various sizes, attached to mounting plates in the cargo bay of the space shuttles.