University of Stuttgart Launches Flying Laptop Satellite

The Flying Laptop small satellite was successfully sent to space today on a Soyuz launcher from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite was entirely built and developed by students from the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, using the full MOIS suite.

The Soyuz-2.1a rocket fired into space at 8:36 CET from the Baikonur Cosmodome in Kazakhstan. A total of 72 small satellites were launched as part of the cluster, breaking the world’s record in the number of international small satellites to be injected into several target orbits within one mission.

Together with Flying Laptop, the launch deploys a Russian spacecraft to locate forest fires, 48 CubeSats for global Earth observation, and eight nanosatellites for Spire Global’s commercial weather network.

After launch, the satellites will separate in three different orbits, followed by the upper stage deorbit. The mission duration from the launch vehicle lift-off will be more than 8 hours. Once in orbit, Flying Laptop will engage in Earth Observation activities and the monitoring of space weather. The satellite will also test new technologies, including a reconfigurable FPGA onboard computer, a novel unfolding mechanism and a GPS experiment.

Flying Laptop

The Flying Laptop satellite gave students hands-on experience of satellite development, including the infrastructure required to support the mission as well as systems to provide in-orbit verification of the satellite’s operation.  Over 140 Ph.D. and undergraduate students from the University of Stuttgart are in charge of the design, development, construction, and future operation of the satellite, using the full MOIS suite.  The software was used to optimize the processes involved in mission preparation, from the manufacturing to the testing of the spacecraft, and will also be used to control and operate the mission.

MOIS is used as a standard by the European Space Agency (ESA) and other national space agencies and major manufacturers. The software has contributed to more than 100 space missions, including Rosetta, LISA Pathfinder, BepiColombo, Copernicus, Galileo, ExoMars, and many others.


MOIS: Procedure development and automation of spacecraft made easy.