Hams Radio Operators Can Listen to New Satellites

NanoSail-D (Credit: NASA)

Hams Invited to Listen for New Satellites
ARRL Press Release

Five research satellites were carried to orbit Friday evening aboard a Minotaur V rocket from Kodiak Island, Alaska. All the satellites use Amateur Radio frequencies and hams have been invited to participate in their missions by monitoring and collecting data.

The FASTRACs are two relatively small “nanosatellites” built by students at the University of Texas-Austin. They enter orbit as a single spacecraft, but then separate into FASTRAC 1, known as “Sara Lily,” and FASTRAC 2, referred to as “Emma.” Both satellites use 1200 or 9600 baud AX.25 digital communication and transmit at 1 W output, so they should be receivable with omnidirectional VHF or UHF antennas and decodable by ordinary packet radio hardware and software.

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Minotaur IV Set to Launch FASTSAT, NanoSail-D into Space on Friday Night

A Minotaur IV rocket is set to launch a set of innovative nanosats from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Friday evening. The launch is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 19, at 7:24 p.m. CST. The launch can be viewed on the web at this page, http://www.nasa.gov/fastsat, on Friday, Nov. 19, starting at 7 p.m. CST.

Below are NASA’s descriptions of three of the satellites to be launched: FASTSAT, NanoSail-D, and O/OREOS.

NASA’s FASTSAT (Credit: NASA)

FASTSAT

NASA’s Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT, will carry six small payloads to low Earth orbit, demonstrating a critical ability to provide low-cost and rapid response opportunities for scientific and technical payloads to get to space. FASTSAT is NASA’s first microsatellite designed to create a capability that increases opportunities for secondary, scientific and technology payloads, or rideshares, to be flown at lower cost than previously possible. It serves as a bus or platform that puts scientific research on the affordable fast track for governmental, academic and industry researchers.

The FASTSAT mission is a joint activity between NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program. The satellite was designed, developed and tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., in partnership with the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation and Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville.

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