Juno spacecraft QSL cards sent out

Juno Spacecraft QSL Card October 9, 2013

Juno spacecraft QSL card October 9, 2013

Juno QSL cards have been sent out to those radio amateurs who participated in the Juno Earth flyby experiment.

Amateur radio operators sent a very slow CW (1/25 WPM) to NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its Earth flyby on October 9, 2013.

Hams sent “HI” every 10 minutes as Juno approached Earth, and the message was clearly detected several times. The Juno team confirmed that more than 1400 radio hams participated, representing all seven continents.

Data video: http://youtu.be/Vg80vaGj2Gg
Data video & image caption: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17744
Mini documentary: http://youtu.be/hg9xY1zvrsw
Archived event page: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/hijuno

Radio hams say Hi to Juno http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/09/radio-hams-say-hi-to-juno/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Der Spiegel newspaper features an article about the hopes of radio amateurs to transmit commands to control the NASA ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft.

The newspaper interviewed radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Thilo Elsner DJ5YM both members of AMSAT-DL.

The article quotes David Dunham as saying “Radio operators have only one attempt. It might take 200 years before ICE is close enough to Earth again”.

Read the Der Spiegel newspaper article in Google English at
http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-DL-ISEE-3-ICE

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/radio-amateurs-receive-nasa-isee-3ice-spacecraft/

ISEE-3 Returns https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

Can Radio Hams Receive NASA’s ISEE-3/ICE ?

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

A post on the Planetary Society website wonders if radio amateurs will be able to pick up the signal from ISEE-3/ICE as it passes Earth.

Emily Lakdawalla says: The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will return to Earth in August, 2014. It’s still functioning, broadcasting a carrier signal that the Deep Space Network successfully detected in 2008. Twelve of its 13 instruments were working when we last checked on its condition, sometime prior to 1999.

The 36 year-old satellite is still apparently operational but it seems NASA can no longer send commands to it because the transmitters to do so were removed in 1999.

Emily sums up: So ISEE-3 will pass by us, ready to talk with us, but in the 30 years since it departed Earth we’ve lost the ability to speak its language. I wonder if ham radio operators will be able to pick up its carrier signal — it’s meaningless, I guess, but it feels like an honorable thing to do, a kind of salute to the venerable ship as it passes by.

The satellite carries Redundant S-band transponders, each with 5 Watt RF output

Transponder A:
2090.66 MHz RHCP uplink, command or ranging
2270.40 MHz RHCP downlink, telemetry or ranging

Transponder B:
2041.95 MHz LHCP uplink, command
2217.50 MHz LHCP downlink, telemetry

Transmit antenna: medium gain with dual inputs for simultaneous right and left hand circular polarization downlink, 8 rows of 4 elements, 7 dBi, ±6° beamwidth, multibeam, electronically steerable, four lobe, omni directional coverage in azimuth

Receive antenna: 2042 MHz, intermediate gain, 1 row of 4 elements, 0 dBi, ±45° beamwidth

Read the Planetary Society ISEE-3/ICE post at
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2014/02070836-isee-3.html

ISEE-3/ICE Telecommunications Summary
http://mdkenny.customer.netspace.net.au/ISEE-3.pdf

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

NASA Challenge – CubeSat around the Moon

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit - Image credit NASA

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit – Image credit NASA

The Centennial Challenges Program is NASAs flagship program for technology prize competitions (http://www.nasa.gov/challenges). The program is an integral part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. The Centennial Challenges Program directly engages the public, academia, and industry in open prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies that have benefit to NASA and the nation. For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech .

The Centennial Challenges program is seeking input on two challenges being considered for start in 2014. Both challenges would be to design, build, and deliver flight-qualified small spacecraft capable of advanced operations near the moon and beyond.

The purposes of this RFI are: (1) to gather feedback on the two competitions being considered, the prize amounts and distribution structure, (2) to determine the level of interest in potentially competing in these challenges, and (3) to understand the applicability of the challenge capabilities for other non-government applications.

The first challenge will focus on finding innovative solutions to deep space communications with small spacecraft, while the second focuses on primary propulsion for small spacecraft. Together, these challenges are expected to contribute to opening deep space exploration to non-government spacecraft for the first time.

The proposed challenges would be NASAs first prize competitions demonstrated and competed in deep space and potentially would be carried into trans-lunar trajectory of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) on the first launch (EM-1) of the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion planned for late 2017.

Responses should be submitted in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format and are limited to five (5) pages in length. Responses should include (as applicable): name, address, email address, and phone number of the respondent, business, or organization, with point of contact for business or organization.

This RFI is seeking feedback on the competition phases, the prize amounts and distribution structure, and/or interest in competing in any or all phases of this Challenge. Comments must be submitted in electronic form no later than March 31, 2014 to Dr. Larry Cooper at e-mail address: HQ-STMD-CentennialChallenges@mail.nasa.gov. Use Deep Space Spacecraft Challenges on the Subject line.

NASA welcomes all segments of industry, academia, and government, including associations, innovators, and enthusiasts to reply to this RFI. This RFI is for informational/planning purposes only and the Government will not be responsible for any cost associated with preparing information in support of this RFI. This RFI is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the government to enter into any agreement or other obligation or to conduct small spacecraft challenges. This notice is issued in accordance with the NASA Prize Authority, 51 U.S.C. 20144. Responses may be made available for public review and should not include proprietary information. Submitted information will be shared within NASA and with contractor personnel associated with the NASA Centennial Challenges Program. All responses are to be for general access by government reviewers.

For general information on the NASA Centennial Challenges Program see: http://www.nasa.gov/challenges . The point of contact is Dr. Larry Cooper, Program Executive, Centennial Challenges Program, NASA Headquarters.

Read the full NASA release at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=ec040a31b16194f877d1034ccefdda40&tab=core&_cview=0

NASA Centennial Challenges http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/centennial_challenges/index.html

NASA EDGE: CubeSat Workshop Video

Student at the CubeSat Workshop - Image credit NASA

Student at the CubeSat Workshop – Image credit NASA

CubeSat pioneer Bob Twiggs KE6QMD is interviewed in this NASA EDGE video.

NASA EDGE and special guest host Tiffany Nail explore the latest developments in nanosat technology at the 10th Annual CubeSat Development Workshop. MagnetoStar-1, however, still won’t fly.

Watch NASA EDGE: CubeSat Workshop

10th Annual CubeSat Workshop – Cal Poly 2013 – Slides
http://www.cubesat.org/index.php/workshops/upcoming-workshops/128-2013summerworkshoppresentations

Videos of the presentations
http://mediasite01.ceng.calpoly.edu/Mediasite/Catalog/pages/catalog.aspx?catalogId=36b100d1-069a-4bac-b7e3-8a9512655e78

First Anniversary of Mars Rover Curiosity

In the workshop building the Rover - Image credit Beatty Robotics

In the workshop building the Rover – Image credit Beatty Robotics

The Mars rover Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, at 15:02 UT aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UT.

The Rover - Image credit Beatty Robotics

The Rover – Image credit Beatty Robotics

Venture Beat reports that two sisters, Camille and Genevieve Beatty, aged 11 and 13, have built a Mars rover in a workshop in their family’s garage. They have been invited to the New York Hall of Science to show off their rover as part of a special exhibit on astronomy. The rover will roam around a mini-Martian landscape and analyze rocks with hidden heat lamps embedded inside.

Read the Venture Beat story at http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/01/check-out-the-mars-rover-these-two-girls-built-in-their-garage/

Read the blog detailing the building of the rover at http://beatty-robotics.com/category/blog

The sisters are also interested in wireless telegraphy see http://beatty-robotics.com/lunamoth-and-julajay-work-on-wireless-telegraph

NASA officials and crew members aboard the International Space Station will observe the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars at a public event in Washington from 16:00-17:30 UT (12-1:30 p.m. EDT) Tuesday, August 6.

The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed live on the agency’s website.

Media and the public are welcome to attend to hear highlights from the Mars Science Laboratory’s first year of investigations, learn about upcoming NASA robotic missions to the red planet, and speak with astronauts conducting experiments in space that will enable human exploration of Mars in the 2030s.

Those interested in attending should plan to arrive at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, by 15:30 UT (11:30 a.m. EST) Seating is limited.

Participating will be:
• Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB), NASA administrator
• Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR and Karen Nyberg, NASA astronauts, live from the space station
• Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
• Sam Scimemi, director, NASA’s International Space Station Program
• Prasun Desai, acting director, Strategic Integration, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate

The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, UT, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area.

Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. With much more science to come, Curiosity’s wheels continue to blaze a trail for human footprints on Mars.

To follow the conversation online about Curiosity’s first year on Mars, use hashtag #1YearOnMars or follow @NASA and @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA’s exploration of Mars, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

NASA release Curiosity Morse code picture
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/september2012/nasa_release_curiosity_morse_code_picture.htm

437 MHz – Curiosity – Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Frequencies
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/august2012/mars_reconnaissance_orbiter_frequencies.htm

Radio Amateurs Receive Mars Science Laboratory  (MSL)
http://amsat-uk.org/2011/12/02/radio-amateurs-receive-mars-science-laboratory/

Mars Rover Curiosity - Image credit NASA

Mars Rover Curiosity – Image credit NASA

Interns build a CubeSat

NASA Interns CubeSat

This video, released by NASA, shows a  group of interns who built a CubeSat.

Interns building a CubeSatInterns:
Anthony Yee, Christopher Erb, Jeffrey Sherwood, Tanzim Imam, Clayton Jacobs, Tiara Johnson, Liz Sauerbrunn, Alex Petrov, Marvin Cosare, Matthew Davis, Megan Robbett

Co-mentors:
Pat Kilroy, Joe Howard, Gary Crum, David Kim, Anisa Jamil, Eric Young, Pete Rossoni, Peter Ancosta, Victor Sank, Mark Steiner, Frank Kirchman, Jeff Didion, Franklin L. Robinson, Kenneth E. Li, Porfy Beltran, Dan Solomon, Leigh Janes, Gerardo Cruz-Ortiz

Watch NASA | Interns Build CubeSat

Interns Group Picture

7-year-old UK boy writes to NASA

Late Spring on MarsDexter, a 7-year-old from Derby in England, wrote to NASA saying he wanted to be an astronaut and go to Mars.

The Huffington Post reports that to the surprise of his mother, Katrina Anderson, NASA responded encouraging Dexter to explore space camp, get good grades and continue “reaching for the stars” and sent a parcel of photos and stickers.

Read Dexters original letter and NASA’s response on his mother’s Imgur account at http://imgur.com/a/6MqlY

Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/08/dexter-nasa-letter_n_3561386.html

National Public Radio (NPR) story http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/08/200053973/boy-writes-to-nasa-nasa-writes-back

NASA Seeks Academic Partners for Smallsat Technology Collaboration

Image NASA - Franklin image credit to Paul D. Stewart

Image NASA – Franklin image credit to Paul D. Stewart

NASA is seeking small spacecraft technology project proposals from U.S. colleges and universities that would like to collaborate with agency researchers.

Small spacecraft, or smallsats, represent a growing field of space research and operations in which universities often have led the way in technology development. Smallsats, some of which are as small as a four-inch cube, are not expected to replace conventional spacecraft, but sometimes can provide an alternative to larger, more costly spacecraft. Smallsats can serve as platforms for rapid technology testing or specialized scientific research and exploration not otherwise possible. Smallsats also can be developed relatively quickly and inexpensively, and can share a ride to orbit with larger spacecraft.

Continue reading

NASA EDGE – CubeSat Launch Initiative

NASA EDGE talks to NASA about how they’re helping students and professionals launch their own mini satellites known as CubeSats. The CubeSat Launch Initiative provides new opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by helping people design, launch and collect data.

Watch NASA EDGE CubeSat Launch Initiative