FUNcube-1 has left the cleanroom

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 flight model – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The exciting news is that FUNcube-1 CubeSat is now en-route to the Yasny launch site.

It was flown on a special flight from Rotterdam yesterday and it cleared through Russian customs this morning.

Well before the launch date, Dashboard software, to decode and display the telemetry, will be made available for download, this will function on any windows pc or laptop using either a Dongle or a 2 metre SSB capable receiver. Additionally a set of pre-launch keps will also be distributed.

This launch is expected to carry more than ten spacecraft using the amateur satellite service and one of them will, itself, later deploy up to nine CubeSats and PocketQubes so there should be plenty of new signals to listen for after this launch.

More info about FUNcube and some pictures can be seen here

Radio Ham is HENAAC Luminary Honoree

Ali Guarneros Luna KJ6TVO - Image credit NASA Ames

Ali Guarneros Luna KJ6TVO – Image credit NASA Ames

Radio amateur Ali Guarneros Luna KJ6TVO has been named a 2013 HENAAC Luminary Honoree.

A NASA Ames Systems Engineer on the TechEdSat CubeSat Project she is committed to encouraging young people to pursue science, technology and engineering careers. In recognition of her achievements, Ali Guarneros Luna KJ6TVO, has been named as one of the 2013 Luminary Honorees by the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC).

Born in Mexico City she now lives in San Jose, California, receiving her BS in Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University in 2010 and completing her MS in Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University in 2012.

HENAAC 2013 Luminary Honorees

Radio Amateur Encourages Engineering as a Career

KJ6TVO “Pursuing My Childhood Dream”

ICSEDS 2012/13 video showcases Rocket and Balloon Achievements

UKSEDS & ICSEDS Project Officer, TeeJay Taiwo, prepares his rockets for his license assesment. Photo credit: Kishan, ICSEDS

UKSEDS & ICSEDS Project Officer, TeeJay Taiwo, prepares his rockets for his license assesment. Photo credit: Kishan, ICSEDS

This video is the Imperial College Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (ICSEDS) entry to the RBS ESSA bronze awards. It showcases their projects and events throughout the 2012/13 year.

In the video are interviews with Engine Design Group member Madeleine Alexander, High Powered Rocketry Member Zoe Edwards, High Altitude Ballooning member Oscar Woolnough and ISEDS Vice Chair Joseph Dudley.

ICSEDS thank Imperial College London Chemical Engineering Department for their support in our High Altitude Balloon (HAB) Project (434 MHz). Also thanks to Alex Cherney at and David Peterson for giving permission to use the two spectacular clips in the introduction, of the video.

More information on ICSEDS can be found at:
Follow ICSEDS on:

Watch ICSEDS 2012/13 – Imperial College Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

How drones teach young people science & math

Parrot AR Drone 2.0Fox News reports that drones (UAV’s) are a new tool that teaches youngsters some pretty sophisticated science and math concepts.

Read the Fox story at

Middlesex Foundation Radio Hams success in UAV (Drone) competition

BBC – ESA seeks help to control robot spacecraft

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

BBC News report that the European Space Agency (ESA) is turning to owners of terrestrial robot aircraft to aid those that journey into space.

The agency has released an App that makes use of the cameras on the Parrot drone to simulate docking with a virtual space station.

The Parrot drone quadcopter has proved popular with many iPhone owners as it can be controlled via the 2.4 GHz WiFi signal from the handset.

Data generated by the agency’s App will be analyzed to help fine tune navigation software for its own drones.

Read the BBC story at

ESA Smartphone App Turns Drone into Spacecraft

Middlesex Foundation Radio Hams success in UAV (Drone) competition

AMSAT-UK to provide Amateur Radio payload for ESEO satellite

The ESEO spacecraft Copyright ALMASpace - ESA

The ESEO spacecraft Copyright ALMASpace – ESA

AMSAT-UK will be providing a 1260/145 MHz FM transponder and a 145 MHz BPSK telemetry beacon for the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO). This is the third mission within the European Space Agency’s Education Satellite Programme.

The satellite, which has a mass of 40 kg and measures 33x33x63 cm, is planned to launch in 2015-16 into a low Earth orbit.

Nine European universities will be working with the prime contractor ALMASpace, Italy, on the mission. Cranfield University in Bedfordshire will be supplying a small sail that will be deployed to demonstrate the de-orbiting of spacecraft at the end of the mission.

The primary purpose of the AMSAT-UK payload is to provide a downlink telemetry that can be easily received by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. The data will be displayed in an attractive format and provide stimulation and encouragement for students to become interested in all STEM subjects in a unique way.

The target audience is primarily students at both primary and secondary levels and the project includes the development of a simple and cheap “ground station” operating on VHF frequencies in the Amateur Satellite Service. This station is an omni-directional antenna feeding a FUNcube DonglePRO+ SDR receiver which will receive the signals direct from the satellite and transfer the data to specially developed graphical software running on any Windows laptop.

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KySat-2 CubeSat plans to fly Summer 2013

KySat-2 (K2) is a 1U CubeSat to fulfill the education and public outreach mission of the original KySat-1 CubeSat that was lost during a launch vehicle failure of ELaNa I and accompanying NASA GLORY mission.

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FITSAT-1 LEDs to Flash Morse Code over USA and Europe

Artistic impression of FITSAT-1 signaling in Morse code

On December 12-13 FITSAT-1 will be using its optical LED beacon to flash a message in Morse Code over the USA and the British Isles/Europe which should be visible using binoculars.

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Government delays response to Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986 consultation

A statement on the UK Space Agency (UKSA) site says:

Due to the range of views received during the Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986 consultation the Government response has been delayed.

We hope to be in a position to publish it during the first half of 2013.

Further details will be posted in due course.

The Outer Space Act covers all UK satellites irrespective of size, from tiny low cost educational CubeSats up to large commercial £500 million satellites.

The key aspects of the consultation are the proposals to waive the capped liability and insurance requirement for in-orbit operation of any satellite that meets the criteria of a CubeSat and to remove the requirement for unlimited indemnity from satellite operators.

The existing Outer Space Act imposes heavy additional costs (>£50,000 per annum) on those wishing to launch small educational CubeSats. The additional costs act as a major deterrent and to-date no such UK CubeSat has been launched.

Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986: Consultation

Pictures released of UKube-1 CubeSat

Clyde Space have released pictures showing the progress of UKube-1 as they prepare the satellite for a Soyuz launch planned for March 2013.

UKube-1 is the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat and plans to carry an amateur radio 435/145 MHz linear transponder developed by AMSAT-UK.

Last year as part of the UKube-1 project and a student project at Cornell, the deployable solar panels were on a zero-G flight.

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