Article on LED Optical Morse Code Spacecraft ShindaiSat

Illustration of high-gain and low-gain LED illumination scenario at the ground station - Image credit Shinshu University

Illustration of high-gain and low-gain LED illumination scenario at the ground station – Image credit Shinshu University

An English language article about ShindaiSat is available at

ShindaiSatShindaiSat is a 20 kg spacecraft approx 300 by 300 by 350 mm which is planning to use bright LEDs for Space to Earth optical communication using Morse code. It also carries an optical lens system for receiving modulated LED light from the ground station.

There will be an AX.25 packet radio telemetry beacon and a low power CW beacon. Downlink frequencies of 437.305 and 437.485 MHz have been coordinated by the IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel.

The article says “A launch of ShindaiSat as a secondary payload is manifested for mid-2014 on the primary GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission of NASA and JAXA. JAXA is providing the launch on the H2A vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan.

Orbit: Non-sun-synchronous circular orbit, altitude = 407 km, inclination = 65º.”

ShindaiSat website in Google English

Two TV CubeSats from Ecuador

NEE-02 Krysaor - Image credit EXA

NEE-02 Krysaor – Image credit EXA

Ecuador is hoping to have two CubeSats in orbit this year.

Their first CubeSat NEE-01 Pegasus will carry a 720p HD camera to send live video from space using a 0.9 watt TV transmitter in the 910 MHz (33cm) band along with a beacon that will send a Morse Code ID, a SSTV image and Ecuador’s national anthem. It was originally planned to launch on a Dnepr from Yansy but is now expected to fly on a CZ-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Space Center on April 26, 2013 at 0413 UT.

Ecuadors second CubeSat NEE-02 Krysaor carries the same payloads in the 910 MHz band as NEE-1 Pegasus but has a slightly different solar panel configuration. As yet websites such as Gunter Space Page give no indication on which rocket NEE-02 Krysaor will fly.

Continue reading

F-1 CubeSat Delivered to Tsukuba Space Center

CubeSats ready for HTV-3 Launch – Image Credit Koumei Shibata

The amateur radio CubeSat F-1 built by students at the FPT University in Hanoi, Vietnam has now been delivered to the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan.

F-1 CubeSat – Image Credit Koumei Shibata

F-1 and the other four CubeSats  (RAIKO, WE WISH, FITSAT-1 and TechEdSat) will be integrated with the small satellite deployer J-SSOD before leaving for Tanegashima launch pad.

The CubeSats should be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 21 in the HTV-3 cargo vessel.  It is planned that they will be deployed from the ISS in September by Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the Kibo robot arm.

F-1 carries a low-resolution camera (640×480), a 3-axis magnetometer and two Yaesu VX-3R transceivers using 145.980 and 437.485 MHz.

See the story on the FPT University website

Further pictures of the CubeSats by Koumei Shibata can be seen at

An NHK TV News video showing the CubeSats shows the LED’s on FITSAT-1 that will be used to flash Morse Code from space. See

For the latest news on F-1 see the FSpace website

Video depicting F-1 CubeSat XV1VN deployment from the ISS

Vietnam Student CubeSat F-1

Video of Space Shuttle Discovery STS-56 mission

Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ the first Hispanic woman in space

The crew of STS-56 made numerous amateur radio contacts to schools around the world using the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II), including brief radio contact with the Russian Mir space station, the first such contact between Shuttle and Mir using amateur radio equipment.

STS-56 Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ plays the flute in space shuttle Discovery’s aft flight deck in April 1993. Credit: NASA

STS-56 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 8, 1993.

There were four radio hams on STS-56, Kenneth D. Cameron KB5AWP, Mike Foale KB5UAC, Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ, Kenneth Cockrell KB5UAH.

Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ was the first Hispanic woman to go into space. She went on to complete four space shuttle flights and become Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center.

The primary payload of the flight was the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2), designed to collect data on the relationship between the sun’s energy output and Earth’s middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer. It included six instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the cargo bay, with the seventh mounted on the wall of the bay in two Get Away Special canisters.

Narrated by the Commander and crew, this video contains footage selected by the astronauts, as well as their comments on the mission. Footage includes launch, onboard crew activities, and landing.

The amateur radio aspect of the mission features at 09:58 into the video.

Watch Space Shuttle STS-56 Discovery ATLAS-2 pt1-2 Post Flight Press 1993 NASA

Watch Space Shuttle STS-56 Discovery ATLAS-2 pt2-2 Post Flight Press 1993 NASA