Ecuador’s first satellite NEE-01 Pegasus, built by the Ecuadorian Space Agency EXA, is currently planned to launch in the 1st quarter of 2013 on a DNEPR rocket from Yasny.
The raw aluminum structure of the CubeSat was donated by Professor Bob Twiggs KE6QMD. After launch the 10 by 10 by 10 cm NEE-01 Pegasus will deploy its 75 cm fold-out solar panels, the largest to be flown on a CubeSat.
The NEE-01 Pegasus engineering team was led by Cmdr. Ronnie Nader, Ecuador’s first astronaut. The satellite carries a 720p HD camera to send live video from space using a 0.9 watt TV transmitter in the 902 MHz band along with a beacon that will send a Morse Code ID, a SSTV image and Ecuador’s national anthem.
The satellite signals will be received and decoded by the EXA HERMES-A ground station in Guayaquil and then uploaded live to the Internet using Facebook and Twitter; the first signal will contain text book questions and the second will contain an image related to the question. If the students are able to answer the question correctly they will be granted access to the video camera on board the spacecraft and will be able to see earth from space as the astronauts see it in their space missions. More advanced students will have access to the pure radio signal so they can try decoding it by themselves.
There is also a HERMES-B ground station located in Kirch-Brombach (JN49lr) Germany.
Educational outreach is an important part of the project. An article in El Comercio describes how the Pegasus beacon will transmit a Morse Code ID followed by a Slow Scan TV (SSTV) image of a Flying Horse surrounded by the Ecuadorian tricolor.
Read the article in El Comercio ‘Pegaso, a window to see the Earth from the classroom’
EXA is partnering with three schools in Ecuador as part of the ASTERIA Program, in which students will use the satellite in their curricular and extra curricular activities. Read the Nuevo Mundo article at http://tinyurl.com/Ecuador-Pegaus-Education
NEE-01 Pegasus (Pegaso) website in Google English http://tinyurl.com/NEE-01-Pegasus
Ecuador, heading into space http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8946
Ecuadorian CubeSat will monitor near-earth objects http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=6932