CubeSats to launch from New Zealand

Electron rocket in New Zealand Dec 6, 2018 - credit Rocket Lab

Electron rocket in New Zealand Dec 6, 2018 – credit Rocket Lab

Terry Osborne ZL2BAC has provided some information on the upcoming launch from New Zealand of 10 CubeSats on the Rocket Labs Electron ELaNa-19 mission, a number of the satellites carry amateur radio payloads.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Terry writes:

From Rocket Lab’s recent twitter post:
A nine-day launch window for the ELaNa-19 mission opens 13 – 21 December 2018, UTC.
Lift-off from Launch Complex 1 is scheduled between:
04:00 – 08:00 UTC (13 Dec) 17:00 – 21:00
NZDT (13 Dec) 20:00 – 00:00
PST (12/13 Dec) 23:00 – 03:00
EST (12/13 Dec)


The launch will be streamed from their web site at
See also

Satellites to be launched are:
Date: NET December 11, 2018
Mission: Rocket Lab Flight 4, Electron, Mahia, New Zealand
10 CubeSat Missions scheduled to be deployed

• ALBUS – NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
• CeREs – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
• CHOMPTT – University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
• CubeSail – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• DaVinci – North Idaho STEM Charter Academy, Rathdrum, Idaho
• ISX – SRI International/ California Polytechnic University
• NMTSat – New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
• RSat – United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
• Shields-1 – NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
• STF-1 – West Virginia University / NASA IV&V

73, Terry Osborne ZL2BAC

AMSAT Bulletin Board

AMSAT-NA VP-Engineering on NASA TV Wednesday

ELaNa XII LogoAMSAT-NA VP-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY will be on the panel at a NASA prelaunch briefing on Wednesday, October 7 at 1800 UT. The briefing will be shown live on NASA TV.

The amateur radio FM transponder CubeSat, AMSAT Fox-1A, will be among 13 CubeSats flying as secondary payloads on the NROL-55 mission which should launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Thursday, October 8, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NASA will be holding two briefings about the launch. The first on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 1700 UT (1pm EDT) will highlight the growing importance of CubeSats in exploration and technology development. The second at 1800 UT (2pm EDT) will discuss five of the CubeSats.

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Jerry Buxton, N0JY will on the panel in the 1800 UT briefing to talk about the Fox mission and science, and answer questions.

Fox-1A is a 1-Unit CubeSat carrying an FM repeater that will allow simple ground stations using an HT and an “Arrow” or “Elk” type antenna to make contacts using the satellite.

Data Under Voice (DUV) is used to send 200 bps FSK telemetry data at the same time as FM audio. This is achieved by making use of sub-audible frequencies below 200 Hz.

Information on the free Fox telemetry decoder software is at

Read the Fox Operating Guide at

BisonSat CubeSat

BisonSat CubeSat

Among the other CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads is BisonSat, the first satellite developed by Native American tribal college students. Using BisonSat’s 100-meter resolution camera the Salish Kootenai College students hope to acquire images of the Flathead Indian Reservation. Dr. Tom Olson will be on the panel to discuss BisonSat.

BisonSat (Nʷist Q́ʷiq́ʷay in the Salish language)
Beacon 437.375 MHz

Colleges run by Native American tribes are graduating more students in STEM fields

Radio amateur Courtney Duncan, N5BF, principal investigator for LMRST-Sat will also be appearing on the panel.

Watch NASA TV at

NASA Sets Coverage Schedule for CubeSat Launch Events

NASA Announces Next Opportunity for CubeSat Space Missions

SpaceX Dragon grappled by ISS  Canadarm2 2012-10-10

Space X Dragon Spacecraft

NASA is opening the next round of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, part of the White House Maker Initiative, in an effort to engage the growing community of space enthusiasts that can contribute to NASA’s space exploration goals.

The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on flight hardware development experience in the process of designing, building and operating small research satellites. It also provides a low-cost pathway to space for research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations consistent with NASA’s Strategic Plan.

Applicants must submit their proposals electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST, Nov. 25. NASA will select the payloads by Feb. 6, 2015, but selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. Selected experiments are slated to be flown as auxiliary payloads on agency rocket launches or be deployed from the International Space Station beginning in 2015 and running through 2018. NASA does not provide funding for the development of the small satellites and this opportunity is open only to U.S. non-profit organizations and accredited educational organizations.

One goal of the CubeSat Launch Initiative is extend the successes of space exploration to all 50 states by launching a small satellite from at least one participant in each state in the next five years. To this end, NASA is particularly focused this round on gaining participation in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 21 states not previously selected for the CubeSat Launch Initiative. These states are: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

CubeSats are in a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The base CubeSat dimensions are about 4x4x4 inches (10x10x11 centimeters), which equals one “Cube,” or 1U. CubeSats supported by this launch effort include volumes of 1U, 2U, 3U, and 6U. CubeSats of 1U, 2U and 3U size typically have a mass of about three pounds (1.33 kilograms) per 1U Cube. A 6U CubeSat typically has a mass of about 26.5 pounds (12 kilograms). The CubeSat’s final mass depends on which deployment method is selected.

To date, NASA has selected 114 CubeSats from 29 states, 17 of which have already been launched. Nine more CubeSats are scheduled to go into space in the next 12 months

For additional information about NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit:

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington


Satellite TLE Challenge Begins

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 - Credit ISC Kosmotras

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 – Credit ISC Kosmotras

This week has seen deployments from the ISS, a Minotaur-1 and a Dnepr of an estimated 34 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads along with a number of commercial and research satellites.

After a launch the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) issue the Keplerian Two Line Element Set which can be used to determine the position and velocity of the associated satellite. CelesTrak make this information available and the file for launches in the past 30 days is available here.

After a new launch this file will list the ID’s of the objects that NORAD have detected. These objects can be parts of the rocket body as well as the satellites. The challenge in the days after launch is to work out which object ID’s correspond to which satellites.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) Nico Janssen PA0DLO has posted an overview of the presently known IDs for the satellites that were launched between November 19-21.

ISS JSSOD Cubesat launches
2013-11-19 12:18 UTC
39412 1998-067DA  Pico Dragon ?
39413 1998-067DB  ArduSat 1 ?
39414 1998-067DC  ArduSat X ?
To be confirmed when the objects have more separation.
2013-11-20 07:58 UTC
39415 1998-067DD  TechEdSat 3P

Minotaur 1, Wallops Flight Facility
2013-11-20 01:15 UTC
ORS3 & ELaNa 4: 29 satellites
So far only 4 TLEs published. No IDs yet but probably:
39380 2013-064A  STPSat 3

Dnepr, Yasny
2013-11-21 07:10:11 UTC
32 satellites
19 TLEs published
39417 2013-066B  FUNcube 1
39427 2013-066M  Triton 1
39428 2013-066N  Delfi-n3Xt

Note that all designations may change later on.


Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs or ‘Keps’):
• New satellites launched in past 30 days
• CubeSats
• Experimental satellites
• Engineering satellites
• Amateur radio satellites

NORAD Two-Line Element Set Format

ISS CubeSats

Minotaur-1 ELaNa-4 launch

Dnepr Yasny launch

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

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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