NEE-01 Pegasus – a window to see the Earth from the classroom

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.

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Ecuador, heading into space

CubeSat NEE-01 Pegasus

A Chinese rocket due to launch in the 2nd quarter of 2013 will carry CubeSat NEE-01 Pegasus from Ecuador.

Ronnie Nader with Elisse Nader and CubeSat

The NEE-01 Pegasus engineering team was led by Cmdr. Ronnie Nader, Ecuador’s first astronaut. The tiny 1U CubeSat (10cm cube) has a large fold-out solar array, a world first, and carries a 902 MHz band 720p HD TV transmitter, another world first for a CubeSat. Also operating in the same band will be a beacon that will send a Morse Code ID, a SSTV image and Ecuador’s national anthem.

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.

As part of the educational outreach objectives of the satellite video of the Earth taken by the HD camera will be made available to school students in Ecuador.

The satellite will send two signals that will be received and decoded by the EXA’s 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.

The satellite featured in the July 15 edition of the El Murcurio newspaper.

Read the El Murcurio newspaper article in Google English http://tinyurl.com/Ecuador-in-Space

NEE-01 Pegasus on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NEE01PEGASO/

IAC2011 Paper http://exa.academia.edu/RonnieNader/Papers/795135/NEE-01_PEGASUS_The_first_Ecuadorian_Satellite

NEE-01 Pegasus will monitor near-earth objects http://www.uk.amsat.org/6932

Italian Microsat to Deploy Six Amateur Radio Satellites http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=7717

Ecuadorian CubeSat will monitor near-earth objects

Ecuadors first satellite NEE-01 Pegasus is slated to launch from Yasny this October on the same DNEPR rocket as the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-1.

NEE-01 Pegasus is a 1U CubeSat with two large (for a CubeSat) deployable solar panels and the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA) indicates 28.8 amps can be generated. There is an onboard camera to send live video from space from a 3 watt TV transmitter in the 902 MHz band along with a beacon that will send an ID and Ecuador’s national anthem.

NEE-01 Pegasus LogoOn April 25, EXA announced that it will be adding a mission to NEE-01 Pegasus: It will help monitoring near-earth objects from orbit using its onboard 720p HD video camera and will also help in the catalog and control of orbital debris (space junk), this new mission will turn the NEE-01 in to the first online, real time orbital video sentry for the planet, as the satellite has the capability to stream its video signal directly to the Internet.

It is hoped NEE-01 Pegasus will be able to detect medium to small sized near-earth objects, like very small asteroids which are normally very difficult to detect but have enough mass to pose a threath to populated areas, like the one which exploded over California in April.

Astronaut Ronnie Nader and NEE-01 Pegasus model

Astronaut Ronnie Nader and NEE-01 Pegasus model

Another of the satellites objectives is to serve as a space platform for elementary education.

The satellite will send two signals that will be received and decoded by the EXA’s HERMES-A ground station in Guayaquil and then uploaded live to the Internet using Twitter and Facebook.

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 onboard 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. The EXA will provide them with the appropriate support software free of charge.

EXA Press release http://exa.ec/bp42/index-en.html

Ecuador’s first astronaut Ronnie Nader has been leading the team building the Cubesat
http://www.exa.ec/whois.htm

NEE-01 Pegasus http://exa.ec/bp37/index-en.html