Status of active satellites on amateur radio frequencies

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN 640

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

One of the most frequently asked questions from newcomers to amateur satellites must be “Which satellites can I receive?”

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN has produced a summary of all active amateur radio satellites with frequencies and links to more detailed information. It is available at

Tiny Satellites’ Big Mission: Going Beyond Earth Orbit

Artist’s concept of the Interplanetary NanoSpacecraft Pathfinder In Relevant Environment (INSPIRE) CubeSat project – Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s concept of the Interplanetary NanoSpacecraft Pathfinder In Relevant Environment (INSPIRE) CubeSat project – Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

TechNewsDaily contributor Rachel Kaufman interviewed James Cutler KF6RFX about two CubeSats that aim to travel into interplanetary space.

The two Interplanetary NanoSpacecraft Pathfinder In Relevant Environment (INSPIRE) satellites measure just 10x10x30 cm and each weigh under 4kg.

The dual INSPIRE CubeSats will demonstrate functionality, communication, navigation and payload hosting in interplanetary space. INSPIRE is a NASA JPL partnership with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; and the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope.

Read Rachel Kaufman’s article at

NASA Announces New CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

2012 – NanoTHOR: Low-Cost Launch of Nanosatellites to Deep Space

AMSAT-UK Colloquium – Visit to SSTL Kepler Building


SSTL Kepler Building

The 27th AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, is open to all. It takes place September 15-16 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ and will provide an opportunity to visit the satellite facilities in the new Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) Kepler Building.

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Dr. Mark Hammond N8MH to speak at Space Colloquium

Dr Mark Hammond N8MH

The 27th AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held on the weekend of 15-16 September at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, England close to the University of Surrey. UPDATE: For a video of the presentation see

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SST-US and Virgin Galactic Small Satellite Launches

Virgin Galactic LauncherOne

Virgin Galactic LauncherOne

On July 11, Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Virgin Galactic optimizing Surrey’s innovative satellites for Virgin’s new launch vehicle, radically lowering the cost of building and launching small satellites.

This MOU comes on the heels of Virgin Galactic’s announcement of its new ”LauncherOne” program, an unmanned rocket that will be air-launched by SpaceShipTwo’s carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, and that will be capable of delivering as much as 225 kg to low Earth Orbit. SST-US and Virgin Galactic have agreed to work together to provide SST-US, the world leader in small satellite manufacturing, the information needed to build the most powerful spacecraft that LauncherOne can support, giving satellite customers a powerful and affordable option to put their payloads into space.

SST-US is the US operation of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the pioneer in small and cost effective space missions. The collaboration with Virgin Galactic is expected to involve the development by SST-US of new launcher-optimised satellite platforms, the supply of subsystems to the launch vehicle, and advising on market requirements for launch services.

Dr. John Paffet, CEO of SST-US, commented: “Since we launched our first small satellite in the Eighties, we have been changing the economics of space by leveraging innovation. As our platforms have become an integral part of many space programmes, launching satellites at a cost that is synergistic with the mission programme remains a challenge. We look forward to collaborating with Virgin Galactic on this exciting new venture to develop a solution to this need.”

LauncherOne will be a two stage vehicle capable of carrying up to 500 pounds (225 kilograms) to orbit for prices below $10 million. The rocket will be launched from Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo, the uniquely capable aircraft also designed to carry SpaceShipTwo aloft to begin her suborbital missions. With more than 85 flights completed to date, WhiteKnightTwo has substantially completed her test flight program.

“Virgin Galactic’s goal is to revolutionize the way we get to space,” Virgin Galactic’s Founder Sir Richard Branson said. “I’m immensely proud of what we have already achieved as we draw near to regular suborbital flights on SpaceShipTwo. Now, LauncherOne is bringing the price of satellite launch into the realm of affordability for schools, non-profits, and start-ups, in addition to companies and space agencies. This provides a completely new resource to the global research community, letting us learn about our home planet more quickly and more affordably.”

Watch LauncherOne – Furthering the Space Frontier

Watch Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo and LauncherOne take flight

Virgin Galactic LauncherOne


SSTL Press Release

BBC News Report