Robertsville Middle School CubeSat Project

Robertsville Middle School students give a CubeSat presentation to NASA Engineers

Robertsville Middle School students give a CubeSat presentation to NASA Engineers

On May 19, 2016, students from Robertsville Middle School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee visited Marshall Space Flight Center and presented their CubeSat project results to NASA engineers.

NASA Explores says: They had been tasked to design a 1U ‪CubeSat‬ with a deployable door using a 3D printer and some mechatronics soft/hardware. The students presented to a panel of NASA engineers and management, including two ‪NEA Scout‬ team members, Adam Burt and Alex Few, who took a few minutes to talk about NEA Scout. The students know what ‪Solar Sails‬ are and how they work!

Oak Ridge Today reported: This is the incredible experience Robertsville Middle School Ram Time participants were given in Todd Livesay’s enrichment course. Todd Livesay began conversations with a fellow Oak Ridge High School graduate, Patrick Hull, who now works for Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Hull explained to Livesay the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative, or CSLI, which provides opportunities for small satellite cubes to fly as auxiliary payloads on previously planned missions.

The CubeSat Launch Initiative provides access to a low-cost pathway for conducting research, deploying these small payloads in a ride-share format. Since its inception in 2010, the initiative has selected and launched more than 46 student-created CubeSats. These miniature satellites were chosen from responses to public announcements on NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.

NASA will announce another call for proposals in mid-August 2016, possibly allowing Oak Ridge students an extension of the learning they had with their initial project this year, the press release said.

Susan Currie, education specialist from the Marshall Space Flight Center, wrote to Hull in response to the RMS visit saying: “Wow! If that group doesn’t inspire you, nothing will! I was blown away with the level of expertise and professionalism shown by the Oak Ridge students.”

Watch Group 1 Presentation

Watch Group 2 Presentation

Robertsville students have ultimate review panel for year-long project: NASA engineers

NASA Explores

Dava Newman KB1HIK Begins Work as NASA’s Deputy Administrator

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Dava Newman KB1HIK started her official duties as NASA’s new deputy administrator on Monday at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Newman was nominated in January by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate in April and sworn in on Friday, May 15. The deputy administrator position had been vacant since the departure of Lori Garver in September 2013.

“I have known and admired Dava for several decades,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB). “Her talents and skills as an educator and technological innovator will bring a new energy to our NASA leadership team, and I’m ecstatic to have her on board.”

Along with Bolden, Newman is responsible to the agency administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for NASA. Newman will perform the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the administrator, assists the administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the administrator in his absence by performing all necessary functions to govern NASA operations and exercises the powers vested in the agency by law. Newman also is responsible for articulating the agency’s vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.

“I’m very excited to be at NASA,” said Newman. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the agency’s work to expand humanity’s reach into space, advance our journey to Mars and strengthen America’s leadership here at home.”

Prior to her tenure with NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering.,

Newman’s research studies were carried out through space flight experiments, ground-based simulations, and mathematical modeling. Her latest research efforts included: advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, mission analysis, and engineering systems design and policy analysis. She also had ongoing efforts in assistive technologies to augment human locomotion here on Earth.

Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, an introductory engineering textbook published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 2002. She also has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences.

As a student at MIT, Newman earned her Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering in 1992 and Master of Science degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy in 1989. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.

Source NASA

New NASA Deputy Administrator is a Radio Ham

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator - Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator – Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK was sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator on May 15 from her MIT office.

Her appointment had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB) said, “I am delighted with the Senate confirmation of Dr. Dava Newman to be the deputy administrator of NASA. The strong bipartisan support Dr. Newman received in the Senate is a reflection of her well-earned reputation and renown as a global leader in science and technology research and policy.”

Newman is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and of engineering systems. On the MIT faculty since 1993, she directs the Institute’s Technology and Policy Program and MIT Portugal Program, and is co-director of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Man Vehicle Laboratory. She is a Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology faculty member, and a Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow.

Her research has included modeling human performance in low and micro-gravity conditions, examining the dynamics and control of astronaut motion, and the development of assisted walking devices for the physically handicapped. Perhaps her most prominent project has been development of the BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that would give astronauts unprecedented comfort and freedom in exploration of planetary surfaces and extra-vehicular activity.

After accepting the confirmation, Newman said, “It’s an enormous honor to serve at NASA in times when our country is extending humanity’s reach into space while strengthening American leadership here on Earth. I’m profoundly grateful to President Obama, the United States Senate, and Administrator Bolden — along with everyone at MIT. I can’t wait to come aboard.”

Source MIT

ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft fires thrusters for a return to Earth

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

AMSAT-DL report a team of engineers, space enthusiasts and radio amateurs have succeeded in firing the thrusters of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft.

The plan on Tuesday, July 8, was to fire the thrusters for a total of 7 sequences with breaks for telemetry analysis. While this would have resulted in a velocity change of 7 m/s, the course correction is required for the lunar swing-by on Aug 10, 2014 then to enter a stable orbit around Earth. However after the first firing sequence the remaining sequences were cancelled due to the returned telemetry data, which is being analyzed. A second attempt was planned for July 9.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (IRP) team attempted this main trajectory correction maneuver following a first short thruster firing on July 2, which increased the rotation rate of the spacecraft to the required value. This was possible due to international collaboration between the IRP, and a team of AMSAT-DL and Bochum observatory with its 20 m diameter radio telescope which received and processed critical real-time data of the maneuvers.

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

While the IRP has access to the Arecibo observatory which, at 305 m diameter, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, downlink support from Bochum is required as Arecibo cannot transmit and receive simultaneously.

Two members of the AMSAT-DL Bochum team will be giving presentations on their reception of ISEE-3 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at

Real-time telemetry from ISEE-3 is displayed at


Read the Daily Mail story at

ISEE-3 Spacecraft Reboot Project Update

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by volunteers, including radio amateurs, to gain control of the NASA ISEE-3 spacecraft.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will be closest to Earth in August, 2014.

In his report Dennis says that the spacecraft was successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode and he mentions the work of radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA (AMSAT-DL Bochum) and Phil Karn KA9Q.

[Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO plan to attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 26-27 to give a presentation of their work. The event is open to all]

Regarding the possibility of Lunar impact Dennis says “If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week. This is a very fluid situation and we have made amazing progress, thanks to the support of those who believed in us in our crowd funding and the support of our NASA sponsors at NASA Ames and NASA headquarters. More to come soon!!”

Read the report at

Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe

ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook

Juno spacecraft QSL cards sent out

Juno Spacecraft QSL Card October 9, 2013

Juno spacecraft QSL card October 9, 2013

Juno QSL cards have been sent out to those radio amateurs who participated in the Juno Earth flyby experiment.

Amateur radio operators sent a very slow CW (1/25 WPM) to NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its Earth flyby on October 9, 2013.

Hams sent “HI” every 10 minutes as Juno approached Earth, and the message was clearly detected several times. The Juno team confirmed that more than 1400 radio hams participated, representing all seven continents.

Data video:
Data video & image caption:
Mini documentary:
Archived event page:

Radio hams say Hi to Juno