Category Archives: Space Systems

Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – Dec.14.2019

Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:

** Expedition 61 Inflight University of New Mexico – December 10, 2019

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA discussed life and research on board the orbital outpost during an in-flight educational event Dec. 10 with students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Koch is nearing the home stretch of a long-duration mission on the station which is expected to span 328 days by the time she returns to Earth in early February – more days in space than any other woman in history

** Expedition 61 Inflight event with Second Baptist School – December 13, 2019

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA discussed life and research aboard the outpost during an in-flight educational event Dec. 13 with the Second Baptist School in Houston, Texas. The event featured Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who attended the private school and graduated as valedictorian in 1988. Koch is nearing the home stretch of a long-duration mission on the station which is expected to span 328 days by the time she returns to Earth in early February – more days in space than any other woman in history.

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Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – Dec.6.2019

Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:

** What Launches to Space On SpaceX’s 19th Cargo Mission? – NASA

On its 19th resupply mission, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver cutting-edge scientific experiments to crew members aboard the International Space Station. Learn more about some of the scientific investigations riding on Dragon to the orbiting laboratory: [SpaceX Launching Research for Better Earth Images, Easier Leak Checks | NASA]

** Down to Earth – What Else is Out There? – NASA

One year ago today, NASA astronaut Anne McClain launched on her first spaceflight to the International Space Station. In this episode of “Down to Earth – What Else is Out There?” Anne recalls her first spacewalk and how it changed her perception of Earth. The shift in worldview is inspired by space philosopher Frank White

** How Astronauts On The Space Station Watch TV & Movies – Scott Manley

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Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – Nov.29.2019

Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:

** How NASA will bake in space for the first time and why that’s a BIG deal!

On November 2nd, 2019, Northrop Grumman launched a Cygnus Cargo Ship on a resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. On board was just over 3,700 kg of science experiments, vehicle hardware, crew supplies, and other important space stuff. But included on this flight was a space first. An oven. And not just any oven, but a custom zero g oven developed by Nanoracks, a leading provider of commercial access to space, that will be used to bake the first food in space – the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie. So today, I thought we should do a history of space food, figure out why we haven’t ever baked anything in space before, and learn from the experts on how DoubleTree by Hilton, the sponsor of this video, will actually bake their cookies on the International Space Station. Article version here – https://everydayastronaut.com/cookies…

** Expedition 61 Thanksgiving Message

Right now, half of the crew members on board the International Space Station are American astronauts who are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, and they have a message for us. Check in with NASA’s Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan, to learn more about what the holiday means to them and get a look at what Thanksgiving in space will be like in 2019.

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Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – Nov.22.2019

Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:

** AskNASA┃ What is the International Space Station?

NASA’s Jacob Keaton answers questions about the International Space Station. He highlights building this home off Earth and what astronauts do while aboard. Research and other lessons learned from the space station will help us send humans to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for Mars.

** Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Repair Spacewalk #2, Nov. 22, 2019

Astronauts Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) will venture outside the International Space Station starting at ~7:05 a.m. EST to continue repairing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) instrument. This is the second in a series of repair spacewalks – the most complex of this kind since the servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. AMS is attached to the outside of the space station, where it has been operating since 2011. It is a particle physics experiment working to help us understand dark matter and the origins of the universe.

** Science Launching On SpaceX CRS 19

The 19th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-19) contract mission for NASA carries a variety of cutting-edge scientific experiments to the International Space Station. Learn more about some of the scientific investigations riding on Dragon to the orbiting laboratory on CRS-19: https://go.nasa.gov/2qZGYBd Learn more about the research being conducted on Station: https://www.nasa.gov/iss-science Follow Twitter updates on the science conducted aboard the space station: https://twitter.com/iss_research

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Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Nov.17.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** EdgeCube to go to ISS on SpaceX Cargo Dragon in December. The cubesat, built by a collaboration of student teams at Sonoma State, Santa Clara Univ., and Morehead State Univ. in Kentucky, will be deployed into orbit from the ISS in January: Cube satellite built by SSU students set to orbit the Earth – The Community Voice

Sonoma State received funding for EdgeCube in June 2016, after physics and astronomy professor Lynn Cominsky wrote a proposal to NASA. The proposal called for monitoring the “red edge” of the chlorophyll spectrum in large patches of homogeneous vegetation using a CubeSat or a small satellite. Since then, approximately 30 students have worked on the project from Sonoma State, Santa Clara University and Morehead State. Professor Matt Clark from SSU’s Department of Geography and Environmental Planning was the originator of the idea to measure the “red edge,” hence the name “EdgeCube”. 

More at Edgecube – sonoma state university ~ Santa clara university ~ Morehead State university.

EdgeCube components view. From FCC application (pdf)

**  Virginia Tech inspireFly team wins SEDS SAT-2 contest. SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space),  Astranis, and NanoRacks sponsored the competition. The winning team will receive a free ride to the ISS for their CubeSat, which will then be deployed into orbit.

From the SEDS announcement:

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the largest student-run space and science advocacy organization in the world, today announced that Virginia Tech’s inspireFly team is the winner of the Astranis SEDS SAT-2 competition. Astranis, a manufacturer and operator of small geostationary satellites, contributed to the cost of the launch, while competition co-sponsor Nanoracks, a leading provider of commercial access to space, will launch and deploy the winning CubeSat on the International Space Station in the next two to three years.

Open to U.S. SEDS chapters, the competition tasked teams with submitting a design for a novel 1U CubeSat. The competition kicked off at SpaceVision in November 2018, where interested teams had the opportunity to attend an Astranis/Nanoracks workshop on designing, building, and integrating a CubeSat for low Earth orbit.

Thirteen chapters from across the country entered the competition and submitted proposals. The judging panel included members of the SEDS-USA Board of Advisors and Directors, as well as employees from Astranis and Nanoracks. Proposals were judged on their technical merits, the non-technical capabilities of the team to develop and support the design, the professionalism of proposal, the novelty of the proposed CubeSat mission, and the demographic makeup of the design team and their mentors.

Virginia Tech’s team was selected as the winner for its ContentCube project, a selfie-stick for space that will take pictures of an external LCD screen–featuring publicly-submitted photos–with Earth in the background.

inspireFly Mission Profile – Credits: inspireFly at Virginia Tech

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-321 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Happy 45th Birthday AMSAT-OSCAR 7!
  • 19th Anniversary of ARISS Operations
  • PO-101 (Diwata-2) QSLs Available
  • IARU Update Regarding Amateur Satellite Allocations
  • AMSAT Member Dhruv Rebba, KC9ZJX, Youth Excellence Award
  • G4BAO 23cm-45 W-PA Available as Public Domain
  • Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for November 14, 2019
  • Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction