Category Archives: Education

Videos: Night sky highlights for November 2019

[ Update: “What’s Up” for November 2019 from NASA JPL:

Highlights of the November sky include how to watch as Mercury transits the Sun on Nov. 11, plus how to observe the regular dimming and brightening of the “Demon star,” Algol, with your own eyes. Additional information, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://go.nasa.gov/34hp376 . Algol animation is licensed as CC-BY-SA 3.0. Video credit NASA-JPL/Caltech.

]

** Tonight’s Sky for the coming month courtesy the Space Telescope Science Institute:

In November, hunt for the fainter constellations of fall, including Pisces, Aries, and Triangulum. They will guide you to find several galaxies and a pair of white stars. Stay tuned for space-based views of spiral galaxy M74 and the Triangulum Galaxy, which are shown in visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light.

** What’s in the Night Sky November 2019 – Alyn Wallace

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Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.27.2019

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

** Lightweight 3D printed composite CubeSat structure built by French university students with industrial partners:

LISA, an Italian-based company specialist for over 25 years in the use and development of advanced additive manufacturing technologies and materials, has collaborated with the Laboratoire InterUniversitaire des Système Atmosphérique (LISA) of Universite Paris-est Creteil (UPEC) on the construction of a nano-satellite that is a 3U CubeSat formfactor.

The project was carried by students under CNES and Space Campus University supervision. The goal was to develop a demonstrator that can be flight-ready in Low Earth Orbit. The engineering team at LISA and CNES decided to rely on CRP Technology and its Windform Top-Line family of high-performance materials for the manufacturing of the nano-satellite.

Lisa 3d printed CubeSat

Another CubeSat project at CRP is described in Construction of a CubeSat using Additive Manufacturing – CRP-USA

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-300 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Goal: “Amateur Radio in Every CubeSat”
  • AMSAT VP User Services Describes Planning for Improvements
  • AMSAT-DL Symposium and JHV 2019 November 9 – November 10
  • Reminder – ARISS Proposal Window is Open Until November 30, 2019
  • ARISS Activities & Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Software Update for UZ7HO’s Software Packet-Radio TNC
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • The AMSAT Hamfests & Conventions Web Page Updates
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.20.2019

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

** University students are key to operating the LightSail-2 in orbit: “I Talk to It Every Day”: Students are Vital Members of LightSail 2 Team | The Planetary Society. The article profiles several of the students who help operate the Planetary Society’s LightSail-2 solar sail. The LightSail-2 CubeSat was launched last June inside the Georgia Tech Prox-1 spacecraft, a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy. It was then ejected from Prox-1 a week later. The sail was unfurled on July 23, 2019.

Students like [Cal Poly San Luis Obispo physics undergrad Michael] Fernandez have benefited from the proliferation of CubeSats—small, standardized, low-cost satellites that often hitch rides to space with larger payloads. CubeSats have the same basic needs as any other space mission—things like communications, power, and attitude control—which makes them an ideal way for students to get real-world space mission experience.

“The LightSail 2 mission has done more than just demonstrate a new technology—it has provided valuable training opportunities,” said Planetary Society Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn. “We’re excited that our spacecraft is helping to prepare a new generation of scientists and engineers for future missions.”

“The student members of the LightSail 2 flight team play a critical role in mission operations,” said David Spencer, LightSail 2 project manager. “They do a lot of the heavy lifting of day-to-day operations, and perform key analyses that we rely upon to understand the mission performance.”

LightSail-2 Deployment
Deployment of the LightSail-2 32-square-meter sail. Credits: Planetary Society

** Students in CubeSat program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to assist the USAF in monitoring orbital objects:  Cal Poly is the first university to assist the Air Force in monitoring objects orbiting earth – Mustang News

Cal Poly students will now be helping the United States Strategic Command track more than 23,000 small objects orbiting Earth in the first university partnership of its kind.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership will allow current and future Cal Poly students to gain hands-on experience working with our four CubeSats currently in orbit and how they affect, and are affected by, other satellites in orbit,” President Jeffrey Armstrong said in the news release.

Cal Poly has a long history of working with Vandenberg Air Force Base. In the late 1990s, emeritus aerospace engineering professor Jordi Puig-Suari teamed with Stanford professor Bob Twiggs to develop the CubeSat standard — a small satellite that could ride aboard government and commercial space launches, according to the news release.

In the past two decades, hundreds of CubeSats have been launched. The Cal Poly CubeSat Laboratory is currently preparing its 12th CubeSat to launch in the next few months, Bellardo said.

** Lebanese CubeSat program to involve university teams: Lebanon Aims to Launch Nano-satellite Into Space by 2022 | Al Bawaba

“The EU is helping us with training and capacity building, by sending experts to train our local teams. There are 12 Lebanese universities participating; all have faculties of engineering or science. We have 42 of their brightest students taking part in eight teams, each led by their professor,” Abdallah said.

He said it was still early days and the teams were still developing their skills, but added that as a result of the initiative, the EU had renewed the TAF program for Lebanon and sent experts to train the local teams.

“The latest team to arrive was from the U.S. – two senior trainers, retired members of the Air Force labs and NASA, who delivered 12 days of training, eight hours a day, on how to manage a space program,” Abdallah said. “We haven’t been sitting around idle; we have already implemented a ground station in Mansourieh that can communicate with any nanosatellites in orbit,” he added. Expert training teams are also expected from Turkey, Spain and Italy.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-293 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium Underway! Livestream Available
  • AMSAT Board of Directors Announces 2019 Officers
  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium Videos Available
  • Cubesat Simulators Launched
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.13.2019

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

** High school students learn spacecraft engineering in the Irvine Cubesat program in Irvine, California: IPSF CubeSat Program | Beckman Foundation

The Irvine CubeSat Program is composed of six public high schools from the Tustin and Irvine School Districts. All schools are given specific roles and functions for each CubeSat Mission, to include Avionics, Communication, Propulsion, Power, BioTech, and Prime Contractor.

Mimicking a real-world engineering firm approach to large, complex projects, each team is responsible for communicating their plans and achievements to the rest of the group to ensure that the overall mission is successful.

Irvine01 and Irvine02 Cubesats
Cubesats Irvine01 (left), launched by Rocket Labin November 2018. and Irvine02 (right), launched by SpaceX in December of 2018, were both built by high school students. Credits: Irvine CubeSat

** Polish universities to build CubeSat for Mars mission launched by Virgin Orbit:  SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit and Polish Universities Establish Mars Consortium | Virgin Orbit

Scientists and engineers from nearly a dozen Polish universities have teamed up with Poland-based satellite company SatRevolution and Sir Richard Branson’s small satellite launch company Virgin Orbit to establish a new consortium to design and carry out the world’s first dedicated commercial small satellite mission to Mars. The parties established the consortium at a formal signing ceremony during the Impact Mobility’19 rEVolution conference in Katowice, Poland.

The consortium will jointly develop the first in a series of up to three Mars missions, with the initial launch expected as early as three years from now.

At the core of the consortium are many of the top technical universities in Poland. AGH University of Science and Technology, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poznań University of Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology Lódz University of Technology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, and Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences have each signed on to take part in the collaborative program. Leadership from these universities see the consortium and the missions it will conduct as an unprecedented opportunity for growth and development across many technical disciplines, in addition to creating opportunities for commercialization.

** Rocket Lab Electron rocket to launch seven PocketQubes, including a university project, in 2019 in a cluster deployment system built by Alba Orbital.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-286 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Schedule
  • September/October 2019 Apogee View
  • W3ZM – 50 States in Our 50th Year
  • ITU Magazine Reports on IARU Agenda Items for WRC-19
  • 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

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.7.2019

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

**  University of Tokyo’s AQT-D: AQUA Thruster-Demonstrator was delivered to the ISS in the HTV-8 cargo module launched by a H-IIB rocket on Sept.24th. The student built CubeSat will be deployed from the station later this year. The goal is to demonstrate the AQUARIUS (AQUA ResIstojet propUlsion System)  water micro-propulsion system, which is suitable for smallsats.

AQT-D AQUA Thruster DemonstratorFind more about AQUA and other water based propulsion systems in Water propulsion technologies picking up steam – SpaceNews.com.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-279 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AO-7 to Enter Full Illumination Period October 9, 2019
  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium On-line Registration Open Until October 11
  • New ARISS Proposal Window is October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for September 2019
  • Amateur Radio Gets Temporary Use of 2400 MHz in Spain
  • AMSAT-SA to Fly Cubesat Transponders on Balloon Flight
  • SSTV Event Planned for ARISS on October 9, 2019
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS Activities & Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • 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