Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Apr.18.2020

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

** A review of the Virginia Cubesat Constellation program in which a consortium of universities in the state built three cubesats:  Virginia Cubesat Constellation, Mike McPherson, KQ9P

A report about the launch of the cubesats to the ISS: UVA-Built Nano-Spacecraft is Launched Into Space | UVA Today

The three spacecraft were deployed into orbit from the ISS on July 3, 2019.

Virginia CubeSat ConstellationDeployment
Three Virginia CubeSat Constellation spacecraft deployed from the ISS on July 9,2019.
Three student members of the Virginia CubeSat Consortium show off the three program’s 3 CubeSats

Unfortunately,  communications were only established with one of the three spacecraft. In the above video, McPherson discusses the communications problems.

** Staten Longo – I Am NASA Virginia Space Grant – Participation in the Virginia CubeSat program led to a career in aerospace

Staten Longo, graduate of the University of Virginia, participated in the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program as a high school student and then served as a program manager for the Virginia Cubesat Constellation project. This ‘I am NASA Space Grant’ video

** A CubeSat overview from Fiske Planetarium:

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-082 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • ARISS Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • New TQSL Version Provides Better LoTW Rover Support
  • AMSAT-EA Registering SanoSat-1 for AMSAT Nepal
  • ESA and LibreSpace Report: SDR’s for Small Satellites
  • Brazil Holds 430 and 1240 MHz Hearing
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

  • Exolaunch signs agreement with SpaceX for launch of small satellites on a Falcon 9 rideshare mission – Exolaunch – “Exolaunch, a German rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, signed a Launch Services Agreement with SpaceX to launch small satellites on a Falcon 9 as part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program. Under the launch contract, Exolaunch accommodates multiple microsatellites and cubesats on the first Falcon 9 smallsat-dedicated rideshare mission to sun-synchronous orbit, targeted for launch in December 2020.

    Exolaunch will provide comprehensive rideshare mission management, deployment and integration services for its customers participating in this launch. Core customers who signed up for this launch through Exolaunch’s services will be announced in the coming weeks.”

  • In Response to Covid-19, Space Dynamics Lab Satellite Operators “Fly” Small Satellites from Home – Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL)/ Utah State Univ.  – “NASA’s Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter CubeSat and the Compact Infrared Radiometer in Space instrument small satellite, known as HARP and CIRiS respectively, are two science satellites that are now being commanded by SDL satellite operators outside of SDL facilities.”

** Cubesats, Hubble and Apollo 13 Trouble | Podcasts | Naked Scientists

Space Boffins Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson celebrate Hubble’s 30th birthday with Shuttle astronaut Kathy Sullivan, whose mission deployed the space telescope, and hear from NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill about his warning alarm system for Apollo 13, celebrating its 50th lucky escape anniversary. The Space Boffins also meet Craig Clark, founder of AAC Clyde Space, and are shown around the cubesat pioneer’s HQ in Glasgow. All this with bonus space-themed added music….

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