Zac Manchester, KD2BHC, of the KickSat project, reports the satellite launched successfully April 18 at 1925 UTC and successfully has attained low-Earth orbit.
“We at Cornell and several Amateur Radio operators around the world have made contact with the spacecraft, and it is alive and well,” Manchester reported.
The Cornell grad student has announced that he will offer prizes to the first several people who receive telemetry packets from KickSat as well as the first few who receive signals from the tiny Sprite satellites that KickSat will deploy in early May.
After a launch delay, KickSat went into space with the third SpaceX ISS resupply mission. Next month the 3U KickSat CubeSat will release more than 100 Sprite satellites — each about the size of a small cracker — into orbit. They will become the smallest Earth-orbiting satellites ever.
The KickSat beacon (437.505 MHz and 2401-2436.2 MHz) will transmit telemetry packets with information such as battery charge state, temperature, and Sprite deployment status. Packets will be transmitted every 30 seconds when the satellite is powered on, and every 250 seconds when it is in charging mode. All of the Sprites will be on the same frequency — 437.240 MHz.
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