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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 27, 2005 23:27:01 GMT -6
First Internet-built student satellite successfully launched
SSETI Express, a low Earth orbit spacecraft designed and built by European university students under the supervision of ESA’s Education Department, was successfully launched this morning at 08:52 CEST from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on a Russian Kosmos 3M launcher. At 10:29 CEST this morning, the ground control centre at the University in Aalborg (DK) received the first signals from the satellite.
SSETI Express (SSETI being the acronym for Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative) is a small spacecraft, similar in size and shape to a washing machine (approx. 60x60 x90 cm). Weighing about 62 kg it has a payload of 24 kg. On-board the student-built spacecraft were three pico-satellites, extremely small satellites weighing around one kg each. These were deployed one hour and 40 minutes after launch. In addition to acting as a test bed for many designs, including a cold-gas attitude control system, SSETI Express will also take pictures of the Earth and function as a radio transponder.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 31, 2005 10:46:44 GMT -6
Experts Fail To Establish Contact With Mozhayets-5 Satellite
Moscow (SPX) Oct 31, 2005 Experts from the Russian Space Forces are continuing efforts to establish contact with the Mozhayets-5 educational satellite, an informed source with the program told RIA Novosti Friday. "When the Mozhayets-5 educational satellite was placed in orbit, an error occurred in separation of the spacecraft from the adapter," a spokesman for the Space Force, Alexei Kuznetsov, said. He said no problems had been experienced during the launch of the Mozhayets and seven foreign mini-satellites, from Russia's Plesetsk Space Center on October 27. However, experts were later unable to establish contact with the satellite.
The Mozhayets-5 was designed by students of the Mozhaisk Military Space Academy to test laser-optic communications.
Two similar satellites, the Mozhayets-3 and the Mozhayets-4, are already in orbit.
The other satellites launched by the Kosmos-3 rocket on October 27 - the Iranian's Sina-1, China's DMC, Norway's NCube-2, the European Space Agency's SSETI Express, the United Kingdom's TopSat, Germany's UWE-1, and Japan's XI-V are all now orbiting successfully.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Nov 1, 2005 2:35:02 GMT -6
Yes...quite a dissapointment, but let's hope they try again.
But...I found something quite interesting recently on the mechanics of spaceflight.
To rendezvous with an object in orbit, as the pilot, you would have to s l o w down in order to catch up with the object you want that's ahead of you. One would think that stomping on the gas would bring you to the object quicker...but it ain't so! To speed up would put you in higher orbit and ergo...a slower orbit. One has to dip into a lower orbit and as a result, attain a faster speed...then as you are approaching your target, fire your thruster to rise up to it and dock.
All quite fascinating!
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail