Friday, April 26, 2013

Two Sets of Unique Cubesats Launched

Two launches in two days from two different sides of the world have put seven new amateur radio satellites in orbit.

Korean singer turned satellite-builder Hojun Song, DS1SBO,
performs final assembly of his OSSI-1 satellite.
(Courtesy AMSAT-UK)

Four ham-sats, along with three research satellites, were launched on April 19 from the Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan. Among them is OSSI-1, designed and built in Korea by artist Hojun Song, DS1SBO, using only open-source materials (OSSI stands for Open Source Satellite Initiative). AMSAT-UK reports that Song spent seven years and $100,000 on the project, and Newsline says it's believed that this is the first ham satellite to be developed and built by just one person. More information is available on the OSSI blog at <>.

Antares rocket launches Phonesats toward orbit
(NASA photo)

An April 21 launch from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia lofted a trio of "phonesats" into orbit, so-called because they are built around off-the-shelf smartphones. NASA says the phones' abilities to send and receive calls and texts were disabled before launch and that they were connected to higher-powered (amateur) transmitters. The three phonesats were dubbed Alexander, Graham, and Bell. Graham and Bell were sending photos from their smartphone cameras via AX.25 packet. For more info, see <>.