Friday, November 14, 2014

Two Ham Satellites Among Craft Lost in Launch Explosion
Video of  liftoff and explosion at < >
Two satellites carrying ham radio payloads were among more than two dozen satellites lost in the October 28 launch failure of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares 130 rocket. The rocket malfunctioned seconds after launch from NASA's Wallops Island spaceport in Virginia and was destroyed by the range safety officer in a spectacular explosion.
According to the ARRL Letter, the satellites aboard the craft included two with amateur radio payloads -- the Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment (RACE) built jointly by the University of Texas at Austin and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and GOMX-2, designed by Aalborg University in Denmark.

GOMX-2 was to test a new de-orbiting system and flight-qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and a software-defined receiver built by Aalborg. It had a data downlink on 70 centimeters. RACE carried a new 183-GHz radiometer designed by JPL and had ham-band data and CW telemetry downlinks on 70 centimeters. UT Engineering Professor Glen Lightsey, KE5DDG, told the Letter, "It's unfortunate, but it is also part of the aerospace industry." Watch video of the Antares explosion at < >.