AMSAT has been notified by Scott Higginbotham, Mission Manager for ELaNa-12 (Fox-1A launch) and ELaNa-14 (RadFxSat/Fox-1B launch) in NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center, “The ELaNa-14 CubeSat complement is scheduled to fly along with NOAA’s JPSS-1 spacecraft on a Delta II that will be launching from VAFB on November 15, 2016. Due to a number of CubeSats recently dropping off of the manifest for this flight, a door has been opened, and it is my pleasure to inform you that your respective CubeSats (RadFXSat, GoldenEagle-1, EagleSat, and MiRaTA) have all been
officially added to the manifest.”
AMSAT will begin working with Tyvak, the CubeSat Dispenser and Dispenser Integration Contractor for this flight. Additional news regarding the schedule milestones toward meeting launch requirements will be released as more information becomes available.
In a message sent to AMSAT Vice President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Higginbotham concluded, “Congratulations and welcome aboard!”
Planned Frequencies for the Fox-1 FM Series Cubesats
AMSAT-DL depiction of the Phase 3-Express (P3E) satellite in 2005-2006. Changes in the antenna configuration are planned in 2015. The rocket motor and propellant tank will not be needed on the proposed launch opportunity.
The P3E spaceframe will have room for scientific and amateur radio payload. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, is shown with the spaceframe at AMSAT-DL in 2005.
Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite. During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on 4 JUL 15, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.
Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.
Stay tuned to the AMSAT-DL Journal, the AMSAT-NA Journal, and the AMSAT-NA News Service for further developments and details as they become known.
APRIL 14, 2015 – Mission logos on the NPSCuL shipping container for the GRACE mission, including Fox-1A.
APRIL 9, 2015 UPDATE – Today the NPS team completed both X and Y axis acceptance vibration tests on the NPSCuL with no issues. (Z axis vibe was completed April 8.) Roll tests were conducted after each axis and no loose parts were heard. GRACE is now sealed up in the shipping container and ready for transport. Next stop: VAFB!
NPSCuL vibe testing complete
UPDATE – The P-PODs were delivered to Naval Postgraduate School this week and have been integrated in the NPSCuL.
GRACE mission P-PODs including Fox-1, at NPS for NPSCuL integration. Photo courtesy of Justin Foley, Cal Poly.
GRACE mission P-PODs in the NPSCuL Photo courtesy of Justin Foley, Cal Poly.
The video linked below was provided to all of the GRACE mission CubeSat teams by Justin Foley of Cal Poly.
Justin says “A few years back we put together a video that outlines the process we go through to get CubeSats on the Atlas V. This video follows the payload we put on NROL-36, aka OUTSat, which launched from VAFB and carried 11 cubes. The process is very similar to what your satellites are going through now.”
You saw the photos of the P-POD integration in the Cal Poly clean room yesterday, which is where this video begins the story. The last two CubeSats were being integrated in their P-POD today (March 26). All of the P-PODs will then head up to the Naval Postgraduate School next week for integration in the NPSCuL and acceptance testing, and then be sent on to Vandenberg (cue video) –
(Thanks to Justin D. Foley for the YouTube video link.)
Fox-1 is headed to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA for integration into the P-POD that will later be mounted in the NPSCuL* and on the launch vehicle.
While the NPSCuL may be coach class, Fox-1 gets to travel first class to San Luis Obispo with some express assistance from the friendly TSA at DFW Airport. AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, worked with the TSA and a supervisory officer will meet him at the security checkpoint Tuesday morning in order to provide safe passage and handling of Fox-1 through the TSA security checkpoint and inspection process. ESD protection and gloves are required as well as gentle handling, so everything is in the box with Fox. Fox-1 needs to be guaranteed a safe arrival at Cal Poly for integration.
Photos below show Fox-1 in her final steps for shipping, with the last set of solar panel covers added (thanks to all who contributed to the solar panels!) and packed in her own Pelican case for the ride. An small entourage of support equipment is still required including a way to safely return the solar panel covers to Texas to later be delivered to their donors, so the bigger “all in one” case still goes as checked baggage.
Stay tuned for more news as Fox-1 undergoes integration on Wednesday, March 25!