Last Chance for ARISSat-1 is coming up!
Did you know that you’re running out of time if you’ve been planning on working ARISSat-1? Why do you ask? Well, it’s estimated to be re-entering in January or February 2012. So now is the time to use the on board repeater or get an SSTV pic.
The satellite was deployed back in August and since then has lost about 60km of altitude, and is estimated to be losing 1.5km per day. This is due to increased drag on the craft from increased solar activity on the atmosphere. From Southgate ARC:
The orbit period changes about 30 seconds per day, and that will increase steadily. Be certain to update your tracking program Keps from Space-Track or CelesTrak before each pass. They issue revised versions 3-5 times daily.
That’s a lot of revisions, so make sure to stay on top of them if you want to work it. Plus any telemetry data the engineers can get from the satellite will help in future flights. If you want more information on ARISSat-1 feel free to check the related stories below or you can check out these stories done here for more info.
Thanks for spreading the word about ARISSat-1!
Now, a much sadder announcement in the last hour:
It is with a heavy heart I report that AO-51 has ceased transmission and is not responding to commands. The last telemetry data indicated that the third of six batteries was approaching failure to short, and observations indicate the voltage from three cells is insufficient to power the UHF transmitters. The IHU may continue to be operative. Initial tests with the S band transmitter were also not positive, although more attempts are in order. We have tried leaving the satellite in an expected state where if voltages climb high enough, the 435.150 transmitter may possibly be heard.
The command team will regularly attempt communications with the satellite over the coming months (and years). There is always the possibility that a cell will open and we could once again talk to our friend while illuminated. Thanks to all who helped fund, design, build, launch, command, and operate AO-51. It’s 7 year mission has been extraordinary. Please support AMSAT’s Fox-1 project, and other AMSAT projects worldwide with your time and money.
For the AO-51 Command Team,
73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations