Recently in the Amateur Radio Category

Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX): "RAX is a joint venture between the University of Michigan and SRI International. Its primary mission objective is to study large plasma formations in the ionosphere, the highest region of our atmosphere. These plasma instabilities are known to spawn magnetic field-aligned irregularities (FAI), or dense plasma clouds known to disrupt communication between Earth and orbiting spacecraft." Twitter: @RAX_2010 Facebook RAX

Michigan Multipurpose Minisat (M-Cubed): "The objective of MCubed is to obtain a mid resolution image to date of Earth with at least 60% land mass and a maximum of 20% cloud coverage from a single cubesat platform. S3FL is also developing the MCubed bus with the intention of making it a heritage design, thus allowing for future missions to be flown on the same bus." Twitter: @UMCubed Tumblr: M-Cubed

Michigan Exploration Laboratory

M-CUBED and RAX Photos below

MSU satellite orbits the Earth after early morning launch

"Early Friday morning, shortly before 4 a.m. Mountain time, a student-built satellite called Explorer-1 [Prime] roared into the sky on a NASA rocket launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Almost two hours later, the satellite separated from the rocket and starting circling the Earth. Within three hours of launch, ham radio operators in France, England and The Netherlands had reported hearing from the satellite. ... Updates on Explorer-1 [Prime] are available on the Montana Space Grant Consortium Facebook page."

Technoarchaeology: Waking Up Propsero

"Prospero was the first UK satellite to be launched on a UK launch vehicle; it would also be the last. Ministers had cancelled the rocket project in the run up to the flight. However, as the Black Arrow was ready, the programme team decided to go-ahead anyway. Prospero was blasted into orbit from the remote Woomera base in the Australian desert. It turns out, the satellite is still up there. Carrying a series of experiments to investigate the effects of the space environment, the satellite operated successfully until 1973 and was contacted annually until 1996. Now, a team led by PhD student Roger Duthie from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey is hoping to re-establish communications in time for the satellite's 40th anniversary. "First, we have to re-engineer the ground segment from knowledge lost, then test the communications to see if it's still alive," Duthie told the Space Boffins podcast." More at the BBC

According to Wikipedia "As of 2006, radio transmissions from Prospero could still be heard on 137.560 MHz,[4] although it had officially been deactivated in 1996, when the UK's Defence Research Establishment decommissioned their satellite tracking station at Lasham, Hampshire. It is in a low Earth orbit, and is not expected to decay for about 100 years."

Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontaneously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection of NanoSail-D also has been confirmed by ground-based satellite tracking assets.

Amateur ham operators are asked to listen for the signal to verify NanoSail-D is operating. This information should be sent to the NanoSail-D dashboard at: The NanoSail-D beacon signal can be found at 437.270 MHz.