HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ARISSAT ONE MISSION COMES TO A CLOSE
The mission of ARISSat-1 has come to an end. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the details:
Reception reports indicate that ARISSat-1 fell from the sky on Wednesday, January 4th. Its predicted impact point was in an open area of the South Atlantic west of Angola.
The last full telemetry captured and uploaded to the ARISSatTLM web site was at 6:02 UTC as the satellite passed over Japan. These reports showed that the temperature aboard ARISSat One had been rising as atmospheric drag began to affect the satellite. Final temperatures received showed that the Internal Housekeeping Unit was at 167 degrees Farenheight and was rising. The last time ARISSat One was heard at the Amateur Radio Newsline studio facility in California was on January 2nd at about 18:15 Pacific Standard Time. During that transmission the satellite was at about 127 statute miles in altitude and several hundred miles West of Los Angeles.
Two days later, during the 8:42 UTC pass over Russia, RN3ZF sent in a reception report to the ARISSat-1 monitoring website. That posting stated telemetry was absent, voice messages were not legible and interrupted. It is pretty much assumed that RN3ZF most likely witnessed the last minutes in the life of satellite.
ARISSat-1 was deployed from the International Space Station on August 3, 2011 during a space walk by two Russian Cosmonauts. It marked the first ever test flight of an AMSAT designed Software Defined Transponder. One with the ability to transmit simultaneous FM voice on its downlink cycling between student messages, spoken telemetry and SSTV from cameras on the spaceframe. Students from around the world provided the voice announcements. The satellite also carried a student experiment from Kursk State University in Russia which measured atmospheric density.
ARISSat-1 was likely one of the most popular ham radio satellites ever placed on orbit and its one that is definitely going to be missed.