NASA SEEKS AMATUER RADIO OPERATORS’ AID TO LISTEN FOR BEACON SIGNAL
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – 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: http://nanosaild.engr.scu.edu/dashboard.htm. The NanoSail-D beacon signal can be found at 437.270 MHz.
The NanoSail-D science team is hopeful the nanosatellite is healthy and can complete its solar sail mission. After ejection, a timer within NanoSail-D begins a three-day countdown as the satellite orbits the Earth. Once the timer reaches zero, four booms will quickly deploy and the NanoSail-D sail will start to unfold to a 100-square-foot polymer sail. Within five seconds the sail fully unfurls.
On Dec. 6,, 2010, NASA triggered the planned ejection of NanoSail-D from FASTSAT. At that time, the team confirmed that the door successfully opened and data indicated a successful ejection. Upon further analysis, no evidence of NanoSail-D was identified in low-Earth orbit, leading the team to believe NanoSail-D remained inside FASTSAT.
Follow the NanoSail-D mission operation on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nanosaild
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