PharmaSat beacon alert

Santa Clara University invites amateur radio operators to receive beacon signals from the PharmaSat spacecraft, a pioneering cubesat mission that is currently scheduled to launch from the Wallops Flight Facility on May 19, 2009 at about 23:35 UTC. This spacecraft will go into Low Earth Orbit as a secondary payload aboard an Air Force Minotaur I launch vehicle. The vehicle will be launched into a circular, 40.5 degree inclination orbit.
PharmaSat is a 10 x 10 x 30 cm. spacecraft that houses an advanced biological laboratory as its payload. This laboratory will measure the influence of microgravity upon yeast resistance to an antifungal agent. Of particular interest to the amateur radio satellite community is the PharmaSat 70cm radio beacon. This beacon will operate at 437.465 MHz FM, sending an AX.25 packet every 5 seconds. This packet will include data about the spacecraft system’s operation. The beacon will initiate transmission as soon as the spacecraft is deployed from its carrier. Amateur radio operators are encouraged to submit received beacon packets through the mission websites in order to receive a web-based QSL card. Submitted data will be available to the public via a web-accessible public database.

The PharmaSat mission website at This site provides general mission and spacecraft information, instructions on how to contact the Santa Clara University PharmaSat Mission Operations teams, and other information required to receive and decode the beacon signal. PharmaSat orbit elements will be available via the (and other) distribution services.

Mike, KE7EGC

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