Thursday, January 20, 2011

NASA seeks help tracking satellite

NASA has asked amateur radio operators for help to determine if a recently launched satellite is operating. The NanoSail-D satellite was ejected automatically from the Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT on Wednesday, January 19. NASA needs reports of the beacon telemetry to determine if it is operating correctly. The beacon signal is on 437.270MHz using standard AX.25 packet so APRS and packet radio operators with 70cm capability should be able to receive it.

Predictions for the satellite can be found here. Reception reports can be submitted here. Full text of the NASA press release here.

2 comments:

Paul - PC4T said...

Hello Julian, The NASA seeks help tracking, Hmmm... they follow spacecrafts deep into our solar system en beyond, and they need help tracking a simple satellite? I can hardly imagine that. ;-) 73 Paul

Julian said...

Hi Paul. Actually since the moon shots NASA doesn't have ground stations in a lot of different places and these are low earth orbit sattelites they can't track from the USA so perhaps they really need our help!