UK educational satellite FUNcube-1 will be launched by in the third quarter this year.
The spacecraft, which has been created volunteer radio amateur organisation AMSAT-UK, will join a number of other spacecraft on a DNEPR rocket sometime in the third quarter of 2012
“Our target audience is students at both primary and secondary levels, and a simple cheap USB dongle ‘ground station’ for schools has already been developed,” said a FUNcube spokesman.
The 145MHz dongle means satellite signals can be received directly by students.
“Telemetry will give details of the spacecraft’s health – battery voltages and temperatures – and from this it will be possible to determine its spin rate and attitude by plotting simple graphs,” said the spokesman. “Additionally, experimental data and messages can be displayed in an attractive format and provide stimulation and encouragement for students to become interested in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects in a unique way.”
There is also a 435 to 145 MHz linear transponder for radio amateurs to use during local non-school times.
Launch will be from Yasny in southern Russia near to the Kazakhstan border, brokered by Delft-based ISIS Launch Services.
“The spacecraft needs to be completed by the end of July 2012, ready for shipping from the Netherlands to Russia,” said the spokesman.