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UKube-1 falls silent

UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat, was launched into space in July 2014. It completed its successful nominal mission fourteen month later in September 2015

Since that date, for the past three years, the FUNcube based payload has continued to provide a transponder for use by radio amateurs and, additionally, 30+ channels of real time telemetry for STEM outreach and for use by schools and colleges. These downlinks have operated continuously on the 145 MHz band and more than 450 stations have supported this ongoing activity. They have uplinked the telemetry data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse where it is stored and available for research.

Just before midnight (UTC) on Thursday 18th October, the Warehouse received a data frame from KB6LTY, Christy Hunter in California. This is the last record of signals being received from the spacecraft and since that date, careful observations have failed to detect any signals from either of the transmitters carried by the spacecraft.

An early analysis of the last telemetry received has not shown any obvious anomalies, but this work continues.

Although it is obviously sad for both the amateur and educational worlds to lose such a valuable resource, both AO73-FUNcube 1 and EO88-Nayif 1 continue to operate nominally and JY1SAT and ESEO are expected to launch before the end of 2018.

UKube-1
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/ukube-1/

Written by
VA3DBJ

Canadian amateur radio operator since 2007. Operating on the VHF/UHF bands and local repeaters in the Durham Region area. Husband and the father of four.

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