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Hawaii Launch of Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Fails

11/04/2015

The November 4 inaugural launch of an experimental US military vehicle carrying several satellites with Amateur Radio payloads into orbit failed in mid-flight shortly after taking off at 0345 UTC from Hawaii. The experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle, carrying a collection of small satellites into orbit as part of the ORS-4 mission for the Department of Defense, was fired from a truss-mounted rail system from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, off Barking Sands on Kauai. According to Spaceflightnow.com, the Super Strypi rocket is designed for low-cost, quick-reaction satellite launches. Destroyed in the demonstration flight were 13 small research spacecraft clustered on the mission for NASA researchers and university students.

None of the satellites carried Amateur Radio transponders, but several were equipped to transmit beacon signals and telemetry on 2 meter, 70 centimeter, and 13 centimeter amateur frequencies. The satellites lost included Argus, EDSN, HawaiiSat-1, ORS-Squared, PrintSat, STACEM, STU-1, and Supernova-Beta. PrintSat carried a 3D printed structure and was designed to measure the performance of the material over the course of its 3 year mission.

Spaceflightnow.com said the experimental launcher apparently lost control and broke up downrange from the launch site. The November 4 maiden flight took place following several delays. The test flight was one of two planned demonstrations of the launcher.

    



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