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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS004 (2019)

ARLS004 LightSail 2 Launches, Will Transmit CW Beacon

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 004  ARLS004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  June 27, 2019
To all radio amateurs

ARLS004 LightSail 2 Launches, Will Transmit CW Beacon

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 CubeSat, launched on June 25,
will transmit Morse code from space. LightSail is a citizen-funded
project to send a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight,
into Earth's orbit. The innovative satellite is due to be deployed
on July 2 from Prox-1, a Georgia Tech student-built spacecraft the
size of a small washing machine. Once deployed, LightSail 2 will
automatically transmit a beacon packet every few seconds, which can
be decoded into 238 lines of text telemetry describing the
spacecraft's health and status, including everything from battery
status to solar sail deployment motor state. Every 45 seconds, the
spacecraft will transmit "LS2" on the spacecraft's frequency of
437.025 MHz, within the Amateur Radio 70-centimeter band.

Further details can be found online at, .

LightSail 2 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carried
by the SpaceX triple-booster Falcon Heavy rocket. The launcher also
carried aloft two dozen spacecraft for the US Air Force STP-2
mission. Launch had been set to occur late on June 24, but SpaceX
delayed the liftoff to make additional ground system checks.

"During its ride to orbit, LightSail 2 was tucked safely inside its
Prox-1 carrier spacecraft," The Planetary Society said post-launch.
"The Falcon Heavy upper stage's payload stack released Prox-1 about
an hour and 20 minutes after liftoff, at an altitude of roughly 720
kilometers (446 miles). Prox-1 will house LightSail 2 for one week,
allowing time for other vehicles released into the same orbit to
drift apart so each can be identified individually."

Bruce Betts, Planetary Society chief scientist and LightSail 2
program manager, said, "After years of hard work, we are ecstatic
with the launch and looking forward to doing some solar sailing."
Some 500 Planetary Society members and supporters were on hand at
the Kennedy Space Center Apollo-Saturn V Center to watch their
crowdfunded spacecraft take flight.

LightSail 2 team members will soon converge at Cal Poly San Luis
Obispo in California, where the spacecraft's mission control is
located. Once LightSail 2 is released from Prox-1, the team will
spend several days checking out its systems before commanding its
dual-sided solar panels to deploy. Following that, the spacecraft's
solar sails will be deployed in approximately 2 weeks.

Two US Naval Academy student-built satellites carrying Amateur Radio
payloads were on the launch. BRICSat-2 (call sign USNAP1) will
function as a 1.2/9.6 k APRS digipeater on 145.825 MHz. Telemetry
will be transmitted on 437.975 MHz. PSAT-2 also will operate on
145.825 MHz with APRS to voice and DTMF to voice/APRS, and it will
carry a 28.120 MHz up/435.350 MHz down PSK31 transponder. An SSTV
camera will transmit on the same downlink.


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