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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS005 (2006)

ARLS005 Massive CubeSat launch fails

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 005  ARLS005
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  July 27, 2006
To all radio amateurs

ARLS005 Massive CubeSat launch fails

An attempt to launch 15 CubeSats from 11 universities and one
private company failed July 26. Fourteen of the CubeSats, now lost,
carried Amateur Radio transmit-only payloads.

The Dnepr-1LV rocket lifted off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan at 1943 UTC on July 26. Space Launch Report cites payload
users as reporting that the mission went awry sometime after
first-stage separation. An Interfax, report said an emergency
shutdown of the rocket's main engine initiated 86 seconds after
launch, shortly before the first stage would have completed its
burn. reported the vehicle fell to Earth almost 190 km
from the launch site.

Originally set for June 28, the launch had been postponed until July
26. The CubeSat project was a collaboration between California
Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and Stanford
University's Space Systems Development Laboratory. All of the
CubeSats were designed and built by students at various universities
in the US and elsewhere in the world.

Thirteen of the satellites were to have downlinks in the Amateur
Radio satellite allocation between 435 and 438 MHz, and one was to
operate on 145.980 MHz. None of the spacecraft carried a
transponder. Transmitter power outputs ranged from 10 mW to 2 W.

According to Satellite Launch Report, the original Dnepr launcher
was replaced by a different one in June after a problem was detected
in the original vehicle's digital flight control system. The Dnepr
vehicle is a repurposed SS-18 "Satan" three-stage intercontinental
ballistic missile.


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