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UKube-1 Set to Launch on July 8 from Kazakhstan


UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat, will head into space on Tuesday, July 8, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch time is 1558:28 UTC. The satellite is scheduled to deploy at 1832:42 UTC. UKube-1 will “host” FUNcube-2 — actually a set of FUNcube boards flying as a sub-system of the 3U UKube-1 CubeSat. The FUNcube project is aimed at supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives now underway in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. The target audience is primary and secondary school students.

Immediately after deployment and activation, UKube-1 is expected to start transmitting a CW beacon, followed by an AX25, 1k2 BPSK beacon. Both beacons will be on 145.840 MHz. The FUNcube-2 payload, with its telemetry downlink for educational outreach, is expected to be tested later.

FUNcube-2 will include a 400 mW inverting SSB/CW transponder (435.080-435.060 MHz up/145.930-145.950 MHz down), with a beacon on 145.915 MHz. The UKube-1 satellite, being built by Clyde Space in Glasgow, Scotland, would be the first satellite built in Scotland. When the FUNcube-2 subsystem is activated, 1.2 kB BPSK telemetry will be transmitted on 145.915 MHz. A new FUNcube-2 Dashboard user interface is set for release.

FUNcube-1 (AO-73), an educational 1U (10 × 10 × 10 cm) CubeSat with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics, and electronics, went into space last September. The FUNcube-3 was a transponder-only payload on the QB50 precursor CubeSat, QB50P1 (EO-79), which launched on June 19 from Russia. FUNcube-3 carries an inverting 400 mW SSB/CW transponder, with an uplink passband of 435.035-435.065 MHz (LSB) and a downlink passband of 145.935-145.965 MHz (USB).

The QB50p2 package carries a 435/145 MHz FM voice transponder as well as packet on 145.880 MHz, 1200bps BPSK and 145.840 MHz, 9600 bps FSK. The QB50 satellites will become active for radio amateurs after 6 months of testing.





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