ARISSat-1 Satellite Launched

A satellite with amateur radio capabilities and a student-designed experiment was released into orbit around Earth on Aug. 3, 2011, during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The satellite is transmitting signals containing information that students around the world can access.

ARISSat-1, which stands for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Satellite-1, contains a student-designed experiment and other equipment that students can use to learn more about space and space exploration. The rectangular spacecraft is covered by six solar panels that will charge the batteries in the satellite for about six months as it orbits Earth. Spoken telemetry values, with data such as temperature and battery life, are intended to promote science and mathematics education by encouraging school children to listen to the satellite, track its progress and plot the changes.

The project website provides free downloadable software that can be used to decode the data. In addition to data, the satellite will transmit 24 pre-recorded greetings in 15 different languages — French, Spanish, German, English and Chinese, to name a few.

Check out the ARISSat-1 website at http://arissat1.org/ for information on data transmissions, contests and student activities.

Questions about ARISSat-1 should be directed to teachers@arissat1.org.

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