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Would you like to have your own spacecraft? Kickstart the personal space age by helping launch tiny spacecraft into low Earth orbit. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on December 3, 2011.

Would you like to have your own spacecraft? Kickstart the personal space age by helping launch tiny spacecraft into low Earth orbit.

Launch Update

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Hi Everyone,

We're almost there! The launch is on for this coming Sunday, March 16 at 4:41 AM Eastern time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch the launch live on NASA TV, which will also be streaming online on Ustream. I'll be on for an interview some time between 3:15 and 4:45. If you can't stay up or wake up for that, it will be archived so that you can watch it later.

Here's a rough sequence of events:

  • Falcon 9 launch (4:41 AM)
  • Falcon 9 upper stage separation (4:44 AM)
  • Dragon capsule separation (4:51 AM)
  • KickSat deployment from Falcon 9 upper stage (4:57 AM)
  • KickSat powers on and begins transmitting telemetry (5:47 AM)
  • Sprite deployment (4:57 AM on April 1st)

The Sprites will be deployed by a timer exactly 16 days after KickSat is deployed from the launch vehicle. The timing was arranged with NASA to avoid interference with ISS operations.

Once KickSat turns on its radio, you should be able to pick it up with very basic Ham radio gear. It will be transmitting telemetry packets in AX.25 format on 437.505 MHz with 1200 baud AFSK modulation. I'll post KickSat's orbital elements here and on the project wiki, which will also have more information on setting up a receiving station. As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thanks for your support!

- Zac

Michael Styne, Ben Bishop, and 4 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Zachary Manchester on March 13, 2014

      Hi Rick,
      They'll definitely separate somewhat, but we won't have individual TLEs for each one. You'll be pointing at the blob.
      - Zac

    2. Creator Rick Mann on March 12, 2014

      Zach, how much will the sprites separate before they decay? Will we be pointing at a blob of them, or will they each have different elements?

    3. Creator Rick Mann on March 12, 2014

      You can also follow along with the launch using the iOS app MissionClock (http://itunes.com/apps/MissionClock). The events Zach just listed will be updated shortly.