ARISSat-1 to be deployed by cosmonauts

The ARISSat-1, also known as Radioskaf-V, will be deployed by two Russian cosmonauts in a Wednesday, February 16, 2011 spacewalk at the orbiting International Space Station to the delight of hundreds of amateur ham radio operators.

Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to float outside the Pirs airlock at 8:15 a.m. EST Wednesday to begin the five-and-a-half-hour excursion wearing Russian Orlan-MK spacesuits. Among their many tasks will be to launch into space the ARISSat-1.

ARISSat-1is the first of a series of educational satellites being developed in a partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), the NASA Office of Education ISS National Lab Project, the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) working group and RSC-Energia. The satellite was rocketed to orbit January 28, 2011 aboard Progress-41.

ARISSat satellites can carry up to five student experiments and the data from these experiments will be transmitted to the ground via an amateur radio link. In addition, ARISSat will transmit still-frame video Earth views from four onboard cameras, commemorative greetings in native languages from students around the world, and a Morse code tracking beacon [Twitter].

ARISSat also will function as a worldwide space communications utility for use by amateur radio operators. ARISSat-1 is expected to enter the Earth’s atmosphere within three to six months after its deployment.


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