Better than dreaming

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrived at the International Space Station last Saturday with Soyuz spacecraft commander Oleg Novitsky and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. This picture is the first he posted on social media, with the comment: “The International Space Station is amazing: better than in my best dreams. I wish everybody could get the chance to come up here!”

The image was taken in the Space Station’s Cupola observatory, one of ESA’s contributions to the orbital outpost. Built in Italy, the module features seven windows that are quadruple-glazed and shutters that can be closed for protection.

Although Thomas is only at the start of his six-month Proxima mission, he has already helped Station commander Shane Kimborough to monitor the robotic arm unberthing the Cygnus supply vessel – the golden panels in the background of this picture are on that craft.

Cupola is used to monitor spacecraft arrivals and departures and to operate the 16 m-long arm. It also offers breathtaking views of our planet.

Follow Thomas and his mission via thomaspesquet.esa.int

Click here to visit Original posting

FUNcube-1 / AO73 celebrates 3 years in space

FUNcube Team Monitor Launch

FUNcube Team Monitor Launch

Monday, November 21, 2016, marked the third birthday in space for the 985 gram spacecraft FUNcube-1 / AO73.

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 was launched at 07:10 UT on November 21, 2013 and its first signals were received immediately after deployment over the Indian Ocean by amateurs in South Africa. Since then it has been operating continuously in either its education mode or, with the transponder active, in amateur mode when in eclipse and at weekends.

The FUNcube team are very grateful to everyone who has been contributing their telemetry records to the Data Warehouse and also to those who are using FUNcube-1 for educational outreach to schools and colleges around the world. This important part of our mission is intended to encourage young people to develop an interest and passion in all STEM subjects for their future.

FUNcube-1 Launch Day Mug

FUNcube-1 Launch Day Mug

The spacecraft is operating nominally – the telemetry indicates that all the sub-systems are fine. The battery voltages, solar panel charge currents and on board temperatures are virtually unchanged since launch.

In addition to FUNcube-1, there are now similar FUNcube transponders operating in low earth orbit on the UKube-1 and EO79/QB50p1 CubeSats.

The team has recently contributed to the development of Nayif-1, which is presently awaiting launch, and is currently working on a number of further CubeSat and microsat projects.

Happy Birthday AO73!

Get your 73 on 73 Award, details at https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-website/

FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

Click here to visit Original posting