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Student-Made Satellite Goes Into Orbit

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the all-i-did-in-college-was-play-video-games dept.

Space 77

College Student writes "A Satellite built by aerospace students from 23 university groups successfully took off from Plesetsk, in northern Russia. From the article: 'A Russian booster rocket successfully carried a satellite designed by students into a low Earth orbit yesterday for the European Space Agency under a programme intended to help to inspire and train future aerospace workers.'"

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77 comments

I HAVE A STUDENT-MADE SATELLITE SHOVED UP MY ASS!! (1)

GET THE FACTS! (850779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905228)

fp?

hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

comm3c (670264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905234)

What is the satalite going to be used for? FIRST POST!!!

Re:hmmm (1)

gaurzilla (665469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905255)

Reliability tests? Simple communications? My best guess is that it's a technology demo. But really, what is the science / learning that they're getting from it? Hope it's not just another piece of space junk floating about. But with 23 universities involved.. who uses the sat? how do they do the timesharing? how does it find use in classes? If they really wanted to teach people what goes into making a satellite then they could just have put the whole sat into a custom made simulator back on earth instead of actually putting it out in space. It would cost a lot less too!

Re:why is it going up? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905261)

"The washing machine-sized Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) Express spacecraft took off from the Plesetsk launch site in northern Russia"

Looks like we have a new measuring standard for use on Slashdot to replace VW Bug, or Library of Congress. Proper use of the standard will refer to how many "Washing Machines" an object going to, or coming from space is. 62Kg is the suggested weight in metric.

The satellite is designed to go into safe mode when a problem is encountered, and it has done this.
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/051028_sseti_ russiansat.html [space.com]

"ESA officials said the $121,185 (100,000 Euro) SSETI Express spacecraft entered a protective "safe mode" after accomplishing many of its initial objectives, including the deployment of three small, cube-shaped satellites built by universities in Germany, Japan and Norway."

Unfortunetly.... (5, Funny)

dduardo (592868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905241)

Some students made up some results and now the satellite is in the Pacific Ocean.

Re:Unfortunetly.... (0)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905298)

Fortunately, some students modded it for underwater research.

Re:Unfortunetly.... (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905384)

And the FBI is tracking its present location using the onboard satellite telephone.

It's no joke (2, Informative)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905312)

In the bit of undergraduate research that I've done, I've seen people forge data regularly out of laziness. Sometimes numbers were off from what was expected, but instead of redoing a run of the experiment, they just put in what they thought it should have been. The numbers are reasonable, but still, it's lying.

Anyone else have experience on this? I'm going to assume that graduate research is better with people who are more serious and care about what they do.

Re:It's no joke (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905667)

I made up my results for my A level Physics project on Bernoulli's effect.

I got a D which got me into University.

yay

Re:Unfortunetly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905368)

Oh - could somebody please inform NASA about this? They still are supporting us with TLEs for the satelite... ;-)

Re:Unfortunetly.... (3, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905563)

The satellite may well be in the Pacific Ocean. The ARRL [arrl.org] is reporting the satellite went silent.

The Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) Express satellite, sent into orbit from Russia October 27, has gone silent. "We have not heard anything from Express on UHF since last night when the telemetry seemed to indicate a very negative power budget," Graham Shirville, G3VZV, said on the AMSAT BB as he was departing Russia following the launch. "If it does not recover then it will be a sad end to a wonderful mission." Shirville said ground controllers were going to attempt a blind command of the satellite this weekend in an effort to revive the satellite, which carries an Amateur Radio package and three CubeSat picosatellites. The spacecraft had been transmitting AX.25 telemetry at 9k6 bps on 437.250 MHz. Shortly after this week's launch, Shirville had reported the satellite was in nominal mode, producing 9k6 data bursts every 18 seconds. Plans call for the satellite will be turned into a single-channel amateur FM voice Mode U/S transponder after the transmitter serves initial telemetry duty.

I was a bit worried... (2, Interesting)

Dh2000 (71834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905244)

The first announcement (few hours ago) was that the satellite failed to get a signal, and I had given it up for dead.

Good thing it was easily fixed.

Now... for the results, please.

Re:I was a bit worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905333)

The satellite was transmitting right after separation. The cubesta deployment went smothly, too.

Re:I was a bit worried... (1)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905651)

You know, I saw something that looked like a Bob's Big Boy in my telescope last night...I wonder if this is it?

Re:I was a bit worried... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913119)

The first announcement (few hours ago) was that the satellite failed to get a signal, and I had given it up for dead. Good thing it was easily fixed.

Now... for the results, please.

There won't be any real results - as there aren't any real experiments. This is a 'feel good' excercise, not a research program.

Did anyone else see (-1, Redundant)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905250)

Student SETI when they read the article? Kids looking for aliens?

"I launched a satellite..." is a hell of a way to start a term paper!

Re:Did anyone else see (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905525)

"I launched a satellite..." is a hell of a way to start a term paper!

Academic papers are meant to be written in the third person, so it would be "A satellite was launched..."
/pedantry

You should also... (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905630)

You should also avoid using the passive voice. Instead of "a satellite was launched", you should say "x team launched a satellite".

Sorry... so sorry... my poli sci professor beat this into my head and I can't help but correct! No offense!

Re:You should also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13921801)

Isn't it only in US that the passive voice is frowned upon, mostly because it's too complex for Americans to understand?

Re:Did anyone else see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905681)

More specifically, you write research papers in the passive voice, versus the active voice.

wow (-1)

clragon (923326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905256)

i wonder how much help the students recieved... i mean.. it's rocket science and some countries hasn't even done it yet.. now a bunch of russian students made their own? wow!

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905359)

I think it's European students, but yeah.

Cal Poly was part of the launch (4, Informative)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905270)

http://littonlab.atl.calpoly.edu/ [calpoly.edu]
The article was notibly short on details, so here is a link to one of the satellites in the launch. This was an impressive feat for the schools involved and much was learned from the process.

Re:Cal Poly was part of the launch (4, Informative)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905283)

http://sseti.gte.tuwien.ac.at/express/mop/ [tuwien.ac.at] This is the SSETI Express team home page.

Re:Cal Poly was part of the launch (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905597)

NO! Please DO NOT USE THIS ADDRESS!

please use: http://www.sseti.org/express [sseti.org]

The former address is an internal writing of the latter and *will* change during the next days as our servers are suffering from overload since three days...guess why ;-)

Re:Cal Poly was part of the launch (1)

rbinns (849119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905646)

Couple of friends of mine are on the Poly Cubesat project (I go there as well, but work across the street). Congrats to them.

Hmmm... (2, Interesting)

Svippy (876087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905276)

Guess it just proves that it's easier to get a satelite in orbit these days.

I mean, Denmark have two satelites in orbit ( I think ). Despite our current government is cutting down on it ( though they are saying they are not ), pfft, politicians.

Anyways, I hope their satelite stays in orbit for a bit longer than that last one. :

S-S-SETI? (5, Funny)

jettoki (894493) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905294)

Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) Express spacecraft...

In other news, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute has filed for damages under intergalactic copyright law, fearing that hostile alien intelligences may mistake the antics of college students for examples of actual human behavior; an error which would inevitably lead to the mercy-killing of our species.

Re:S-S-SETI? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13907048)

That would be "damages under intergalactic trademark law," you dolt!

Science lead... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905296)

As a kid I'd read a book about some high school students building model rockets. The final scene was one where they'd put a mouse (named "Maika" IIRC, in homage to Laika) into a rocket and brought it safely back to earth. There were books like "Encyclopedia Brown" and "Danny Dunn" -- many used science or education to solve problems.

On a recent trek through a local Monstrous Book Store, I saw a different group of childrens' books... They talked about tolerance, religion, Barbie, single motherhood, Care Bears, Barney, Bratz... but scant few with scientists as the hero.

In fact, I turn on the TV or rent a DVD, and scientists (and knowledge for that matter) has become the scapegoat for all the world's ills. Toxic spills create monsters. Scientists create doomsday machines. Researchers unleash deadly viruses. And some nice guy who doesn't have all that there book learnin' comes and rescues everyone.

Now I'm not saying that movies should not be entertaining -- I enjoyed The Matrix not for its pseudo-mysticism but because of the cool fight scenes -- but please please please have a good guy scientist who gets the girl (or a good gal scientist who gets the guy) at least once a decade.

Re:Science lead... (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905362)

Well, Half-Life's hero is a theoretical physicist. Go video games!

Re:Science lead... (0, Offtopic)

pin_gween (870994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905403)

please please please have a good guy scientist who gets the girl (or a good gal scientist who gets the guy) at least once a decade

How about The Nutty Professor [answers.com]
  that was 1996, so they have another year to meet the goal.
 
  Note I do not reference the sequel in 2000, I assumed you meant at least a decent "scientist gets the girl movie."

Re:Science lead... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905432)

a decent "scientist gets the girl movie."
In movie "The Saint", scientist IS girl!!!!

Re:Science lead... (1)

PGC (880972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905565)

Hey ... if you have knowledge, you naturally want to become an evil genius. Evil geniuses are cool !

Re:Science lead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905612)

Evil geniuses are cool !

IANALatinStudent, but... Geniuses? or Geneii? heck, maybe even Genieese...

Re:Science lead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905744)

good gal scientist who gets the guy

In my experience, good (cute) gal scientists who don't have a guy are usually interested in getting the girl themselves. I usually find this out after trying to "get" them, of course, which leads to some awkwardness. Then we go out girlwatching together and complain about the problems with dating girls together.

To get back on topic, cute gal scientists trying to get the girl has to be the topic of many recent movies. Sadly, these are not the sorts of movies that one can show to small children. Young men, however, might find them very inspirational.

Re:Science lead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905891)

I went to a talk on the life of Albert Einstein yesterday. The presenter was an obvious nerd and he was quick to remind of that Einstein used to pick up all the hot chicks in his science classes. I think science gals dig big brains.

Re:Science lead... (1)

a bebop a rebop (926924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13906057)

I thought Proof was very good (yes, that was a mathematician, but close enough)...

Remember Streisand's romps with the Professor...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13906625)


  What's the name of the movie(s) that had a bright, funny
  character (played by Barbara Streisand) meeting & romping
  with a geeky scientist - eg, at a conference - while his
  frumpy wife wobbled around the edges of the antics?

  I can't recall whether the romps lead to a partner-change...?

  Maybe movies like that should be revived & circulated, eg,
  over [safer] P2P networks... a bit like Fahrenheit 451's
  community of book readers arranged an alternative way
  to circulate books (each "becoming" their book, by
  memorizing it, so it could be passed on), at a time when
  the gov't of the day saw even the -possession- of books
  as a crime (at a time when sport ruled).

  Perhaps this is already happening...? (If so, where?)

Slash site for remote sensing (0, Offtopic)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905306)

Ok, this is a shameless plug, but still a useful one :-) For those interested in Remote Sensing, as this story is about, there is a new slashsite, called http://slashgisrs.org/ [slashgisrs.org] that targets the RS and GIS crowd. The site is about one month old. Cheers :-)

PLEASE stop repeating the same info twice (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905321)

...in the same blurb. This is driving me nuts! Three examples:

A Satellite built by aerospace students from 23 university groups successfully took off from Plesetsk, in northern Russia [...] A Russian booster rocket successfully carried a satellite designed by students.

Microsoft only patched one path to the vulnerable function, but they forgot to do proper research to identify all the paths. [...] The problem was that Microsoft didn't patch the vulnerable function; they just added some validation code before the call to the vulnerable function, but what Microsoft missed was that the vulnerable function can be reached from different paths and the validation code was added on just one of them

a mutated gene known as delta 32 found in Black Death survivor descendants, stops HIV in its tracks. [...] In 1996, research showed that delta 32 prevents HIV from entering human cells and infecting the body.

Something's gone horribly wrong (2, Informative)

freakcgi (871513) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905329)

It fell silent after failing to separate from its booster properly http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/051028_sseti_ russiansat.html [space.com]

Re:Something's gone horribly wrong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905507)

That's not right! You should read the linked story properly before posting - they are talking about one other s/c.

I was at the launch site and could hear SSETI Express on a radio during its first pass with my own ears. In addition, I'm in close contact with the mission operations center and can confirm that the satellite was not only transmitting but even that the whole launch, separation, safety-countdown, cubesat deplyoment, beacon transmission and the tracking and commanding of the S/C went smoothly and flawless.

Anyways, there were rumours that one of the other S/C didn't make it off the launcher. Those stories are unconfirmed - and the tracking of the space objects around the launcher adapter do not confirm the story either.

Best regards,
Sys_Joerg, SSETI Express System Engineering

Re:Something's gone horribly wrong (1)

b0lt (729408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905867)

Wrong. That's the russian one that was also on the rocket.

heard on campus (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905332)

Brad: "My gum is where???"
       

Not to rain on their parade, but... (3, Interesting)

Razor Sex (561796) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905342)

this isn't a first by any means. Here at the University of Arizona, this is pretty common. I have a friend helping to build one of the next Mars orbiters, and students were also involved in builidng Spirit and Opportunity.

Re:Not to rain on their parade, but... (3, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905361)

Yes, but they didn't design and build the thing themselves, they're effectively just technicians on the project. (Before you take offense, let me note that CU-Boulder builds a lot of instruments, too, and I had friends who worked on some of them. They're getting really good experience, but they're not responsible for the entire project.)

There are other cases of student-designed/built/operated spacecraft, though: SNOE (Student Nitrous-Oxide Explorer) comes to mind. But NASA is *not* going to risk a Mars mission on students, though. It's too expensive.

Re:Not to rain on their parade, but... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905964)

Actually, Cornell's CUSat [cornell.edu] is building their own satellite.

Re:Not to rain on their parade, but... (3, Insightful)

phliar (87116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905426)

this isn't a first by any means. ... I have a friend helping to build one of the next Mars orbiters, and students were also involved in builidng Spirit and Opportunity.
This is "a satellite designed by students". Seems to me there's a teeny difference between "helping to build" (or "involved in") and "designed by".

Six digit ID is nothing to be ashamed of (1)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905471)

Seems to me there's a teeny difference between "helping to build" (or "involved in") and "designed by".
Shock horror. Slashdot headline bears no resemblance to underlying story. Coming later: water is wet, claims study.

P.S. Why don't you use your own ID, instead of your dad's?

Yakov (1, Redundant)

Legendof_Pedro (900265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905354)

In Soviet Russia, rockets launch you!

Re:Yakov (1)

Rotund Prickpull (818980) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905483)

Has anyone (your mother, perhaps) told you that you were a waste of a perfectly good period?

Re:Yakov (1)

toolehmoo (921111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13906992)

*In Soviet Russia, rocket launches you! Is the correct, standardised syntax for this joke. My joke syndicates.

Hey NASA, why not do this? (2, Insightful)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905360)

I see a collaboration between several European nations and the European Space Agency to get student involvement in space technology.

What kind of opportunities do we have here in the US to do something similar? Is NASA putting together a student cooperative to put a satellite in space? Bill O'Reilly and friends said that we're the #1 superduperpower, but we aren't doing stuff like this. Why?

Re:Hey NASA, why not do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905410)


    You guys would be in my cool book again if you took the initiative and designed a rocket.... and put Bill O'Reilly and friends on it.

Re:Hey NASA, why not do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905427)

You can build a rocket and get a free trip to Guantanamo.

Re:Hey NASA, why not do this? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905461)

NASA does do things like this. I'm a sophmore electrical engineering student at Utah State University and I'm helping with USU entry in the 4th University Nanosatellite Competition http://ususat.usu.edu/ [usu.edu] . Selected universities design, build, and test small satellites and the most useful and best designed gets launched at the end.

Re:Hey NASA, why not do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13906533)

You might spend a few seconds Googling it before complaining; there are all sorts of programs like this in the US. NASA and the USAF hold competitions among universities, the winners' satellite being launched. My university (The University of Texas at Austin) won the USAF thing recently, and the satellite's going up pretty soon.

I know what it does.... (0)

rahultyagi (924414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905404)

transmit assignment master copies!!

Does this satelite actually work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905424)

Does this satelite actually work? It wont fall to pieces will it?

Sat/strat imagery? (2, Interesting)

danharan (714822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905434)

TFA mentions that one of the picosatellites will beam back pictures.

Anyone know what kind of resolution this thing has?

This has me wondering how expensive it would be to put one of these cams on a high-altitude balloon to get free-of-copyright basemap data. Not that I have the technical chops to do such a thing, but if this is possible is anyone going to do this soon, and will prices finally start falling?

Picosatellites (2, Informative)

halftrack (454203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905435)

One of those 'picosatellites' is the NCUBE-2 (cue bad la^Hgamer puns.) Sadly, at the moment it seems like it's a dead duck. HAMs can help listen for it, information on the NCUBE homepage [ncube.no] . The other satellites are reported to be communicating with ground stations.

Re:Picosatellites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13905521)

Another one is UWE-1 from the University of Wuerzburg.

UWE-1 is running cLinux and is currently in good health - transmitting a beacon every 60 seconds on 437.505 MHz.

It's callsign is DP0UWE.

http://www7.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/cubesat/ [uni-wuerzburg.de]

Last Rounds (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905464)

When my ashes are launched, I will become a circle of femtosatellites [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Last Rounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13906879)

Correction... a swarm of femtosatellites .

~AC

Student Build Satellites are Nothing New (3, Interesting)

sstickeler (786277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13905610)

Students have been building and launching satellites for some time. I worked on a purely student built satellite back in college in 1995 which was commissioned by Nasa: http://lasp.colorado.edu/snoe/overview.html [colorado.edu]

And into safe mode (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13906214)

So at least before the batteries died, the student satellite did better than the Russian satellite which didn't even separate from the rocket. From oil companies going bankrupt to rockets that don't work, Russians are having a harder time than they normally do.

Slow day at /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13906368)

Old news, last weeks' news. I read/heard all about this last week. (abc.net.au/newsradio). This is not the "breaking news" I come to /. for! (Oops, and there's something for all you GGs).

Fred.
 

that's nothing... (1)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 8 years ago | (#13906893)

I've set free hundereds of baloons beyond the clouds before I was 12 months old

Meanwhile, in the US... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13907360)

... students are learning all about "intelligent design"...

Forward Thinking... (1)

POds (241854) | more than 8 years ago | (#13908024)

wow *surprised*

(not a sarcastic post)

third time you run this article (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909353)

American university have been doing this for over a decade, yet this is the third slashdot thread touting this ESA project. Yawn.

Re:third time you run this article (1)

Lester67 (218549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13925572)

Given the topics I've had rejected, it must all be a matter of which mod catches your submission.

I don't know if the one that got through had anything to do with me using Firefox instead of IE to submit it. :-)

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