To launch our first student designed and built "ThinSAT" ....in alliance with:
• our partner design/build team PhyXTGears Robotics (the local high school robotics team), and
• our ThinSAT launch partner Near Space Launch!
• We launched and the Taylor University and PhyXTGears Robotics ThinSATs were inserted into ELEO orbit on April 17th, 2019, by the Anteres rocket, from the Wallops Flight Facility's, Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS).
• This was the 2nd largest constellation of satellites in a single launch, ever.
• There were 61 ThinSATs onboard the Second Stage of the Anteres ISS replenishment mission, NG-11 (see video link that follows).
• Presentation: Taylor University & PhyXTGears Robotics ThinSATs Project Recap
• ThinSAT Info, from 04-17-2019 Launch Briefing: including CubeSAT and ThinSAT co-inventor Bob Twiggs.
• Rocket launch video: Northrop Grumman Anteres 230 Rocket Launch, with CRS-11 Cygnus spacecraft, and 61 "ThinSATs
• Direct links to "ThinSAT info:
• full launch video
• various NG-11 Mission videos.
If you choose to accept!? ......we have an Astrophotography Mission for you, that we're calling "FUN OF THE FIND".
We designed in a little hidden message into our ThinSAT using two very bright LED's, which are blinking Morse Code(1). Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to point your telescope into the sky and seek out our ThinSAT, and track it for a while, to try and decode the message. Then, record your progress here:
FUN OF THE FIND: GOOGLE FORM: form
The link immediately above is to our "FUN OF THE FIND" mission Google Form, where you will track your progress!
On the form you will note options to check-in as a person that is:
• 1) "looking" for our Constellation of ThinSATs, using the TLE below,
• 2) has actually seen the constellation and hopefully gotten a picture,
• 3) and finally, for those that were able to watch and/or video tape our Taylor ThinSAT specifically, and decode the Morse Code message that is repeating on a regular basis.
The hope is that one of in the Astrophotography community (astronomy community on the forums) figures out how to track our satellites! The TLE is for the constellation of ~60 Satellites, which should all be orbiting in a general area of the sky, together, as they move along. They may spread apart some; but, we don't expect them to separate considerably, before they decay out of orbit and begin re-entry and burn-up in the atmosphere. Someone may capture the moment of rentry as well, if they are video taping, with a tracking telescope, at the time that the constellation re-enters Earth's atmosphere!!!! That would be an awesome picture as well!
If you get pictures of the constellation, please post at our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaylorCSE/ !
We are going to try and grab the data from the Goolge Form and map the LAT and LON of each person that participates, and put a spinning globe back on this webpage, with each of those "pins" turned on, showing where all of us live, that are participating! So, do consider joining the fun by entering your LAT and LON into the Google Form, linked above!
TLE (to get your telescope to track our ThinSAT)!
Here is a simulated picture of what the NG-11 Mission's Constellation of ThinSATs, and what they should look like, right now in orbit:
Footnote: 1) Our ThinSAT operates in a rhythym, while orbiting; because, it has to take time to recharge its batteries every periodic amount of time. Part of our flight mission is to experiment and see how long the satellite remains on during each orbit. Before launch, we were told that it might be on for ten minutes then off for 50. But, we will probably experience more "on time" than this, in each cycle.
We will try to update this page, in this section, once we begin to get enough data to understand how each orbit is impacting our ThinSAT. We're simply pointing this out, to help you understand that our blinking ThinSAT will sometimes NOT be blinking. So, keep looking! :-)
And, in the mean time, do try and see if you can get pictures of the Constellation of ThinSATs - that would be incredible!