NASA have released photographs of the amateur radio CubeSats TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1 taken by an Expedition 33 crew member on the International Space Station (ISS).
Radio amateurs around the world have been listening for signals from the four new amateur radio CubeSats that were deployed from the ISS on Thursday, October 4.
The small satellites were transported to the ISS in the HTV-3 (Kounotori 3) cargo vessel that blasted off on an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center on Saturday, July 21 at 0206 UT.
The cargo vessel arrived at the ISS on July 27 and the ISS Canadarm2 robotic arm was used to install the HTV-3 to its docking port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module at 1434 UT. The CubeSats were then unloaded by the Expedition 32 crew.
The CubeSats were mounted in a JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD). In one pod were TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1 while in the second pod were WE-WISH and a scientific CubeSat RAIKO.
Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI put the J-SSOD into an airlock, which was depressurised and exposed to the vacuum of space via an automatic door. The Kibo robotic arm was then be used to grapple the J-SSOD in the airlock and move it out away from the station so the satellites could be deployed.
WE-WISH and RAIKO were first to deploy at 1437 followed by TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1 at 1544 GMT. They could have a life-time of 4 or 5 months before they burn-up in the Earth’s atmosphere.