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ASUSat (AO 37, OSCAR 37)

ASUSat 1 [ASU]

ASUSat 1 (Arizona State University Satellite) is a 6-kilogram-class satellite designed, fabricated, tested, and tracked by the students at ASU to perform meaningful science in space. The satellite was designed to be placed in low Earth orbit for low-cost Earth imagery, experimental verification of composite-material models, technology demonstration of low-cost student-designed systems, boards, and sensors, and provision of an audio transponder for amateur radio (AMSAT) operators. This project was begun in October 1993 and launched on 26 January 2000 at 19:03 PST to a 750 km × 800 km, 100 degrees inclination orbit on the first Air Force Minotaur Launch Vehicle. The team delivered the final flight hardware to Weber State on 13 May 1999, for final integration with the other payloads on the JAWSAT structure on 23 June 1999.

Following the successful liftoff of the Minotaur at 2000-01-27 03:03:06 UTC, the 12.9-pound nanosatellite ASUSat1 was the first of five payloads to be deployed. The Air Force requested that each of the payloads immediately inform them of initial signal acquisition, to confirm successful deployment from the fourth stage. Approximately 50 minutes after launch, ASUSat1 was the first payload to be heard when an amateur radio operator in South Africa heard two beacons on its frequency. This reception matched the expected transmission pattern of ASUSat1. The contact confirmed that it had been successfully deployed from the rocket and that the satellite was functioning on orbit.

The last report received from ASUSat 1 was by the SunSat Team at fourteen hours into the mission. This reception included a telemetry frame that confirmed that the satellite did indeed have a critical problem in the power system. Unfortunately, this problem prevented the solar arrays from supplying power. Predicted lifetime of the satellite on battery power alone was estimated to be fifteen hours.

Even though the mission was brief, telemetry from ASUSat 1 indeed indicated that the majority of the student-designed satellite components operated as designed:

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: Arizona State University
Contractors: Arizona State University
Equipment: ?
Configuration: Cylinder
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 6 kg
Orbit: 754 km × 809 km, 100.2
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
ASUSat 1 (AO 37, OSCAR 37) 2000-004E 26.01.2000 Va CLF Minotaur-1 with JAWSAT, FalconSat 1, OCSE, OPAL, MEMS 1A, MEMS 1B, STENSAT, JAK, Thelma, Louise