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The DESPATCH (Deep Space Amateur Troubadour’s Challenge) space probe was an art project of the Tama Art University. It is the second mission of the "ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project".

The sculpture, which is 50 by 50 by 45 cm with a mass of 32 kg, was developed at the Tama Art University using a 3D Printer. The containment vessel carried a CW beacon in the 435 MHz band using an omni-directional antenna. The satellite should provide the ultimate in ham radio DX reception when at its maximum operational distance of 3 million km from Earth about a week after launch. Being battery powered without solar panels it had a low transmit cycle to maximize the lifespan.

The ARTSAT2 Deep Space sculpture “DESPATCH” was launched 2 December 2014 on a H-2A-202 rocket with the asteroid explorer Hayabusa 2 as the main payload and two more secondary payloads.

After launch, DESPATCH got the additional designation Fuji OSCAR 81 (FO 81).

DESPATCH operated successfully. On 7 December 2014, the signal was received from a distance of more than 2.000.000 km. The last signal was received in January 2015 from a distance of about 4.700.000 km.

Nation: Japan
Type / Application: Art, amateur communications
Operator: ARTSAT project, Tama Art University
Contractors: ARTSAT project, Tama Art University
Equipment: CW beacon
Propulsion: None
Power: Batteries
Lifetime: ~ 7 days
Mass: 32 kg
Orbit: Solar orbit
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
DESPATCH (ARTSAT 2, FO 81, Fuji-OSCAR 81) 2014-076C 03.12.2014 Ta YLP-1 H-2A-202 with Hayabusa 2, PROCYON, Shin'en 2


Further ARTSAT missions: