I’ve put a lot of time into the Look iOS app over the holidays, and I was thrilled to get a membership in AMSAT (the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) from Pammy as a Christmas present. And now I’m even more thrilled to learn about the AMSAT Fox Project. (And, for bonus points, AMSAT’s website is powered by WordPress, which the little company I work for has a hand or two or three in.)
The Fox Project is designed to encourage and inspire STEM education through the launch of low-cost small satellites into low earth orbit which can be contacted using relatively simple equipment on the ground. The first launch, Fox-1, is slated for later this year and I was happy to learn today that the payload of this tiny (10 cm cubed) spacecraft is being provided by my alma mater, Virginia Tech — it’s a small camera that will capture whatever the satellite can see and then transmit it back to earth via amateur radio. This is being done under the auspices of the NASA Educational Launch of Nano satellite (ELaNa) program. This is exactly the sort of thing we need to be doing to inspire students to literally “reach for the stars.”
I’m going to be following the Fox Project closely and will make sure that the Look iOS app makes it easy for educators and students to know when Fox Project spacecraft will be detectable from their location. I’ll also be tinkering with my not-yet-on-GitHub “Listen” SDR project to receive and decode the images Fox-1 transmits.
If you’d like to support the Fox project, join AMSAT, donate, or just spread the word. And… let’s go catch some foxes!