CubeSat VIOLET on way to International Space Station

Submitted by admin on Sun, 2024/03/17 - 10:42

CubeSat VIOLET was launched from Kennedy Space Centre on Thursday, March 21, and will make final approach and docking with the ISS on Saturday morning around 6:30.   Check back here for a link to the live NASA coverage of the docking when it becomes available.

Missed seeing the launch and the return and landing of the first stage?  You can watch a replay at the NASA YouTube link below.

CubeSat NB is a first-of-its-kind partnership among the New Brunswick Community College, the Université de Moncton and the University of New Brunswick. Our goal is to educate students as we design, build and test New Brunswick's first cube satellite, a CubeSat. Our CubeSat is named VIOLET, after the purple violet, New Brunswick's flower.  CubeSat VIOLET was delivered to NanoRacks LLC at John H. Chapman Space Centre, the Canadian Space Agency headquarters, November 28, 2023. Deployment into space would be in April or May, 2024. VIOLET's mission is to study the upper atmosphere and space weather.

Dr. Brent Petersen (VE9EX, VE9UNB VE9VLT VE9CNB) of the Electrical Engineering Department at UNB explained how the the word, "launch" differs from "deployed", and "first contact".  "The word 'launch' means VIOLET will go on a rocket from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station (ISS) along with supplies such as food for astronauts."

Later, perhaps as early as April, or as late as May, VIOLET is planned to be "deployed" from the ISS into space. This will put VIOLET in orbit.  There will be three satellites deployed at the same time. The first one out of the deployer would be Killick-1 from Memorial University/C-CORE. The second one into space would be QMSat from the University of Sherbrooke. The third one out would be VIOLET. Of the 14 CubeSats planned for launch into space from the Canadian CubeSat Project, VIOLET will be the last one deployed into space.

Similar to the manner in which the launch was live streamed, it is expected that there will be a live stream feed for when the CubeSats are deployed, but the link is not yet determined.

Brent Petersen VE9EX

Dr. Brent Petersen VE9EX

"Within a few minutes to a few hours of VIOLET being deployed, we will attempt to make our first radio contact with VIOLET. We have to make radio contact by sending a radio transmission to VIOLET when it is near UNB. We hope VIOLET will answer our radio transmission," said Dr. Petersen.

Regarding the orbit, as VIOLET would be deployed from the ISS, it starts its orbit from the same altitude as the ISS, around 400 km above the surface of the Earth. After approximately three months to six months, the orbit of VIOLET could be as low as 250 km above the surface of the Earth where VIOLET is entering the upper atmosphere. Since VIOLET has a mass of only 2 kilograms, it will burn up completely.

For more information about VIOLET, including modes and frequencies to listen for, visit the site: https://www.unb.ca/initiatives/cubesat/index.html

Watch a replay of the launch here:

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