Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3E space frame into high-Earth orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an Amateur Radio satellite. During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on July 4, the membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3E space frame currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech for further construction, testing, and preparation for eventual launch into HEO, should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.
Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC, as the satellite’s initial operator.
Further developments and details will be announced as they become known.
This latest satellite project comes on the heels of another, unrelated effort with Virginia Tech ties that was announced earlier this year. AMSAT-NA said in April that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite planned for launch in 2017. AMSAT said it had accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology is a partner in the geosynchronous Amateur Radio satellite project. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service