[amsat-bb] Coverage of the FOTON M3 launch tomorrow
g.shirville at btinternet.com
Thu Sep 13 06:17:40 PDT 2007
The launch of the Foton M3 tomorrow by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur will be
carried live on the internet by this site:
The ESA website has these details of this mission:
An unmanned Foton-M3 capsule, carrying a payload of around 40 European
experiments, will launch onboard a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome,
Kazakhstan, at 13:00 CEST (11:00 UT) this Friday.
The Foton capsule carries a 400 kg European experiment payload with
experiments in a range of scientific disciplines - including fluid physics,
biology, crystal growth, radiation exposure and exobiology.
The capsule spends 12 days orbiting the Earth, exposing the experiments to
microgravity and, in the case of a handful of experiments also exposing them
to the harsh environment of open space, before re-entering the atmosphere
and landing in the border zone between Russia and Kazakhstan.
During the flight the European experiments and equipment are monitored by
ESA’s Operations Team at the Payload Operations Centre based at Esrange near
Kiruna, Sweden. They are responsible for receiving, evaluating and
disseminating scientific data generated by European payloads on Foton. The
team also receive support from two ground stations in Canada.
Later in the mission, students from all over Europe will wait with bated
breath for the moment when their Young Engineers Experiment (YES2) is
deployed from the Foton capsule. On 25 September, a small re-entry capsule
will be released from the end of a 30 kilometre tether to demonstrate the
possibility of returning small payloads to Earth at a fraction of the cost
of current methods.
Some 450 students have contributed to the experiment which, if successful,
will be the first proof that 'space mail' can be sent using a relatively
simple and cheap mechanism. Simple and cheap enough for example to send
experiments from the International Space Station down to scientists on Earth
For those in Europe coverage is also available direct by satellite
Eutelsat W2 at 16 deg East, Transponder F6, vertical, (SCPC, 4:2:0)
F=12676.83 MHz, SR = 5.632 Ms/s, FEC = 3/4
It is not clear when these transmissions actually will start but the have
30 mins of background material ready so maybe all of that will be before the
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