#10. FUNcube

Last edited on 2023-04-21 Tagged under  #space 

Here are this week's 3 links plus a book worth exploring:

  1. FUNcube is a UK amateur radio satellite (CubeSat) approaching its tenth anniversary in Earth orbit. Its mission is educate about radio, space, physics, and electronics. This article explores the design of the space segment software for the spacecraft. "If you think it's done test it again": https://dev.to/phlash/space-the-final-deployment-1if1

  2. A portable homemade tricorder that can detect Starlink satellites. The project features a boxed up Raspberry Pi with multiple sensors, including a USB dongle computer based radio scanner (RTL-SDR): https://youtu.be/5cwEkhFdXGw

  3. French-German startup The Exploration Company is building the first European space capsule to be privately funded. Their modular spacecraft, called Nyx, is being designed to carry cargo and ultimately humans, be reusable and capable of being refuelled in orbit, and "launcher agnostic" meaning it won't be tied to using any single rocket vehicle. It will open source its operating system, and a demo flight to Earth orbit is planned for 2024: https://www.exploration.space/nyx

Book of the Week: Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX by Eric Berger — Before Starship, before Starlink, before the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 and the reality of reusable rockets, there was the Falcon 1. This is a wonderful, deep-dive into the development of SpaceX's first rocket, the three failed attempts to reach orbit, and the fourth successful flight that rescued the company from impending bankruptcy to become today's leading space launch power.

Quote of the Week: "One of the hardest engineering problems known to man is making a reusable orbital rocket. Nobody has succeeded. For a good reason. Our gravity is a bit heavy. On Mars this would be no problem. Moon, piece of cake. On Earth, fucking hard. Just barely possible. It’s stupidly difficult to have a fully reusable orbital system. It would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of humanity. That’s why it’s hard. Why does this hurt my brain? It’s because of that. Really, we’re just a bunch of monkeys. How did we even get this far? It beats me. We were swinging through the trees, eating bananas not long ago." — Elon Musk, quoted by Eric Berger in Liftoff


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