September 17, 2021

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

The first test flight of Firefly Aerospace???s Alpha launch vehicle ended in a fiery explosion Thursday Sept 2,2021.. The rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 6:59 p.m. PDT (9:59 p.m. EDT; 0159 GMT.Thursday at Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Photo by Gene Blevins/LA DailyNews/SCNG)

Via the ARRL: GENESIS Ham Satellites among Payloads Lost in Launch Failure

The GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N ham radio satellites were among several carrying amateur radio payloads lost following the failure of the Firefly Alpha rocket during its first launch on September 2 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. An anomaly occurred about 2 minutes into the mission, causing controllers to destroy the launcher in flight. The anomaly has yet to be explained.

This was sad news for AMSAT-EA (Spain), as GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were the first satellites they had built themselves.

According to the AMSAT-EA website, the GENESIS satellites were destroyed after the Firefly Alpha vehicle presented an anomaly as it hit a velocity of Mach 1 and reached Max Q, a point of maximum aerodynamic pressure on the vehicle. The launch had been halted a few seconds before takeoff, but the countdown was subsequently resumed.

GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were to conduct a series of telecommunications-related experiments, while a ground-station analysis of the received signals would try to attain Doppler variations in order to perform orbit determination and satellite identification from radio amateur stations around the world.

Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources