Congratulations to the MCubed-2 team for the first successful image of Earth. Below, there is a fantastic, snow-covered picture of Lake Superior, the upper peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada. The deep freeze of the Midwest is clearly visible.
MC2 captured a snow covered Midwest today, her first photo downloaded from the mission.
Prof. Washabaugh, on seeing the picture, asked if the camera was black and white. We all laughed saying, “Nope, that’s just space and snow!”
This photo is for Kiko and that original MCubed-1 team. Here is your space selfie. We’ll work on some SoCal shots later.
Thanks to Ed Kudzia, BSAE ’75, for taking MXL patches global! Check out Ed putting up patches at the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company near Kennedy Space Center and another patch at the Mayflower Pub in Ottawa. Go Blue!
UMich alum, Ed Kudzia BSAE ’75, places an MCubed-1 patch at the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company.
MC1 @ the Mayflower Pub
MC1 @ the Mayflower Pub
We had a great visit with Dr. Michelle Larson, President and CEO of the Adler Planetarium. She is the guest speaker tonight at an event sponsored by SEDS, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Her talk titled “100 Years Looking Back-Looking Forward: Scientists and Citizen Scientists in Astronomy“ will be about the history and future of astronomy. We’re looking forward to discussing possible partnerships between the Adler and MXL on balloon and CubeSat missions to help create and invigorate citizen scientists and engineers.
Dr. Michelle Larson from The Adler Planetarium visits MXL. SEDS students, Andrea Day and Joshua Lipshaw, were her hosts.
MCubed-2 temperatures have been growing hotter. Internal temperatures are approaching 40C. We have reduced downlinks and payload operations to prevent over heating. The plot below explains why.
The illumination schedule for MCubed-2 using the Illum software from Mike Rupprecht.
MCubed-2 is in a season of full sun as the plot above shows. It was generated the Illum Software from Mike Rupprecht. We’ll start to see eclipse in a couple days, and in a few weeks, we will have good eclipses. This highlights an ironic tradeoff: when are fully illuminated and generating the most power, we have to reduce operations to stay cool. Thermal management is thus an extremely important part of satellite design.
This likely also explains the COVE execution error that is seen in the beacon data. The flight computer auto halted a COVE execution when temperatures elevated above 40C. As the satellite starts to cool down when eclipse returns, we will be able to run experiments without worry of temperature.
Here is a “great” shot of our command and control antenna used for MCubed-2 operations. Fortunately, the antenna cabling was repaired last week when it was just cold, and not cold and snowy. Despite the snow and cold, MCubed-2 check out is progressing. More details on that later.