PROVIDENCE, RI, 07/17/18 — Brown Space Engineering (BSE), a team of Brown University undergraduate students, is very excited to announce the successful deployment of our first satellite, EQUiSat. EQUiSat was launched to the International Space Station as cargo in resupply mission OA-9 on May 21st. On July 13th, the astronauts aboard the space station mounted it and 8 other CubeSats on the robotic arm attached to Japan’s Kibo module. EQUiSat was deployed at 10:20 EDT that day and heard from a couple hours later by our ground station at Sapienza University of Rome. Since then, we have been closely monitoring its reports. All systems are nominal, and EQUiSat should start flashing as soon as its batteries are fully charged! Anyone can track it using our tracking website, http://equisat.brownspace.org, Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.brownspace.equisat, or iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/equisat/id1413644444?ls=1&mt=8.
EQUiSat’s primary mission is to flash in the night’s sky. To the naked eye, it is about as bright as the North Star – almost anyone north of the equator should be able to see it! This gif taken during testing shows just how bright the LEDs are:
To flash this brightly, it uses four industrial LEDs powered by experimental LiFePO4 (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries that have never flown in space before. Now that it’s in space EQUiSat will turn on its LEDs for a tenth of a second and then wait one second, three times in a row, once a minute. More information about viewing EQUiSat is available at https://brownspace.org/viewing-equisat/.
This announcement validates nearly eight years of hard work by Brown undergraduate students in the design, development, manufacturing, and testing of EQUiSat, our 1U, 1.3kg CubeSat. Our mission is to help make space more accessible to people of all backgrounds by developing low-cost, open source systems that will enable people to interact with the skies above them in a completely new way. In total, EQUiSat’s parts only cost $3,776.61 – this means that EQUiSat is one of the cheapest CubeSats ever made. In the coming weeks and months, we’re excited to use EQUiSat to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts and gather information about the viability of LiFePO4 batteries in space.
BSE Media Kit Download – Pictures from space are provided by NASA and NanoRacks
About Brown Space Engineering
Formerly known as the Brown CubeSat team, Brown Space Engineering has around 75 members and has been working on the development of EQUiSat for the past eight years. After originally coming up with a concept for EQUiSat during a course on Space Systems Design, the team applied and received a free launch with NASA. We’ve held workshops and information sessions at a number of local Providence schools and on Brown’s campus. We’ve also launched and recovered two balloons from the edge of space, with the first 360˚ cameras to reach such heights.
If you are interested in helping support our mission to make space accessible for the masses, you can learn how to donate to our ongoing fundraising campaign here.