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Happy holidays -- telecon **next** week (Thursday Jan. 5, 2023) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all!

Very happy holidays!!! -- as we decided in the telecon 2 weeks ago with Arnold at NRC and Liviu at Sherbrooke, we'll have our next telecon next week, on Thursday, Jan. 5 of the new year (at the usual 5 pm Eastern time).

There is very exciting news from this morning! -- ORCASat was successfully deployed out of the International Space Station at 1345 UTC today (Dec. 29, 2022)!!! The deployment can be seen at exactly 33 seconds into the screen capture video file:
and also at 2:23:07 at the Youtube recording of the Nanoracks livestream:
! Don't blink or you'll miss it! wink -- the cubesats (ORCASat, along with LORIS -- an Earth-imaging cubesat made in Nova Scotia) are only visible for about a second as they fly out into space. (Nanoracks cubesat ejection speed apparently varies from 1.1 -- 1.7 m/s relative to the ISS orbital speed -- ours might have been toward the upper end of that range -- and is at a 45 degree angle between ISS aft (retrograde) and ISS nadir. We'll have better orbital TLEs very soon. It appears as if ORCASat and LORIS are one single long cubesat during the ejection, but if you look carefully, you can see that they are two -- and they indeed start to separate toward the very edge of the frame.) The deployment was over the tropical Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean, when the ISS was at its approximately 400 km altitude LEO orbit over a very approximate location of 17deg N, 55deg W, and was toward a southeasterly heading.

Alex Doknjas and the students then successfully contacted ORCASat by radio from the UVic campus a couple hours after deployment, at ORCASat's very first overpass over Victoria -- everything looks very good so far!!! Commissioning will begin tomorrow morning, and initiation of operation of the payload optical light source should be able to begin in about 3 weeks from now. First optical ground observations (with the Blanco 4m on Cerro Tololo in Chile) are planned for near the end of January (and updates will be forthcoming!).

Again, very happy holidays, and have a wonderful New Year, everyone!!!!!

-- Justin Albert - 2022-12-30

Title Happy holidays!!! -- telecon **next** week (Thursday Jan. 5, 2023) @ 5 pm Eastern time
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Topic revision: r1 - 2022-12-30 - JustinAlbert
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