By Charles Nokes

The Ex-Alta 1 cube satellite built by the University of Alberta’s AlbertaSat team was successfully deployed into low Earth orbit at 2:55:00 am mountain time from the International Space Station.  Team members watched a live stream of the deployment via webex, thanks to NASA and Nanoracks.



15 minutes later the team went outside and watched as the ISS transited across the night sky, a bright star floating by (caused by sunlight reflected off the station’s solar panels), knowing that nearby Ex-Alta 1 was tumbling away on its journey to space.

A few hours later, as Ex-Alta 1 passed over South Korea and Japan, radio operators there recorded the first few beacons from Ex-Alta 1!  This signalled the successful startup of the satellite, successful deployment of the antennas, and successful startup of the spacecraft subsystems!



The AlbertaSat team will be waiting at 23:04:00 mountain time for Ex-Alta 1 to pass over Edmonton and so the team can finally hear this wonderful little satellite for themselves!

Information about the satellite system status can be found on this page:

The next steps will involve beginning the commissioning of the satellite in preparation for science operations.

Supporting the Canadian Space Industry

Do you think Canada should play more of a role in the global space sector? Our industry is lagging behind the rest of the world, despite the many companies, universities, and research initiatives focused on space here in Canada. Check out this petition to the government of Canada to redevelop a modern space strategy in our country: