Project Status Overview

AMSAT Fox-1 Project Status

In orbit, now end of mission

RadFxSat / Fox-1B
In orbit, operational

In orbit, operational

In orbit, see Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 Commissioning Status

Scheduled for launch on the ELaNa XX mission on Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne, NET 2Q 2020.

AMSAT GOLF Project Status

In October 2017, AMSAT announced the GOLF, or “Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint,” program. NASA announced the selection of the first two satellites in the series, GOLF-TEE and GOLF-1, for participation in the CubeSat Launch Initiaitve on March 2, 2018. Both will be 3U CubeSats in Low Earth Orbit. GOLF-TEE provides AMSAT hardware and knowledge for Attitude Determination and Control (ADAC) capability and the opportunity to develop a 3U spaceframe with deployable solar panels that can be used in LEO or HEO missions, two of the major systems required in future GOLF and HEO missions. In addition, GOLF-TEE provides the opportunity for rapid deployment and on orbit testing of the AMSAT’s Advanced Satellite Communications and Exploration of New Technology (ASCENT) program’s technology, including radiation tolerant transponder and Integrated Housekeeping Unit (IHU) technologies that will lead the way for low cost commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems that can function in the MEO and HEO radiation environments. GOLF-TEE will also provide for the development of “Five and Dime” Field-Programmable Gate Array Software Defined Radio (FPGA SDR) transponders for use on a variety of missions and orbits. Additionally, GOLF-TEE will carry a Fox-1E design V/u linear transponder and RadFx (Radiation Effects) experiment for Vanderbilt University. GOLF-1 will serve as a follow-on mission, also to LEO. Launch is targeted for 2020-2021. GOLF-1 will require a de-orbiting plan that is in compliance with NASA’s NPR 8715.6 NASA Procedural Requirements for Limiting Orbital Debris in order to be manifested on a launch, due to the higher altitude AMSAT has requested.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status

See for ARISS updates.

AMSAT / Virginia Tech Geostationary Satellite Project (Phase 4B) Status

Virginia Tech continues to investigate opportunities to fly an amateur payload aboard a geostationary or geosynchronous satellite. A Payload Accommodation Study showed that an amateur payload could be carried on a U. S. Government satellite, but that satellite has been delayed indefinitely. While Virginia Tech was offered a spot on a government satellite, the cost, duration of mission, and lack of guarantees that the payload would be activated resulted in that spot being declined. Discussions continue.

CubeQuest Challenge Status

AMSAT partnered with Ragnarok Industries to provide communications systems for their Heimdallr 6U CubeSat, planned for launch to lunar orbit as part of NASA’s CubeQuest Challenge. Following completion of the CubeQuest Challenge mission, the satellite would have been available for use as an amateur radio satellite. Unfortunately, Heimdallr was not selected for a CubeQuest Challenge launch. Many of the technologies from Heimdallr will be incorporated into AMSAT’s GOLF program satellites.

Phase 3E Status

In July 2015, Virginia Tech approached the U. S. Government with a proposal to fly AMSAT-DL’s Phase 3E satellite spaceframe with both a scientific payload for the Government and an amateur radio payload to a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO). Under this proposal, AMSAT would have operated the amateur radio payload on the mission. Although the U. S. Government approved the proposal to fly Phase 3E on a classified flight, the Government required Virginia Tech to partner with a contractor in order to ensure on-time integration of the payload. Fulfilling this requirement would have caused the project to exceed the allocated budget by several million dollars which resulted in its cancellation. The Phase 3E satellite spaceframe remains in storage in Germany.

Updated June 28, 2019