Mike’s Tweets

Our favorite LADEE picture yet

Our Japanese friend on twitter @LadeeOrbiter posted this picture today:





This is way cool.  It would make a great Halloween costume!

We understand that the twitter account is an unofficial site for lunar impact flash even monitoring by amateur astronomers in Japan to support the LADEE mission.  The LADEE effort to involve amateur astronomers all over the world is supported by NASA, and I’d give you the link to their site about this, except that the site (like the rest of the US government) is offline.

So try this link instead.

We also have been told that the LADEE girl in the picture ( the LIMEM@STER) is a parody of a Japanese-made game called THE IDOLM@STER.  You can see a bit of that here.

  • edgar.kaiser

    I am monitoring LADEE’s S-band downlink and I am observing occasional frequency jumps of 1 kHz or less. E.g. today at 12:30 UTC and at 13:20 UTC. What is the reason?
    Best regards and thanks for the great job,

  • These are what we call “comm flips” for thermal control. The spacecraft is flipping top end for bottom. It happens about every hour, unless the spacecraft is in safe mode. I don’t think these will continue throughout the mission, but they are pretty common during the cislunar and Lunar Orbit Insertion phases of the mission.

  • alexbenjm

    Regarding your monitoring efforts, may I inquire how you are doing that? I’ve been interested in learning more about radio technology and communications especially in the context of scientific space activities and would like to learn how to monitor radio emissions from space probes.

  • edgar.kaiser

    Hi Alex,
    you need a two-axis steerable dish (at least 1m), a downconverter, a receiver and a computer to process the signals. As an amateur you will almost never see more than a carrier signal. You very rarely will be able to decode contents. You need to get familiar with the technology, programming and a lot of science. It is really fun. Many of us started with amateur radio and I am still with it.