K2 Tuesdays is a semi-regular series on the development of KySat-2, the latest spacecraft from Kentucky Space. Prior installments are here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
On Friday night, March 1, students from the Space Systems Lab at the University of Kentucky led by faculty advisor Jim Lumpp PhD, professor of Electrical Engineering at UK, held a "code-pocalypse" for students working on the software for the command and data handling (C&DH) and imaging subsystems of the KySat-2 satellite. Since the developers are also full time students, and it’s difficult to find time against other competing events like classes, tests, and lab reports, the UK team really put the time to good use. Having all the software developers on the team work together at the same time in the same lab was beneficial.
The team used the opportunity to bring together code and debug potential problems. Punctuated by pizza breaks, students worked on transferring pictures from the imaging system onto the native C&DH storage, as well as communicating with sensors and the spacecraft's radio. I have to say it was a successful first effort. I'm sure more code-pocalypses will follow.
While I was not able to hold out until the end - leaving at approximately 10 pm - many of the students worked until midnight. Well done team!
Twyman Clements, Space Systems Engineer, Kentucky Space
After a flawless launch that saw Dragon temporarily deposited in orbit without the use of three of its four maneuvering thrusters, SpaceX engineers resolved the autonomous capsule's problems in short order, raised its orbit and reached the ISS yesterday morning.
Watch the grappling here.
The mission is the second of 12 scheduled private sector resupply missions to the space station purchased by NASA. The capsule also provides critical down mass capability. Schedule for a March 25 return, it will bring back lab samples from the many science experiments on station, as well as unneeded equipment.
NASA is turning access to low Earth orbit over to commercial providers while it sets its sights on more distant destinations.
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