Our satellite launch schedule is announced

We’ve been working on our CubeSat satellite design since late 2011. Yet one of the larger timing factors is the launch date.
Fox 1 prototype-0629
Well, the launch schedule has now been announced :D

Fox-1A Launch Date
AMSAT has received a launch date for the Fox-1A satellite. Fox-1A will be launched on August 27, 2015 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on the NROL-55 flight for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The launch time has not been announced.

Fox-1A Operating Frequencies include:
Uplink 435.180 MHz FM
Downlink 145.980 MHz FM

The NROL-55 launch is a classified launch so we’ll announce the orbit afterward.

I spoke earlier of our design We’re launching a satellite, a Borg Cube, complete with pics and all.

We are using this same design in three other launches:
The AMSAT Fox series of satellites will include additional opportunities for launch during 2015-2016:
◾Fox-1B will fly with the Vanderbilt University radiation experiments expected in 2016.
◾Fox-1C* will launch on Spaceflight’s maiden mission of the SHERPA multi-cubesat deployer during the 3rd quarter of 2015.
◾Fox-1D is a flight spare for Fox-1C. If not needed as a spare it will become available to launch on any open launch slot which becomes available and be submitted in a Cubesat Launch Initiative (CSLI) proposal in 2015.
◾Fox-1E is built as a flight spare for Fox-1B but has been included in a student science proposal as part of the November, 2014 CSLI for an ELaNa flight slot. If selected the Fox-1B spare will fly as Fox-1E.

It’s a great time to be an engineer.

Then again, its *always* a great time to be an engineer. :D

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Filed under Outer Space and NASA, Radio


Recently I looked online for a printed version of the Federalist Papers.

The first result showed promise.

Then I started reading the reviews.

The posts conveying the tingles of nostalgia about the heft, the smell, the artwork of a good hardcover, one without a dust jacket, one that is embellished and decorated directly … resonated within me.

I like a finely crafted and well adorned hardcover.

There are even statistics that printed volumes are doing just fine: Print Books are Still Outselling ebooks

I’ve been buying my latest stuff on iBooks. The convenience is totally there.

But there is just something about a quality hardcover, and to a lesser, bind cracking, extent, a softcover, that just feels right; in the hands and in the soul.

I like me a solid, lay-flat hardcover. :D

I think I’ll order that Federalist Papers hardcover book now.


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Filed under Writing

Twitter, Blogging, Flickr, Instagram …

I’ve had these profiles and web domains for years.

Yet I’d never actively used them until ordering Chuck Sambuchino ‘s ‘Create Your Writer Platform’.

I recognized at the time that getting a hold of these profiles was the smart thing to do. I just wasn’t sure what purpose they would serve later on. For a while danpassaro.com was hosting my Zenfolio account for photography. I also have danielpassaro.com which simply forwards to danpassaro.com. I’ve done this with several domains.

Now that I’m moving along with the Distance In Time Series (Distance In Time: Michelle) I see how it will all come into play.

Get those usernames and domains! Inexpensive to hold on to, profitable in the future :D


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Filed under Science Fiction Thriller, Writing

Killing a Main Character. Do I?

No impact on the writing but certainly plenty of impact on the story.

But do I? This question has been at the forefront of my mind for the last year.

I’ve even created two outlines, one where that 2nd main character lives, the other where they die.

Keeping the 2nd main character alive presents one timeline and of course, killing that character produces another timeline.

Both are compelling stories to write.

Unlike most authors (given what I read online) I wrote my synopsis first. From there I built the story.

And so far my synopsis is fulfilled with that other main character dying.

Argghhhh! Decisions! lol :D

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Filed under Science Fiction Thriller, Writing

Doing what your characters do

Or doing what they’ve done, or going to do what they already did, or …

Have you done what your characters have done or will do? Will you soon be doing what they already did?

Even in the universe of fiction I found that engaging in the activity makes it far easier to write about it.

The underlying theme in my mind, as I write, is the simple standard of ‘is this plausible and if it isn’t how and where do I introduce earlier elements to make it plausible?’.

It doesn’t have to be real, just plausible. (though there is one plot device where I’m intentionally using actual results to make the point, just changing the names involved)

Is it plausible to swim with a shark? Lot’s of stories and videos abound online of doing so. But to have actually experienced it?

I did.

Twice, in one scuba dive. I talk about it HERE. That Blacktip shark was right there, not even 15 feet away.

My main character in the Distance In Time series, The Chairman, was a competition shooter in his youth. I’ve done that and keep at it every now and then.

The Chairman is a pilot. I’ve flown planes, performed landings, steep turns, aerobatics …

The character’s wife, Michelle, is a computer genius. Am I? No, but I’m familiar with code, with the concept of how it works, the meaning behind the code format. Expert? No. But enough where I can write about it.

I still have to skydive though. Yeah, the Chairman has done that also :D


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Filed under Science Fiction Thriller, Writing