Firefly Alpha Launch - "To The Black" - 2022-10-01 07:01 UTC

Hi everyone,

Firefly Alpha 2 Launch is scheduled for tomorrow: FLTA002 -To The Black - Firefly Aerospace

The Alpha 1 launch attempt a year ago failed, but I believe all the payloads have been rebuilt and will fly again tomorrow. The spacecraft seem to be in the database, but they show as “re-entered”.

For the Teachers In Space Serenity CubeSat, the transmitter is now AFSK9k6 instead of AFSK4k8. I’ve done some testing with their engineering model but I haven’t successfully decoded any packet so far so I can’t confirm this 100%


From this announcement:

Mission Summary

Alpha Flight 2: To The Black is Firefly’s second technology demonstration flight that will attempt to launch multiple satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO) from our launch site (SLC-2) at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Alpha will first insert into an elliptical transfer orbit, coast to apogee, and perform a circularization burn.

Timing: Launch window opens on September 11th, 2022, at 3:00 PM PST

Location: Firefly SLC-2, Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA

Altitude: 300 km

Inclination: 137 deg

Satellite Payloads

Teachers in Space — Serenity

  • Class: 3U CubeSat
  • Dimensions: 32cm x 10cm x 10cm
  • Mass: 1.67Kg

Mission: To collect flight data during the mission and make it available to the educational community for analysis and comparison to data collected on other flights and vehicles.

Typical data collected: Atmospheric pressure, Temperature, and Radiation via a matched pair of Geiger counters, one wrapped in experimental radiation protection material, one unwrapped
[NASA TechEdSat-15](

  • Class: 3U CubeSat
  • Dimensions: 10cm x 10cm x 34cm
  • Mass: 4.15kg

Mission: The TechEdSat-15 is a three-unit CubeSat that weighs 9.1 pounds and carries experiments that are being advanced in TechEdSat’s Nano-Orbital Workshop (NOW) rapid flight development series.

TechEdSat-15’s primary experiment is a version of an exo-brake intended to survive much higher temperature environments – several hundred degrees – than in previous flights. It will demonstrate the next step forward in nanosatellites’ ability to target an Earth entry point.

The exo-brake is a device that applies drag in Earth’s exosphere – the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere – to slow the speed of a satellite’s descent and change its direction. This experiment will permit the satellite to survive closer-to-peak heating, maintain telemetry, and assess the dynamics as the system enters the top of the atmosphere.

Another experiment on TechEdSat-15 includes the Beacon And Memory Board Interface (BAMBI), which optimizes internal and external data transfer from the nanosatellite.

The TechEdSat-NOW series has multiple research goals including using the exo-brake to de-orbit high-altitude nanosatellites at end of mission to reduce issues related to orbital debris. Additionally, drag modulation has uses for sample return from low-Earth orbit as well as tailoring orbits during aero-pass maneuvers for future planetary applications.

Libre Space Foundation — PicoBus

  • Class: PicoSat Deployer
  • Dimensions: 37cm x 12cm x 15cm
  • Mass: 6.327Kg (including dispenser)

Mission: An 8P Pocketqube deployer to be used to deploy 6 picosatellites into space and test the world’s first fully free and open source telecommunications constellation

GENESIS-L & GENESIS-N (AMSAT Spain). Objective: Technology demonstration for radio-amateurs, micro sub-joule pulsed plasma thruster & test platform to build heritage for future missions

FOSSASAT-1B. Objective: Communication & Remote sensing Technology Demonstrator of LoRa telecommunications, ADCS demonstration, & low-resolution earth imager experiment.

Qubik-1 & Qubik-2 (Libre Space). Objective: Communication Technology Demonstrator performing multiple telecommunication experiments


I’ve moved the post in a new topic as it is a new launch. One detail Qubiks are Qubik-3 and Qubik-4. Feel free to add suggestions for the satellites and/or transmitters, I’m going to check them tomorrow UTC morning/noon and add the missing ones.


This is information about GENESIS-G and GENESIS-J from the AMSAT-NA bulletin ANS-254:

From Felix Paez, EA4GQS, AMSAT-EA Team: This is to confirm that the launch of our new GENESIS-G and GENESIS-J satellites with Firefly will take place, if all goes well, on September 11, with the launch window starting at 3 PM Pacific Time (22h GMT), from Vanderberg. The expected orbit altitude is 300 km with an inclination of 137 degrees.

As many of you know, this will be the second attempt of Firefly to reach orbit after the first attempt made in September 2021 and which had to be aborted after two minutes of flight, causing our previous GENESIS-N and GENESIS-L to be lost, among others.

These new GENESIS have a more powerful on-board computer than their predecessors and updated software that allows FM voice repeater functionality, AFSK/FSK non-regenerative repeater up to 2400 bps, FSK regenerative repeater up to 50 bps, CW, digitized voice pre-recorded FM and FSK telemetry at 50 bps. The correct retransmission of AX25 / APRS frames over FM up to 2400 bps has been verified in the laboratory.

A small drawback we still have is the antenna deployment mechanism, that is the first version that was made and requires a plenty charged battery. The satellites have been stored for several months, so it is a weak point. Hopefully it will work.

These satellites also have the names of ASTROLAND-1 and ASTROLAND-2 to say thanks to the sponsorship of the project by the Astroland Planetary Agency. We also thank the private companies and Universities that helped in the project.

As on the previous occasion, two experimental propellants are flown, although this time they are from the Madrid company IENAI Space and, unlike the previous GENESIS mission, they use a liquid ionic fuel. Only the one from GENESIS-J is functional. The one from GENESIS-G carries the electronics but without the fuel.

The frequencies coordinated with IARU are the following:

145.875 MHz uplink, Modes: FM voice (no subtone) and FSK 50 bps, AFSK, AX.25, APRS 1200 / 2400 bps
436.888 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW, FSK 50 bps, FM voice beacon with AM2SAT callsign

145.925 MHz uplink, Modes: FM voice (no subtone) and FSK 50 bps, AFSK, AX.25, APRS 1200 / 2400 bps
436.666 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW FSK 50 bps, SSTV Robot 36, FM voice beacon with AM3SAT callsign

We encourage all of you to try to receive their first transmissions once the first keplerians are available.

This flight will be streamed by Everyday Astronaut:

More information on the Firefly website: FLTA002 -To The Black - Firefly Aerospace.

Ed. Note: Currently launch is scheduled for 15:00 PST, September 11/ 00:00 UTC, September 12 .

[ANS thanks Felix EA4GQS - AMSAT EA team for the above information.]


So this will be a constellation of amateur sats that can communicate with each other? What are some of the mission goals here?

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The satellites are in DB and transmitters will be added soon:

Satellite Identifier Satellite Name Temporary NORAD ID
BDAE-2120-3566-3076-2316 SERENITY 99332
DTNN-8596-1250-2865-8042 FOSSASAT-1B 99333
JLMQ-2253-6677-1326-3409 GENESIS-G 99334
RKMM-1325-2586-7575-2003 GENESIS-J 99335
LTID-3217-2294-2230-4630 QUBIK 4 99336
GGNB-3914-9869-0558-4363 QUBIK 3 99337
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To eliminate possible confusion, or decodes being uploaded to the wrong object, could the ‘old’ FossaSat-1B (SatNOGS DB - FOSSASAT-1B) be renamed or deleted?

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Unfortunately not, they have the same name… as the serenity satellites. I’ll be watching for both these old entries and I’ll move any data to the new ones.

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Regarding the ‘QUBIK’ sats, every reference that I’ve found calls them “1” and “2”. Above I see they’re listed as “3” and “4”.

Which is correct? Thanks!

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3 and 4 are the correct.

Hi Scott,

Maybe this will also help IARU Sat Coordinator QUBIK 3/4/5/6

Thanks Jan & Fredy!

With having a connection to this launch, are any preliminary TLE’s available? I’ve not found anything in circulation elsewhere.

Here the preliminary for QUBIK 3/4

1 99337U 20500A   22254.95968750  .00000000  00000-0  50000-4 0    04
2 99337 137.0847 333.4732 0003964 246.0338 109.0061 15.91461410    05
1 99336U 20500A   22254.95968750  .00000000  00000-0  50000-4 0    03
2 99336 137.0847 333.4732 0003964 246.0338 109.0061 15.91461410    04
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Thanks a million for the prelim TLE!

As luck would have it, we’ll have good passes on the U.S. East Coast the first few orbits. BUT, of course the question is whether any satellites will be active that quickly. Anyone have a timeline on when any downlinks might begin from any of these satellites?


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Most of them will be activated ~30min after deployment.

By the way all the satellites have now transmitter entries in DB.

As the launch is the first one, we are going to add the TLE sets after the launch and also schedule observations.


Looks great, fredy. Could you update the transmitter for Serenity to AFSK 9600. I’m told by Teachers in Space that is the telemetry modulation.


That is impossible, they can’t use AFSK in combination with 9600 baud but needs to be something else.

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I was surprised to be told this as well. I was trying to get confirmation testing with the engineering model but unfortunately ran out of time.

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I was looking around on but there is no information, it also confusing that there twitter account is mentioning

Let’s stick to 4k8 baudrate and when we get some results we can change it.


At T = -20 seconds an abort was called :wink:

The TLEs need to be updated accordingly.

Good luck guys!