Last chances to hear ARISSat-1 are rapidly approaching.
A reminder that if you have been putting off working through the ARISSat-1 repeater, receiving SSTV pictures, or submitting telemetry, the next few weeks will be your last opportunity to be a part of this satellite’s history. Since deployment in August, ARISSat-1 has descended about 60 km, and is currently losing more than 1.5 km per day. The rapid rate is partially the result of the recent solar activity on the atmosphere, significantly increasing the drag. The predictions by several individuals and groups are all converging toward a reentry in January or February, 2012. Heating will become significant before then. Remember, good telemetry in this period provides invaluable information to the engineering team, to be used in future projects.
The orbit period changes about 30 seconds per day, and that will increase steadily. Be certain to update your tracking program Keps from Space-Track or CelesTrak before each pass. They issue revised versions 3-5 times daily. As the descent continues, this will become even more critical to copying the telemetry beacon, especially unattended.
73s, Alan WA4SCA
This picture is the decay rate calculated by DK3WN