"It was one of those really cool things where you got an insider's look into the industry...I've been given a leg up..." – Alex McGlothlin, Former Student Leader on TJ3SAT
Mission Overview

TJ3Sat is a joint project between the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and industry partners to design and build a CubeSat to increase interest in aerospace technology, as part of NASA's Educational Launch of NanoSatellites (ELaNa) program. TJ3Sat's primary mission is to provide educational resources to other K-12 education institutions to foster interest in aerospace through the successful design and flight of a CubeSat. Our mission will be successful if it provides resources to other high schools so that they may also attempt to design and construct satellites, building upon what we have learned.

TJ3Sat became the first satellite in history built by high school students when it launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on November 19th, 2013 on an Orbital Minotaur I rocket - the culmination of 7 years of work by more than 50 students.

TJ3Sat has launched and is currently in orbit!

You can track TJ3Sat's orbit:

Track TJ3Sat

Amateur Radio Licensees with basic equipment can make contact with TJ3Sat:

Download Instructions (PDF) Report Contact with Satellite

Please use the following audio files as reference for tracking our satellite:

13.5s CW Beacon Morse CW Callsign Sample Data Packet

Unfortunately, as of March 2014 we have not established successful communication with TJ3Sat. Thank you for your support, and we will update this page with any new developments.

Mission Specifications
Spacecraft Specifications
Launch Mass 0.89 kg (2.19 lbs)
Spacecraft Dimensions 10 x 10 x 11 cm (3.9 x 3.9 x 4.5 in)
Solar Arrays Body mounted solar cells, < 3 W avg.
Stabilization Uncontrolled
Uplink Frequency 145.980 MHz, 1200 bps AFSK
Downlink Frequency 437.320 MHz, 1200 bps AFSK
Transmitter Max Power 1 W
Mission Life 6 months (2-4 year orbit lifetime)
Orbit Parameters 500km, 40.5° inclination
Launch Specifications
Launch Vehicle Minotaur I, Primary Payload: ORS-3
Launch Site NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA
Date November 19th, 2013
Time To be announced
Key Mission Partners

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Led by Energy Systems Lab Director Adam Kemp, TJ3Sat was designed, constructed, and tested by more than 50 dedicated TJHSST students over the course of 7 years.

Orbital Sciences Corporation

Orbital provided funding for the purchase of satellite hardware, engineering consultation, and hardware/software testing facilities.

Stensat LLC

Stensat provided contributions to the design and construction of the radio and power handling hardware. Assisted with the schematic design and layout of the circuit boards.

"We've taken this project from conception, to presenting it in front of NASA and other engineers to this point, where we are ready to fly." - Adam Kemp, Program Director, TJ3SAT, Faculty Sponsor .

The primary payload of TJ3Sat helps accomplish our primary mission objective by giving students and other amateur radio users the opportunity to send and receive data from the satellite. Onboard the satellite a Text Speak module is used to convert text messages into an analog voice signal. Students and other users from around the world can submit text strings to be uploaded to the TJ3Sat website. Approved text strings will be transmitted to the satellite and the resulting voice interpretation will be relayed back to Earth over an amateur radio frequency using the onboard Stensat radio. In addition to the voice signals, properly outfitted amateur radio stations can receive state of health telemetry from the satellite. These data exchanges are available to the public and will become the main catalyst for education outreach.

"We're doing something that a superpower, the Soviet Union, first accomplished," - Alishan Hassan, Former TJ3Sat Student Leader
Contact Information
Rohan Punnoose
Systems Engineer
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

Adam Kemp
Energy System Lab Director/TJ CubeSat Program
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

Carlos Niederstrasser
Strategy and Special Initiatives
Orbital Sciences Corporation
45101 Warp Drive
Dulles, VA 20166