F-1 and other CubeSats at TKSC.jpg
FITSAT-1 satellite in the middle
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorFukuoka Institute of Technology
COSPAR ID2012-038C (1998-067CP)
SATCAT no.38853
Mission duration273 days (achieved)
100 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass1.33 kg (2.9 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (1U)
Start of mission
Launch date21 July 2012, 02:06:18 UTC
RocketH-IIB F3
Launch siteTanegashima, Yoshinobu LC-Y2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Deployed fromISS Kibō
Delivered by Kounotori 3
Deployment date4 October 2012,
15:44:15.297 UTC
End of mission
Decay date4 July 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude413 km (257 mi)
Apogee altitude418 km (260 mi)
Period93.00 minutes

Niwaka or FITSAT-1 is a 1U CubeSat satellite deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on 4 October 2012. The Niwaka satellite includes high power LEDs which are driven by 200 watts pulses, allowing Morse code style communication from the sky to the ground.[1] FITSAT-1 (Niwaka) communicates with ground by means of 5.8 GHz high-speed (115200 bit/s) transmitter. It also has a 437 MHz (amateur band) beacon and transmitter with data rate 1200 bit/s for telemetry downlink.

The name Niwaka derives from "Hakata Niwaka", which is traditional impromptu comical talking with masks. It is also the old name of the city Fukuoka, site of the Fukuoka Institute of Technology in Japan which created the satellite.[2]

WE WISH, RAIKO, FITSAT-1, F-1, and TechEdSat-1 travelled to orbit aboard Kounotori 3 (HTV-3).[3]

It reentered in the atmosphere of Earth on 4 July 2013.[4]


CubeSats deployed to orbit from the International Space Station on 4 October 2012 (from left: TechEdSat-1, F-1 and FITSAT-1).

See also


  1. ^ FITSAT-1 satellite scheduled to write Morse code in the sky
  2. ^ FITSAT
  3. ^ WE WISH
  4. ^ FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA)

External links

  • FITSAT-1 (Niwaka) log