20 Meter International AMSAT NET
pre net: 1800utc * net 1900utc
Keith/W5IU and Larry/W7LB
Tuesday, 9pm Central
NCS Stations: W5IU, W3XO, WY0C
"We are looking for control or co-operators"
Contact Keith W5IU
June 10, 2004
*35th ANNIVERSARY OF APOLLO MOON LANDING SEES NASA PREPARING FOR BOLD
NEW EXPLORATION MISSIONS*
The success of the Apollo 11 mission that landed NASA astronauts Neil
Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on the Moon July 20, 1969, was a
defining moment that opened a new era in human history. Today, as NASA
marks the 35^th anniversary of that first lunar landing, the Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., celebrates the role it played
in the Apollo program. Under the leadership of its first director, Dr.
Wernher von Braun, the Marshall Center developed the Saturn V rocket
that carried our astronauts to the Moon.
In a post-flight press conference, Armstrong called the flight "a
beginning of a new age." Even then, Astronaut Michael Collins - who
orbited the Moon in command module/ Columbia/ while his colleagues made
the historic Moon landing in their lunar module/ Eagle/ - talked about
future journeys to Mars.
"The world experienced its greatest technology achievement when NASA
astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the surface of the Moon,
taking a "giant leap" for humanity. That event captured the imagination
of the nation and inspired a new generation of space explorers," said
Marshall Center Director David King. "As we observe this anniversary
NASA is embarking upon a new journey of discovery."
The Marshall Center is looking to the future, working to fulfill its
role in implementing the Vision for Space Exploration which calls for a
return to the Moon followed by human and robotic journeys of discovery
to other destinations in the solar system.
The Marshall Center, with its expertise in space transportation systems,
space propulsion, microgravity science, space systems and more, will
play a significant role in fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration.
Goals include safely returning the Space Shuttle to flight; focusing the
use of the Shuttle to complete assembly of the International Space
Station; and retiring the Shuttle as soon as the Space Station is
completed, around the end of the decade.
NASA's longer terms goals, which will unfold over future generations,
· A sustained and affordable human and robotic program
to explore the solar system and beyond.
· Extending human presence across the solar system,
starting with a human return to the Moon before the
year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and
· Developing innovative technologies, knowledge and
infrastructures to explore and support decisions
about the destinations for human exploration.
· Promoting international and commercial participation
in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security
and economic interests.
ECHO satellite enroute to launch site
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 161.01 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD. June 9, 2004
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Chuck Green, N0ADI, reporting in from SpaceQuest's facility says,
"ECHO is in it's shipping container and on its way to the launch
As a final check ECHO was placed in the vacuum chamber for an hour
and pushed hard with both 70 cm transmitters running full power.
Everything that could be tested in this configuration worked well.
Chuck said, "We also checked the sensitivity of all the 2M
receivers and the SQRX (wideband tunable receiver) and they were
all very good." Continuing, he added, "We also characterized the
received signal strength indicator (RSSI) and measured the power
out of the 70 cm transmitters at various power settings"
Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, added, "Congratulations on a job well done!
A lot of hard work has gone into getting ECHO to this point and
we're looking forward to following ECHO's progress through launch".
More news and information about the final integration activities
will be in this week's regular AMSAT News Service bulletin.
[ANS thanks Robin and Chuck for the above information]
==>ARISS TO MULL HAM RADIO'S ROLE IN DISTANT SPACE TRAVEL
The Elser-Mathes Cup, sitting idle for more than 75 years, is intended to
mark the occasion of the first two-way Amateur Radio contact between Earth
and Mars. That day may be moving closer. The Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) International Team will contemplate
ham radio's role as NASA--in response to a recent presidential
initiative--seeks to expand the horizons of human spaceflight to the moon,
Mars and beyond. During an International Team meeting March 25-26 in the
Netherlands, ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said NASA's
Education Office has asked ARISS to consider endorsing the initiative and
start laying some groundwork for an Amateur Radio presence. That makes
perfect sense to ARISS Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, of ARRL.
"Our space agencies are going to Mars now, so it's natural we should think
about it and do initial planning now," said White, who was among the more
than two dozen ARISS delegates on hand at the European Space Research and
Technology Center in Noordwijk. "We could start by targeting our
educational materials on exploration beyond the International Space
Station." The ISS--the home of the first permanent Amateur Radio station
in space--is scheduled for completion in 2010 using the space shuttle
fleet, which then would be mothballed.
Some ideas Bauer floated during the gathering included an Amateur Radio
payload on the Red Planet as well as a Mars telecommunications satellite,
remotely controlled Amateur TV and a repeater on the moon. The long-range
planning will get further discussion when the ARISS International Team
meets again in October.
In other matters, the ARISS team learned that a planned slow-scan
television (SSTV) system will not launch to the ISS this year. With just
two crew members aboard the space station and a need to make the most use
of space aboard Russian Progress supply rockets, NASA has suggested that
ARISS hold up the SSTV payload for a Progress rocket flight closer to the
space shuttle's return to flight, when the ISS again will have a crew of
The two-person crews have not had much time to install and test ARISS
projects, including the Phase II gear put into place earlier this year.
While it's on the air for RS0ISS packet operations, the Phase II gear will
not see routine FM voice use for school group contacts and casual QSOs
until it gets a full on-the-air checkout. The SSTV gear needs additional
preflight testing as well as work on the associated software.
AMSAT-Russia's Karen Tadevosyan, RA3APW, is completing modifications to a
Yaesu FT-100 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver. That equipment could go up to the ISS
on a Progress rocket flight this fall. Other projects still in the
discussion stage include an external digital ATV transponder and beacon.
ARISS also is considering a project to use Amateur Radio via IRLP and/or
EchoLink to link to the ISS via the Internet.
The ISS could gain a third ham station once the European Space Agency's
Columbus module goes into space. Through-hull fittings, or "feedthroughs,"
are being installed for as many as eight coaxial cable runs, although
funding remains an issue. The feedthroughs would permit the module to
accommodate UHF, L and S-band operations possibly using patch-type
antennas being designed by ARISS volunteers.
ARISS delegates also recognized the achievements and contributions of Roy
Neal, K6DUE (SK), toward making the ARISS program a reality. Neal, a
former NBC News science correspondent and executive, died last August 15.
SOUTH CAROLINA MIDDLE SCHOOLERS LOG SUCCESSFUL SPACE CONTACT
Students at a South Carolina middle school who spoke via ham radio with
the International Space Station this week enjoyed the experience so much
they're already eager to do it again. On March 8, youngsters at DuBose
Middle School in Summerville questioned ISS Crew Commander Mike Foale,
KB5UAC, about life aboard the space outpost. The contact was arranged via
the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
Operating from NA1SS, Foale told the sixth through eighth graders that he
was able to see prominent features of South Carolina from his vantage
point in space. He said the ISS crew can see eclipses and other planets in
space as well.
"The moon just went by Jupiter, and it was really an amazing sight to see
as I was going into the dark side of Earth," Foale said. The ISS was
passing above the US West Coast at the time. In a follow-up reply, he
described the inky darkness of the cosmic void and how stars and planets
appear. "It is totally black in space," he said. "There are some parts of
space where there are no stars visible at all, because there are gas
clouds out there in the galaxy. And that is so dark, it's hard to
imagine." Foale said stars appear brighter and more colorful from space
than they do from Earth.
One youngster wanted to know if astronauts could wear such appliances as
hearing aids, braces or contact lenses in the zero-gravity environment of
the ISS. "Actually, I wear ear plugs just because it's noisy up here,"
Foale replied. "If I had braces, they wouldn't be a problem, and lots of
astronauts do wear contact lenses."
As he's indicated in past ARISS school group contacts, Foale said he
"absolutely" would like to participate in a future mission to Mars, but he
said he expected that job would fall to younger generations. "I do believe
you and your classmates and your friends have a better chance of doing
that than I do," he said.
When the 10-minute contact was done, DuBose eighth-grade science teacher
Alene Wilkins, KG4NKD, called it "the best experience I have had since I
Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, and Herb Sullivan, K6QXB, handled Earth station
duties at W6SRJ in California. An MCI teleconference circuit relayed
two-way audio between the two coasts.
; is an international educational
outreach program with US participation from ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.--some information
provided by Charlie Sufana, AJ9N
Thank you ARRL
ARISS SCHOOL GROUP CONTACT FALLS VICTIM TO SPACE STATION AIR LEAK
NASA this week postponed an Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) http://www.rac.ca/ariss/
; school group contact as the
space agency and the station crew continued efforts to pin down what was
causing air pressure to decay aboard the ISS. Students at Armstrong Middle
School in Flint, Michigan, had been scheduled to speak with Expedition 8
commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, at NA1SS early on January 12. Space agency
officials now believe the culprit was an air leak in the US Destiny Lab
"The pressure loss was traced to a braided flex hose on an observation
window in the Destiny module," NASA said. The hose reportedly helps keep
air and condensation out of the Destiny module's Earth-facing window.
Foale and flight engineer Alex "Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR, detected the hose
leak using ultrasound equipment, and Foale reported the hissing sound
stopped after the hose was disconnected. As of January 15, air pressure
aboard the ISS continued to hold steady.
Although the leak may now be fixed, NASA has announced that Foale and
Kaleri--along with flight controllers--will carry out an ISS air pressure
test over the weekend. "The crew will close the hatches to divide the
space station into three separate sections for leak checks and to gather
data on air pressure fluctuations," NASA said. Foale and Kaleri will
remain in the Zvezda Service Module from the evening of January 16 until
the morning of January 18.
The space agency said the earlier decline in air pressure had amounted to
only a few hundredths of a pound per square inch each day and did not
endanger the crew.
ARISS team member Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA, said ARISS "looks forward
to the ISS crew's resumption of their inspiring conversations with the
CHIAO TO SUB FOR McARTHUR AS NEXT ISS COMMANDER
Veteran NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao will replace William McArthur Jr,
KC5ACR, as the commander of Expedition 9, the next mission aboard the
International Space Station. NASA says the change in crew assignment
resulted from "a temporary medical issue" related to McArthur's
qualifications for the long-duration flight. Chiao will join Russian
cosmonaut and flight engineer Valery Tokarev for the six-month mission.
"Because we are very cautious in our approach to crew health, we train
backups for this kind of situation," said Astronaut Office Chief KentRominger. He indicated that NASA
plans to assign McArthur to another ISS
For his part, McArthur expressed disappointment in the turn of events but
said he understood the necessity of the medical criteria in place for
long-duration space flight. "I know that Leroy will ensure all of the
Expedition 9 objectives are met," McArthur said, "and I look forward to
flying soon on another space station mission."
As a member of the Expedition 9 backup crew, Chiao has been training with
McArthur for months. He will also serve as NASA ISS Science Officer.
Since the switch would leave the ISS without an Amateur Radio licensee
aboard during the next crew's tour, it's anticipated that Chiao will
become licensed before he goes into space. The Expedition 9 crew is
scheduled for launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April.
European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands will
round out the three-member Soyuz crew. He will return to Earth a week
later with the Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex "Sasha"
An astronaut since 1990, Chiao, 43, has had prior flight experience aboard
space shuttle missions in 1994, 1996 and 2000. On his last shuttle flight,
Chiao helped to prepare the ISS for its first resident crew.
Tokarev, 51, has been a cosmonaut since 1987. He flew on a 1999 shuttle
mission that delivered four tons of logistics and supplies to the ISS in
preparation for the arrival of the Expedition 1 crew.--NASA
AUCTION OF AO-40 SCULPTURE TO HELP FUND AMSAT ECHO SATELLITE LAUNCH
The bidding begins January 21 on a handsome original sculpture of the
AO-40 satellite as AMSAT-NA auctions off the work of art on eBay to help
fund the AMSAT-OSCAR ECHO (AO-ECHO) satellite launch campaign. The auction
will run for 10 days, and the winning bid will be recognized as a donation
to the launch campaign.
"This bronze is one of only four pieces, created by long time AMSAT member
Floyd Thorn, N5SVP, now a Silent Key," said AMSAT Marketing Manager Jim
Jarvis, N2EA. "It has been donated to AMSAT by his family to support the
AO-ECHO launch campaign."
Jarvis said the sculpture measures 11x4 inches and weighs just over a
pound. The wooden base bears a brass plaque with the sculptor's name and
call sign. Visit the AMSAT-NA Web site http://www.amsat.org
detailsand to link to the auction.
The AO-ECHO fund currently stands at nearly $49,000. AMSAT-NA says it will
need $110,000 for the launch--currently scheduled for March 31, although
the launch window remains open until May.
Visit the AMSAT AO-ECHO Web page
for additional details.
TWO AMATEUR SATELLITES EXPECTED TO LAUNCH IN 2004
AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, says he's looking forward to
the 2004 launches of AMSAT-NA's ECHO satellite
and AMSAT-India's VUsat
(also known as "HAMSAT"). In his last President's Letter for 2003,
Haighton reported that ECHO is passing final integration and testing with
"I am looking forward to the end of March, when we expect the ECHO launch
to take place," he said. With less than three months until the anticipated
launch, AMSAT-NA still needs to raise more than $60,000 for the launch
The new microsat-class satellite is undergoing integration and testing at
SpaceQuest in Fairfax, Virginia. Jim White, WD0E, and Mike Kingery,
KE4AZN, are heading up the integration process. Among its other
capabilities, AO-ECHO will enable satellite voice communication using
handheld FM transceivers.
The satellite will incorporate two UHF transmitters, each running from 1
to 8 W and capable of simultaneous operation, four VHF receivers and a
multiband, multimode receiver capable of operation on the 10 meter, 2
meter, 70 cm and 23 cm bands. ECHO will feature V/U, L/S and HF/U
operational configurations, with V/S, L/U and HF/S also possible. FM voice
and various digital modes--including PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink--also
will be available.
Haighton reported that VUsat
experienced some problems
in testing but these are being resolved. A VUsat launch could come as soon
as late summer. VUsat will incorporate two linear transponders, with a UHF
uplink and VHF downlink and CW, USB and FM capabilities.
"An exciting year is ahead," said Haighton, who's already announced that
he does not intend to seek another term at the AMSAT-NA helm when his
current term expires in October. By then, he said, ECHO should be inorbit, but, paraphrasing Yogi Berra, he added, "It ain't up and working
till it's up and working."
ISS COMMANDER GETS ON THE AIR WITH NEW HAM GEAR
Astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, fired up the new Phase 2 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) equipment December 21 to make a number of 2-meter contacts with amateurs around the world. The
Expedition 8 commander completed QSOs with amateurs in Australia, Europe and North America from 1100 to
approximately 1700 UTC.
"I heard him at approximately 1100 UTC and also on the next pass." commented Ib Christofferson, OZ1MY,
on the SAREX reflector. "He had a large pileup."
A new Kenwood TM-D700E VHF-UHF dualband transceiver was installed late last fall in the ISS Zvezda Service
Module--the crew's living quarters. ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said official permission
to use the new gear came December 17. The RS0ISS packet system also is back in operation.
"This equipment, including antennas, radios, hardware and software were developed and provided by a
diverse set of team members located around the world," Bauer said in a year-end statement. "This was
quite a challenge to make happen."
Activation of the new gear means a power boost from 5 W to 25 W for the NA1SS downlink signal. It also
means the ISS now has two functional ham stations. Additional Phase 2 equipment--which could go into
space this month--is to include a slow-scan television (SSTV) system and a Yaesu FT-100 HF/VHF/UHF
"I was able to hear him from as far out as 1200 miles," reported Arthur Rowe, N1ORC, of Lawrence,
Massachusetts. "I guess that the new output power was helping."
Foale's operation was part of a special event to honor SAREX/ARISS Working Group Chairman Roy Neal,
K6DUE, who died last August. Stations contacting or monitoring the ISS on voice (NA1SS) or packet
(RS0ISS) through the end of 2003 are eligible for special event certificates. See "K6DUE ISS Commemorative
Event Certificates" on the ARISS Web site
ARISS is an international educational outreach program with participation
by ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.
HAM RADIO IN SPACE REACHES ANOTHER MILESTONE
Ham radio in space has reached another milestone with the successful installation and checkout of the
first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Phase 2 equipment. The ISS now sports a
new Kenwood TM-D700E dualband transceiver in the Zvezda Service Module--the crew's living quarters. ISS
Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, set up the new transceiver at NA1SS earlier this month. Only
official approval is needed to begin operations. Activation of the new gear will mean a power boost for
the NA1SS downlink signal, which could prove especially helpful in school group contacts. The additional
will include a slow-scan television (SSTV) system--also opens up new operational possibilities.
"Clearly, we've got multiop, multi-station capability," ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO,
told ARRL. The ARISS Japan Team donated the Kenwood radio and made certain hardware and firmware
modifications--including limiting its power output to a maximum of 25 W--to prepare it for flight, he
said. Bauer and the ARISS US Team recently returned from Russia following successful ground testing of
Phase 1 and Phase 2 equipment using a set of flight-identical ARISS antennas as well as testing of a
slow-scan TV (SSTV) system.
The Phase 2 gear will use the four antennas installed on the Service Module during space walks in 2002
specifically to support Amateur Radio operations. Addition of the new antennas, which will cover from
HF to microwave frequencies, opened the door to deploying the two separate ham
stations aboard the orbiting outpost. Waiting in the wings is a Yaesu FT-100 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver
that could go into space in January along with the new SSTV gear.
Bauer says the second ham station with the Kenwood transceiver is near the Service Module's dinner table
and the window. "This prime location will allow the crew to more conveniently use the ISS ham radio system,"
he said. "They'll be able to look out the window while operating from the Service Module" Complementing
the Kenwood TM-D700E will be an Ericsson 70-cm handheld.
"Our intention is to operate SSTV on 70 cm with the Ericsson equipment," Bauer said, while the crew will
use the Kenwood transceiver for ARISS school group contacts as well as for casual QSOs on 2 meters. The
Kenwood radio also incorporates a TNC and can support the RS0ISS packet system, not yet back in operation.
The Phase 1 "initial station" Ericsson 2-meter handheld, which has served as the only NA1SS gear for more
than three years, will remain in place in the ISS Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB).
Details of the ARISS Phase 2 gear is available on AMSAT's ARISS Web page
SANTA WILL HAVE COMPANY IN THE CHRISTMAS SKY
Santa Claus will have company in the sky above most US cities on Christmas Eve.
"The International Space Station will be visible, weather permitting, with its two crewmen snug in sleeping
bags secured to the walls, with visions of dehydrated turkey dancing in their heads," NASA says. The ISS
will pass over cities from New York to Los Angeles and most points in between. It will be easily visible
at various times December 23-26.
There's been no information from the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
; team to indicate that NA1SS will be active, but it might be
a good idea to monitor the 145.800-MHz downlink frequency just in case (the North American uplink
frequency is 144.49 MHz). More information is available on NASA's Satellite Sighting Information page
ISS Expedition 8 crew commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and cosmonaut and flight engineer Alex "Sasha"
Kaleri, U8MIR, now are more than a third of the way into their six-month ISS duty tour. For the holiday,
they will enjoy as traditional a Christmas as possible while in orbit some 230 miles above Earth. NASA
says the crew has saved a special ration of smoked turkey just for the occasion. They also have Velcro
ornaments and a space-saving NOMEX http://www.dupont.com/nomex/
; Christmas tree.
"The crew has special Christmas stockings, filled by Santa before they left Earth, with special treats
and gifts from family and friends," NASA says. On Christmas Day, they will see and speak with their
families via a two-way video linkup. Back on Earth, teams of flight controllers and
experiment investigators in Houston, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, and Moscow will spend Christmas with
the crew as well. "Keeping the station operating well is a 24/7 job," said NASA Flight Director Jeff
Hanley. "We are sharing our holiday with our crew in space."--NASA
* Ham radio payloads on high-altitude balloons focus of NASA-TV airing:
NASA-TV will air a program later this month dealing with Amateur Radio payloads and high-altitude
ballooning. Arizona Near Space Research (ANSR)http://www.ansr.org
; has announced that
NASA-TV will air its program Introduction to High-Altitude Ballooning Monday, December 29, as part of
its "Education File" program series. It will air at 8 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 8 PM and 2 AM (December 30)
Eastern Time. "We are one of three programs in the hour-long time slot and are scheduled to start at 30
minutes past the hour," says ANSR
President Michael Gray, KD7LMO, who advises that the schedule is subject to change and viewers should
check the program listings the day of the airing. NASA-TV is available through DirectTV channel 376,
Dish Network channel 213, on many cable systems,
non-encrypted C-Band (big dish) satellites and as streaming video from the NASA-TV Web site
;. The program covers a launch from
preparation and liftoff through ascent to more than 100,000 feet and touchdown. "The goal of ANSR is to
promote science and education through high altitude balloons and Amateur Radio,"
Gray says. The program demonstrates use of a voice repeater as a balloon payload as well as Amateur
Position Reporting System (APRS) findu.com tracking and Amateur TV. "It also shows how we work with
educational groups to promote Amateur Radio," he adds. Visit Gray's Web site http://www.kd7lmo.net
for additional information.
Thank you ARRL and NASA
UO-14 REACHES THE END OF THE TRAIL
UO-14 has officially ended its long run as an Amateur Radio satellite, although it continues to
transmit telemetry and respond to commands from Earth. The Mission Control Centre at the Surrey
Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) Center for Satellite Engineering Research announced this week that
the venerable and popular bird "has reached the end of its mission after
nearly 14 years in orbit." Launched in 1990, UoSAT-OSCAR-14 pioneered the PACSAT communication concept
as the first 9.6 kbps Amateur Radio data communications satellite, although it became best known in
recent years as an FM "easy sat."
"Since launch, UO-14 has completed over 72,000 orbits and as many charge/discharge cycles of its
on-board NiCd battery," said AMSAT-UK Chairman Martin Sweeting, G3YJO. "However recently one of the
battery cells has become exhausted and can no longer support continuous
operation of the repeater." Sweeting said UO-14's transmitter shuts down shortly after it is commanded
"on" due to undervoltage, so the microsatellite's mission has been terminated.
"Thank you UO-14 for your long service!" Sweeting concluded.
AMSAT-NA Board Member Bruce Paige, KK5DO, an enthusiastic UO-14 user, called the AMSAT-UK announcement
"sad news." He said the loss of UO-14 leaves amateurs with SO-41 and SO-50 as the only two LEO FM
voice satellites. He noted, however, that the planned 2004 launch of OSCAR-ECHO would help to fill the
void. OSCAR-ECHO is set to launch next March 31.
The popular and heavily used FM satellite's repeater quit working in August, but hope remained within
the amateur satellite community that UO-14 somehow could be revived. Ground controller Chris Jackson,
G7UPN, at one point was able to reset the satellite, but he later determined that UO-14 had suffered a
primary power system failure that was causing the
spacecraft to shut down during some eclipses.
During its active lifetime, UO-14 served several roles. After some 18 months as a PACSAT, UO-14 was
switched to non-amateur frequencies for humanitarian use by Volunteers In Technical Assistance, which
used it for messaging into Africa. After the store-and-forward communications computer proved no longer
able to perform that task, UO-14 was turned back to
amateur use as a single-channel FM voice repeater.
UO-14 again served a humanitarian role in early 2001 when hams assisting with earthquake relief
operations in the Indian State of Gujarat took advantage of the satellite to provide communication
from the stricken region.
The beauty of UO-14 was that it required minimal gear to make contacts--typically 5 W and modest
antennas would do the trick. Operators with dualband handheld transceivers and "rubber duckie" antennas
often could make QSOs via UO-14.
ARISS ANNOUNCES ROY NEAL, K6DUE, ISS COMMEMORATIVE EVENT
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
; international team has announced an on-the-air
event to commemorate Roy Neal, K6DUE, who died August 15. Neal--born Roy N. Hinkel--chaired the Space
Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX)/Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Working
Group. ARISS has requested that the ISS Expedition 8 crew of commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex
"Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR, communicate from space with earthbound radio amateurs during the November 29-30
In addition, stations contacting the ISS by voice (NA1SS) or packet (RS0ISS) through the end of
December will be eligible for a special anniversary event certificate.
"Our good friend and noted NBC news correspondent Roy Neal, K6DUE (SK), had a vision--to make Amateur
Radio a permanent feature on human spaceflight missions," said ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and
Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, in making the announcement.
A retired NBC News science correspondent, producer and executive, Neal was key to convincing NASA
management to fly Amateur Radio onboard the space shuttle, Bauer said. He also cited Neal's involvement
in forming the ARISS international team and moderating its
Human spaceflight took the first step to Neal's vision on November 28, 1983, with the launch of the
first Amateur Radio station aboard the space shuttle Columbia. A few days later, astronaut Owen
Garriott, W5LFL, became the astronaut to speak from space via ham radio.
In October 1988, a Russian Amateur Radio team led by Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, and Larry Agabekov,
UA6HZ/N2WW, launched and deployed the first amateur station on the space station Mir. During the
AMSAT-NA symposium the following month, Leo Labutin, UA3CR (SK), communicated with cosmonaut Musa
Manorov, U2MIR, aboard Mir.
Amateur Radio communication from the ISS began three years ago this month. On November 13, 2000,
Expedition 1 crew members Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, and Bill Shepherd, KD5GSL, spoke with R3K, the
Energia amateur station in Russia, and with NN1SS, the ISS ground station at Goddard Space Flight
Center in Maryland. The successful deployment and use of the ARISS
gear marked the first permanent Amateur Radio station in space--and the fruition of Neal's vision of
some two decades earlier.
"On behalf of the ARISS international team, we congratulate the international Amateur Radio community
on these exceptional accomplishments and commemorate Roy Neal, K6DUE, for his vision and tremendous
support to ARISS team," Bauer and Samburov said.
Frequencies: Worldwide voice and packet downlink (RS0ISS): 145.80 MHz; worldwide packet uplink: 145.99
MHz; voice uplink (NA1SS) for Regions 2 and 3 (the Americas and the Pacific): 144.49 MHz; voice uplink
for Region 1 (Europe, Central Asia and Africa): 145.20 MHz.
ARISS request that participants in the special event keep all contacts short. A subsequent announcement
will provide details on QSLing and how to obtain certificates.
Latest ARISS hardware now aboard ISS !
The docking of the 12P Progress vehicle to the ISS, as described in:
Means that the latest ARISS hardware is now on-board the ISS!
In a joint Russian, US, Japan development effort, a new radio system for the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station was developed, qualified, and flown on this Progress vehicle. The first
installment of the Phase 2 hardware---a Kenwood radio, specially built ISS Ham radio power supplies and
antenna switches were delivered on this Progress flight. The Russian team, led by Sergej Samburov,
RV3DR, certified the hardware for flight and provided the ride, the Japanese team provided (donated)
the Kenwood radio to the ARISS team and the US team, in conjunction with the Japan and Russian team,
developed the software to provide a powerful system with a very user-friendly interface for crew. We
expect that Mike Foale and Alexander Kaleri will install and checkout this system on the next ISS
In addition to the Kenwood radio system that we launched on this flight, we have a second radio system,
a Yaesu FT-100, that will be launched on the 14P Progress flight in January. Also on 14P, we expect
to fly the Spacecam-1 SSTV system. Developed cooperatively between the MAREX-NA and ARISS teams, the
system is being certified for flight at NASA GSFC at this time. Once on-orbit, it will allow pictures
to be sent up and down to ISS between ground-based hams and the crew.
The Kenwood radio system will support 2 meter and 70 cm operations (uplink and downlink) and L-band
uplink with up to 25 watts of output power. FM voice, APRS and packet capabilities are included.
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chairman
TWO-HAM CREW NAMED FOR ISS EXPEDITION 8
Another two-ham crew will take over the reins of the International
Station (ISS) this fall. Veteran NASA astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and
Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, U8MIR, have been named as the ISS
8 crew. As former crew members aboard the Russian Mir space station,
and Kaleri are no strangers to long stays in space.
They'll kick off their latest space station duty tours October 18 when
launch into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with a third ham,
Pedro Duque, KC5RGG--representing the European Space Agency (ESA).
dock two days later at the ISS.
The English-born Foale, 46, will serve as the Expedition 8 commander
NASA ISS science officer. Kaleri will be the Soyuz commander and ISS
engineer. They'll replace Expedition 7 crew members Commander Yuri
RK3DUP, and Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, who have been aboard the ISS since April.
A native of Latvia, Kaleri, 47, was a member of the backup crew for
5 and had been scheduled to be the third Expedition 7 crew member
the Columbia tragedy trimmed the Expedition 7 crew, and Kaleri was the
odd man out. At least until the space shuttle
returns to flight, two-person crews will be the rule and the Soyuz,
carries three passengers, will remain the prime crew transport system.
and Kaleri are scheduled to spend approximately six months aboard the
Space agency leaders from the US, Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia
by telephone July 30 with Malenchenko and Lu and noted the significant
of the 1000th day (on July 29) of continuous human presence aboard the
The first crew arrived at the ISS November 2, 2000.
CanX-1 Ham Satellite in Space
CanX-1 is na amateur satellite built by students at the University of
Toronto, in Toronto, Canada. The satellite was launched the
morning of July
1 and they are expecting to receive a signal from it as it makes its
pass over there ground station. They would like to ask anyone
to listen for its beacon and report back whether they can hear it.
The downlink frequency is 437.880MHz. The beacon is a digital signal
consisting of two tones, one at 1.2kHz and another at 1.8kHz.
The TLE for CanX-1 is:
1 98989U 03181.61581401 -.00000000 00000-0 15762-6 0 00004
2 98989 098.7180 188.5466 0008263 282.8682 268.4369 14.19789389000019
Please send your reports to: [email protected]
More information on the CanX program can be found on the web at:
info from pe2jmr
As of 2003 June 5, AO-40's attitude was ALON / ALAT = 342 / 0.
The passband schedule has been shifted slightly to correspond with the
changing attitude as shown in the table below.
N QST AMSAT
MA 002 030
130 244 002
S2/K-Tx | S | S | S |
MB | * | *
| * | * |
V/U-Rx | U | U | U
| V |
Uplink | | UL1
| | |
[ANS thanks Stacey, W4SM, for the above information]
PCSat2 Testing Continues
PCsat <=> PCSAT2 constellation test success.
On 02 June 2003 PCSAT2 (fully configured flight prototype) was rolled
out onto the plaza for the 1210z pass of PCsat for a dual-satellite
constellation test. Since PCSAT2 was in its normal flight configuration
on the ground), this would demonstrate the range over which the two
spacecraft could communicate on orbit between their whip antennas. The
results were excellent!
PCSAT2 was set to transmit a packet via PCsat once every 20 seconds.
Both birds on 145.825 MHz. These packets normally compete with other
packets. Since the channel is contention based 100% throughput is never
expected. But a success means that the two spacecraft can communicate
that range. There were 7 other spacecraft users at the time.
TIME AZ EL RANGE Comments
-------- --- -- ------- ------------------------------------
08:10:18 Finished commanding PCsat into proper mode for test
08:10:29 107 49 1024 km Success
08:10:49 095 48 1040 km not heard
08:11:05 087 46 1066 km Success
08:11:25 078 43 1112 km not heard
08:11:45 070 39 1173 km Success
08:12:05 064 36 1246 km not heard
08:12:25 059 32 1329 km Success
08:12:45 055 29 1420 km Success
08:13:05 051 26 1510 km not heard
08:13:24 049 23 1616 km not heard. Blocked by Rickover Building
Then it rained again. The PCSat2 team had been waiting to do this test
for almost 2 weeks. At this time it is not known if the ultimate range
is about 1500 km or whether we could have heard more if the building
not intervened. There was no success before the time shown, as that
was spent commanding PCsat to the proper mode. It will be at least 2
before there is another opportunity for this type of testing.
Bob Bruinga, WB4APR, adds, "We hope others that are building small
AX.25 packet satellites will consider including a TNC digipeater on
145.825 to add to this amateur satellite constellation."
Bob also reports that PCSAT2's July launch has been delayed to January
pending resumption of Shuttle flights.
[ANS thanks Bob, WB4APR, for the above information]
Field Day Planning for AO-40
A-40 should return to ALON/ALAT = 0/0 about June 20th. We can stay at
ALON/ALAT = 0/0 until early October, when another cycle of attitude
changes will have to start. A typical passband schedule for ALON/ALAT =
0/0 is MA 40 to 210. This has the passbands active when the squint is
approximately 30 degrees or less. Barring an unforeseen problem, plan
on a similar schedule for field day. AO-40 will be visible by all of
North America at the start of field day, Saturday June 28th This is all
based on making it back to 0/0 by June 20th. We should at least be
close to that value by then, though the perigee eclipses are making it
slow going to advance ALON.
[ANS thanks Stacey, W4SM, for the above information]
FO-29 Data Requested
The JARL FO-29 command station is carefully considering options to turn
on FO-29's transmitter because it is not clear why FO-29 became silent.
The command team would like to receive reception reports. If you hear
FO-29, please report the time (UTC), location, signal strength etc. to
Masa, JN1GKZ at [email protected]
or to the AMSAT-BB. Masa will pass the
reports on to the command station.
Telemetry data recorded on 31 May and 1 Jun just before FO-20 became
silent would be very helpful as the command team's attempts to
what happened on FO-29.
[ANS thanks Masa, JN1GKZ, for the above information]
This Week's News in Brief
Five 5 MHz spot frequencies will become available to amateurs in the
United States effective at midnight July 3. General and higher class
holders will be permitted to operate on a secondary basis upper
phone, with a maximum of 50 watts effective radiated power.
The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander departed Sea
Launch Home Port last week, for the launch of the Thuraya-2 satellite.
Liftoff is scheduled for June 10, in a 44-minute launch window that
opens at 6:56 am PDT (13:56:00 GMT).
Europe launched its first ever bid to explore Mars Monday, June 2,
successfully embarking on a half-year journey to unearth one of the
oldest mysteries; whether there is life on the Red Planet.
Saturn, one of the windiest places in the Solar System, is undergoing a
dramatic weather change. Just over two decades ago, snapshots of the
distinctive clouds in Saturn's equatorial region showed a jetstream
that sped along at a bruising 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) per hour.
Now the winds have slowed to a relatively pedestrian 1,100 kph (690
mph), according to astronomers.
ASTRONAUT THRILLS HOMETOWN YOUNGSTERS VIA AMATEUR RADIO
NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, told youngsters at his hometown
alma mater via ham radio this week that zero gravity (G) feels a bit
like going over the top on a roller coaster. The May 27 Amateur Radio
on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with Klem Road South
Webster, New York, was the first for a member of the two-ham ISS
Expedition 7 crew and for Lu, who had attended the kindergarten through
grade 5 school some three decades ago.
"If you've ever been on a roller coaster and you go over the top of the
roller coaster you feel that feeling like you're kinda light--you're
floating up on your feet," Lu explained. "It's almost exactly like that
but a lot stronger." Weightlessness "feels great." After some time in
zero gravity, however, "it feels like your legs weigh a ton," he added,
describing his own post-space shuttle
Lu told the youngsters that while he was speaking to them from NA1SS,
he was floating--and relaxing--about a foot above the floor and about
to have a lunch of lamb, a chicken omelet and cookies for dessert. "I
like the food up here a lot," he remarked later. Most of the current
is Russian, he said, but he anticipated some Chinese and Hawaiian fare
to arrive aboard the next Progress supply rocket. The ISS crew
typically eats three meals a day, he said.
The lack of gravity does make it necessary to secure everything,
including eating utensils, so they don't float off. Another downside of
zero G is that the astronauts aboard the ISS must exercise regularly.
"If you don't exercise, all of your muscles get smaller, and that
heart," he explained in response to one boy's question.
In all, Lu answered about a dozen questions, although apparent signal
dropout and noise plagued the last minute or two of the QSO, rendering
his replies barely intelligible. Lu advised the youngsters that, while
expertise in science and math was most important to becoming an
skills and specialties vary among those in the Astronaut Corps. "The
common thing among all of them is that all of them did pretty well at
whatever it was they chose to do," he said.
With the ISS was over Hawaii at the time, radio contact with NA1SS
was established via Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN, in Honolulu, who arose
3 AM to serve as control operator for the QSO. An MCI teleconferencing
circuit linked the school with WH6PN. ARISS is an international program
with participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.
[Info from ARRL]
Ham Radio in Space: Two-Man Expedition 7 Ham Radio Crew
Arrives at ISS
A two-ham Expedition 7 crew arrived at the International Space Station
on April 28th to replace the crew currently on board.
Two men, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP and astronaut Ed Lu,
KC5WKJ, have arrived -- the first team ever to get to the ISS aboard a
Russian spacecraft. They replace 3 men: Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP,
Don Pettit, KD5MDT, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB. That team flew back to
earth on the third of May.
[ANS thanks Roy Neal, K6DUE Amateur Radio Newsline, for the
Computer Glitch Eyed in Soyuz's Wild Ride Home
STAR CITY, Russia (AP) -- A computer error is suspected of sending
three spacemen on a wild ride home that was so steep and forceful their
tongues rolled back in their mouths and they could hardly breathe.
Then antenna problems blocked their ability to announce a safe arrival,
albeit one that was far short of the targeted touchdown site. Even so,
the two astronauts and one cosmonaut who returned to Earth Sunday from
the international space station were in good spirits Tuesday as they
talked about their adventure.
American Donald Pettit, the sickest and weakest upon return, didn't
mind having a few more hours alone with his crewmates after 161 days
together in orbit. He had been warned about the "mob scene" and "hustle
and bustle" awaiting him in Kazakhstan, what with all the recovery
"I was actually relieved to ooze out of the spacecraft and lay on
Mother Earth and have a solitude moment in which to get reacquainted,"
Pettit said, reflecting on his historic yet harrowing ride. They had
landed nearly 300 miles off-course.
[ANS thanks space.com
for the above
On May 7th German astronomers witnessed something remarkable: a
spacecraft and a planet crossing the face of the Sun at the same
time. The planet was Mercury. The spacecraft was the International
view a movie of this unprecedented [sic]double solar transit.
[ANS thanks www.spaceweather.com for the above information]
Bob Bruinga, WB4APR, reports that, "PCsat is back to eclipses but is
holding fine and supporting about 50 users per 8 hour evening period
(see pcsat.aprs.org)." Bob reports that he has cut the TXD in half from
30 to 15 and it seems to work fine for his receive set up while at the
same time saving about 10% of transmit power."
If anyone notices any problems please let Bob know. He can be reached
at [email protected]
. He also
notes, "Mid northern latitudes are seeing evening prime-time passes".
[ANS thanks Bob, WB4APR, for the above information]
April 17, 2003
Al Feinberg/Melissa Motichek
Johnson Space Center, Houston
NASA ANNOUNCES TV COVERAGE FOR SPACE STATION
CREW ROTATION NASA
Television has extensive coverage planned for the launch and arrival of
the Expedition 7 crew to the International Space Station. NASA TV will
also carry the first landing of U.S.
astronauts in a Russian spacecraft, when the Expedition 6 crew returns
after more than five months in space.
Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer / NASA
Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu are scheduled for launch at
approximately 11:50 p.m. EDT, April 25 aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA-2
spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. On May 4, the
Expedition 6 crew will return to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-1 craft,
currently docked to the Station, landing in Kazakhstan completing their
more than five-month mission.
Coverage on NASA TV includes:
* Replay of Expedition 7 news conference, Star City, Russia, 9:00 a.m.
EDT, April 18 * B-roll video, Expedition 7 crew pre-launch
preparations, Baikonur, 12:00 p.m. EDT, April 23-25 * Replay of final
pre-launch news conference, Expedition 7 crew, Baikonur, 9:00 a.m. EDT,
April 25 * Live Expedition 7 launch coverage and commentary from the
Johnson Space Center (JSC) and Baikonur beginning 11:00 p.m. EDT, April
25 * Live Expedition 7 docking coverage and commentary from the Mission
Control Center in Korolev, Russia, beginning 1:00 a.m. EDT, April 28 *
Joint Expedition 6/7 crew news conference from orbit at
approximately 11:28 a.m. EDT, April 29. There will be limited question
and answer capability at NASA centers, as less than 20 minutes is
available for the news conference. * Live Expedition 6 landing coverage
and commentary begins at 2 p.m. EDT, May 3 with the Space Station
change of command ceremony * Live undocking coverage begins at 6:00
p.m. EDT, May 3; followed at approximately 8:30 p.m. EDT with deorbit
burn and landing coverage *
There will be live landing commentary, but no live TV coverage, from
and Kazakhstan, for the Expedition 6 landing * Video B-roll of
post-landing activities, crewmembers' return to their training center
in Star City, Russia, and crew/family reunions will be broadcast May 4,
NASA TV is broadcast on AMC-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees west
longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and
audio of 6.8 MHz.
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA. To
unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Maj[email protected]
Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC
"Arthur N1ORC found this useful document regarding the upcoming
Expedition Seven. You can read this PDF file directly from
Columbia's Flight Data Recorder Found
Columbia accident investigators found a key flight data recorder
Wednesday near Hemphill, Texas. The device could shed new light on what
was happening to the spacecraft before it disintegrated over east Texas
on Feb. 1. Seven astronauts,
three of them amateur radio operators were lost in the accident.
About the size of a bread box, the instrument uses magnetic tape to
record data such as temperatures, pressures, vibrations, acceleration,
electrical currents and strains on
the vehicle. The recorder was recovered intact and taken to Johnson
Space Center, where it must be cleaned up before determining how
to get to the data without damaging it.
The recorder starts up about 10 minutes before the shuttle reaches the
first traces of the upper atmosphere. Investigators believe it would
have continued to run until the vehicle broke up.
To date, investigators have been forced to
rely on telemetry data beamed back from the shuttle, video and
photographs in attempt to piece together what destroyed the
That information has helped NASA build a timeline of events as the
orbiter crossed the southwestern United States on way to a planned
landing at Kennedy Space Center..
[ANS thanks Florida Today for the above information.]
NASA Ham-Astronaut Among Those Meeting with "Future Explorers"
NASA astronauts and educators are traveling the nation, meeting
face-to-face with future space explorers -- both teachers and students.
Astronauts Barbara Morgan, KD5VNP; Leland Melvin; and educator
astronaut co-manager Debbie Brown are visiting schools, museums, and
teacher conferences in New York, California, Texas, Puerto Rico, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Idaho during March and
April. Their goal is to reach out to discuss student and teacher
involvement in the nation's space program. Nearly 6000 students, family
members, and friends have nominated their teachers to become permanent
members of NASA's Astronaut Corps. One Michigan student nominated his
teacher saying, "He makes me want to come to school every day." The
application deadline for the Educator Astronaut Program is April 30,
2003. For event locations and dates, contact Gretchen Cook-Anderson,
To learn more about the Educator Astronaut Program and other NASA
education activities, visit the NASA Web site at www.nasa.gov.
[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]
Persistence Makes Perfect for Space Station QSO
Persistence paid off March 11 when students at Eugene Field School in
Park Ridge, Illinois, finally got to quiz astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT,
about life aboard the International Space Station. One earlier effort
failed when the earth station
and NA1SS ended up on different 2-meter frequencies due to a
communication breakdown. The contact, arranged by the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS) program, also was postponed
because of schedule conflicts.
Pettit answered 19 questions put to him by
the students. One topic discussed was Pettit's interest and
research into thin films of water, which, he said, look much
like soap bubbles in space. He also described how a tin of food that
would normally float off the table while he was eating would
stay in place if he applied a small drop of water to the tin's bottom.
Pettit explained that the surface tension of the water will keep the
container from floating off.
Students expressed their delight with a round of applause at the
contact's completion. Audio of the contact was distributed to five
other elementary schools and two middle schools in the suburban Chicago
school district. Several local TV and radio affiliates showed up to
record the contact and interview the students afterwards.
"This was special for everyone here," said
Tony Clishem, a curriculum coordinator at one of the schools
listening in on the contact.
Eugene Field School counts among its alumni former First Lady and now
US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and
actor Harrison Ford. The school has 600 students in kindergarten
through grade 5.
The contact was handled via W6SRJ at Santa
Rosa Junior College in California. Earth station operators were
Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, Herb Sullivan, K6QXB, and Don Dalby,
KE6UAY. Two-way audio was handled via a WorldCom teleconferencing
circuit. Tim Bosma, W6ISS, moderated the ARISS QSO.
ARISS is an international project with participation by ARRL, NASA and
AMSAT. For more information, visit the ARISS Web site at
[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]
Spring Satellites and Spaghetti
The Indian River Amateur Radio Club (IRAC)
is pleased to announce that our third Spring, Satellites &
Spaghetti day will be held on 29 March 2003. Our objective is to give
operators an opportunity to try their hands at satellite operating
and introduce them to the world of amateur satellites. We will be
using the club callsign, W4NLX, but you may also hear members using
their own callsigns as well. The event is not restricted to club
members and anyone who would like to learn about amateur satellites is
welcome to attend. We are planning to be active on as many of the FM
and SSB LEO satellites as possible. The park opens at 1200z and we
to be operating until around 2100z.
Event: Spring, Satellites & Spaghetti III
Location: Kiwanas Island Park, Merritt Island, Florida
Grid - EL98qi
Date: Saturday, 29 March 2003
Time: ~1200-2100 UTC
Modes: FM and SSB LEO satellites
[ANS thanks Lee, KU4OS, for the above information.]
New software has been uploaded successfully to AO-27. The new commands
are working great and ON-ORBIT checkout is continuing. During the
upcomming week control
operators will be checking out the new scheduler and fine tuning the
scheduler parameters. We will be turning on the Analogue Repeater from
time to time during this checkout period when we don't need to collect
telmetry. If all continues to go well, we will be able
to turn AO-27 back to Normal, self scheduled operations in a few
Thanks goes out to N1UC and W4XP for their tremendous effort in getting
this new software up to the bird.