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SHUTTLE AMATEUR RADIO EXPERIMENT
BULLETIN: Winter 1998-1999

This information is obtained from:
The American Radio Relay League 
Educational Activities 
Department
225 Main Street  Newington CT 06111-1494  USA
Telephone (860) 594-0301  Email sarex@arrl.org

FOR CURRENT UP-TO-THE-MINUTE INFORMATION ON STS-93:
http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-93/missionsts-83.html
http://www.arrl.org/sarex/sarexnew.html


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

WHAT IS SAREX?
With the help of Amateur Radio clubs and ham radio 
operators, US astronauts can speak over the ham airwaves 
while in orbit. They talk directly with students, showing 
teachers, students, parents and communities how Amateur 
Radio energizes youngsters about science, technology, and 
learning. The program is called SAREX, the Space Amateur 
Radio EXperiment.

NASA's intent in having astronauts take part in SAREX is to 
involve the largest possible numbers of people, 
particularly youths,  in technology and the US space 
program with the help of Amateur Radio.

During a SAREX mission, the astronauts make scheduled and 
unscheduled  Amateur Radio contacts with schools, random 
contacts with Amateur Radio operators and contact with the 
astronauts' families.

A few schools are selected from around the world for 
scheduled contacts with the shuttle during SAREX missions. 
These contacts give the schools a 95% chance at a 
successful contact. Ten or more students at each school ask 
the astronauts questions, and the nature of these contacts 
embodies the primary goal of SAREX-to excite student 
interest in learning.

WHO SPONSORS SAREX?
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Radio Amateur 
Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) and NASA sponsor these 
exciting experiments. AMSAT volunteers support technical 
operations, and mentor school groups. ARRL provides SAREX 
information. ARRL and NASA HQ create and distribute SAREX 
lesson plans and resources for teachers. SAREX is supported 
by the Federal Communications Commission.

Hundreds of Amateur Radio operators, including those from 
NASA Amateur Radio clubs at Johnson Space Center, Goddard 
Space Flight Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center, work 
behind the scenes.


HOW CAN I -- A TEACHER -- GET STARTED IN SAREX?
Schools desiring a scheduled SAREX contact with the 
astronauts are required to submit a proposal and a SAREX 
school application to ARRL. Applications are available 
from ARRL or on the web at 
http://www.arrl.org/sarex/sarex-ap.html .

While only a few schools get scheduled contacts per 
mission, all schools can participate by eavesdropping, or 
by trying to make a random contact with the astronauts. 
SAREX lesson plans are available from ARRL for all schools 
who participate. Imagine listening in on the astronauts 
from your classroom! If you are a school teacher, but are 
unfamiliar with ham radio, you can still take part in 
SAREX. Contact ARRL EAD to get a list of your local Amateur 
Radio clubs to assist you.

If you are a parent, grandparent and/or a ham radio 
operator, contact ARRL EAD and a local school. EAD will 
send materials, including ways to convince teachers and 
school administrators that Amateur Radio is an important 
discipline the school should take advantage of on a full-
time basis. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to 
showcase SAREX and Amateur Radio to students of all ages.


HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SCHOOL RADIO CONTACT?
There will probably be only one more SAREX Shuttle mission 
before the International Space Station (ISS) is assembled.  
But once the ISS crews' schedules are normalized, they will 
make school radio contacts from the ISS.
If your school is interested in SAREX, you must complete a 
SAREX school application and write an educational proposal. 
ARRL collects these for the SAREX Working Group who makes 
the final selection with the astronauts. All grade levels 
and type of schools (rural, suburban and particularly 
urban) are encouraged to apply.

For a SAREX school application send a self-addressed 
stamped envelope to ARRL,  check the ARRL web address, or 
email your request for an electronic version to: 
sarex@arrl.org  A proposal must accompany all completed 
applications. The SAREX Working Group and NASA want to 
know:
1) How will you:
a) integrate this activity into the school curriculum and
b) involve as many grade levels as you can, participating 
through essay contests, poster drawing, letter writing, 
etc.?

2) Do you have an experienced group of hams to assist in 
setting up all necessary Amateur Radio equipment and 
antennas

3) How will you get as much media coverage as possible? 


HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY SCHOOL IS SELECTED FOR A CONTACT?
Schools that have been selected for SAREX  scheduled 
contacts are called by a SAREX coordinator. NASA requires 
selections to be made about six months prior to launch. If 
a school is not chosen, its application is recycled for 
future missions.  Schools typically wait one year or 
longer. 

I AM A HAM. HOW CAN I INTRODUCE SAREX TO MY CHILD?
Bring a shortwave receiver to school and let students 
eavesdrop on Amateur Radio  retransmissions. Then set up a 
2-meter satellite ground station in class, and try a 
satellite contact. The teacher can apply for a future 
school contact, almost guaranteeing that students will have 
an opportunity to communicate with a crew.

ARE THERE VIDEOS ON SAREX?
You and your class will enjoy watching students talk to 
astronauts via ham radio. ARRL has a video all about space, 
with 1.5 hours of programming, at the cost of (your and 
our) duplication, shipping (in the US) and handling for 
$12.00. Call Marjorie, at 860-594-0267, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM 
(Eastern), using a credit card.  Or send a check to ARRL 
EAD, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111. Volume 2  Space 
Amateur Radio EXperiment includes-
* Ham Radio In Space. An overview of Amateur Radio in 
space-from satellites to the space shuttles, and beyond. 
[30 min]
* SAREX Space Shuttle Mission STS-51F. Astronaut Tony 
England, W0ORE, recounts SAREX aboard Space Shuttle 
Challenger, as the 2nd astronaut in history to operate ham 
radio in space. [18 min]
* SAREX Space Shuttle Mission STS-58. Highlights of the 
volunteer and student prep, and actual SAREX contact made 
by Cheatham County Schools, TN. [45 min]

CAN HAMS MAKE AN UNSCHEDULED SAREX CONTACT?
Yes. The astronauts have not lost sight of why SAREX has 
been so successful. It is the Amateur Radio community that 
has brought astronauts voices into schools. Crew members 
make random contacts with earth-bound hams. They make 
contacts during their breaks, pre-sleep time and before and 
after meal-time. Astronauts have contacted thousands of 
hams around the world. Computer software allows the crew to 
operate the 2-meter packet gear radio in unattended mode, 
and hams can  make contacts when the astronauts are 
working.

WHAT TYPE RADIO DO I NEED?
A typical SAREX ground station includes a 2-meter FM 
transceiver and 25-100 watts of output power. A circularly 
polarized crossed-Yagi antenna capable of being pointed in 
both azimuth (N-S-E-W) and elevation (degrees above the 
horizon) is desirable. But successful contacts have even 
been made with verticals and ground plane antennas. 
Commercial and public domain software is available to help 
track when the shuttle or ISS will be in range of your 
station, and where to point your antenna. For more details 
on assembling your satellite/SAREX station, get the 
Satellite Handbook from  ARRL (see last section).

HOW DO I TALK TO ASTRONAUTS?
You may communicate with the astronauts using voice, packet 
(computer) radio or television. It all depends on what 
equipment the astronauts have in space. Astronauts aboard 
the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996 made hundreds of random 
voice contacts with ham radio operators. When the 
astronauts were busy with other activities, a computerized 
ham station aboard the orbiting shuttle automatically made 
contact with thousands more hams.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF MAKING A RANDOM CONTACT?
During SAREX missions, astronauts' work schedules dictate 
when they can operate the radios. So most of the general 
contacts they make are random.
The SAREX Working Group recognizes the long-standing 
commitment of the ham radio community in supporting SAREX, 
and asks the crew to do as many general ham contacts as 
possible during flights.

WHAT ARE SAREX RADIO FREQUENCIES?
The following VHF frequencies are used for some SAREX 
missions. These frequencies were chosen after much 
deliberation, to minimize problems between SAREX and other 
2-meter users. If you have comments, please direct them to 
AMSAT via Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, at his address in the Radio 
Amateur Callbook or email ka3hdo@amsat.org  or ARRL EAD. We 
appreciate the cooperation of all amateurs in making SAREX 
successful.
Frequencies used for SAREX
FM Voice Downlink: (Worldwide) 145.55 MHz
FM Voice Uplink: 144.91, 144.93, 144.95, 144.97, and 144.99 
MHz
FM Voice Uplink: (Europe only) 144.70,
144.75, and 144.80 MHz
FM Packet Downlink: 145.55 MHz
FM Packet Uplink: 144.49 Mhz

Frequencies used for SAREX during Shuttle Docking Missions
FM Voice Downlink: 145.84 MHz
FM Voice Uplink: 144.45, 144.47 MHz

Most SAREX operations are split-frequency (everyone uses 
separate receive and transmit frequencies). Please do not 
transmit on the shuttle's downlink frequency. The downlink 
is your receiving frequency. The uplink is your 
transmitting frequency. Earth stations should listen to the 
downlink frequency and transmit on the uplink frequency 
only when the spacecraft is in range and the astronauts are 
on the air.

CAN I USE MY SHORTWAVE RADIO TO EAVESDROP ON THE CREW?
When a mission carries the SAREX payload, members of 
Goddard Amateur Radio Club (MD) re-transmit live, air-to-
ground audio over Amateur Radio frequencies from their club 
station, call sign WA3NAN. This station, and some VHF and 
UHF repeater groups, provide this  service so amateurs and 
students can hear the educational communications. You will 
hear the astronauts and Mission Control, and  bulletins 
about  SAREX activities. WA3NAN operates on the high 
frequency (HF) bands at 3.86, 7.185, 14.295, 21.395, and 
28.65 MHz and in the Greenbelt, MD area on VHF at 147.45 
MHz (FM). 

CAN I RE-TRANSMIT COMMUNICATIONS ON THE HAM FREQUENCIES
FCC rules, Part 97.113 (e) , state that hams are permitted 
to retransmit shuttle air-to-ground communications, 
provided that approval has been obtained from NASA. In 
1990, ARRL sought NASA's permission, on behalf of radio 
amateurs, to retransmit communications. NASA Public Affairs 
Office encouraged such retransmissions, indicating that the 
communications are public domain.

Please follow these guidelines if you plan to rebroadcast 
NASA shuttle communications,

1) In keeping with good amateur practice and FCC rules, 
shuttle retransmissions should be limited to educational 
missions, such as those carrying the SAREX payload.
2) Retransmissions should be done manually (with a control 
operator present).
3) NASA audio contains crew "wake-up  music." Amateurs 
should avoid, if at all possible, retransmitting music or 
other prohibited transmissions listed by the FCC rules 
(Part 97.113).

HOW CAN I TRACK SPACECRAFT WITH A COMPUTER? 
Software is available for tracking spacecraft with a 
personal computer. Here are some options (ARRL in no way 
warrants these products or services):

AMSAT TRACKING PROGRAMS:
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT-NA) has 
computer programs for IBM, Macintosh, Apple, Commodore, and 
other computers. Contact AMSAT-NA at 850 Sligo Avenue, 
Suite 600, Silver Spring MD  20910, Phone (301) 589-6062, 
FAX (301) 608-3410, email martha@amsat.org
AMSAT also has a collection of free software for download:
World Wide Web http://www.amsat.org

STSPLUS  (Shareware for IBM).
This software, designed by David Ransom Jr., has excellent 
graphics and maps to help create a mock Mission Control 
Center. STSPLUS and other tracking software  is posted on 
Spacelink, NASA's electronic information system:

Modem line (205) 895-0028 Terminal emulation VT-100, Data 
format 8-N-1      World Wide Web: http://spacelink.nasa.gov

Satellite tracking software may be found in the following 
Spacelink directory:
http://spacelink.nasa.gov/Instructional.Materials/Multimedia


World Wide Web sites offer ways to predict spacecraft 
passes via the Internet. Check the following WWW site:
Terry Jones, W8JE, http://www.datasync.com/~nz8c 

WHAT ARE "KEPS?"
Spacecraft-tracking software uses "Keps" or Keplerian 
elements (also known as "orbital" or "tracking" elements) 
to pinpoint the location of a spacecraft. Keps provide the 
software with a spacecraft's orbital track, which the 
computer uses to calculate its location. Using a tracking 
program tells an observer when a spacecraft will appear 
above his or her horizon. 

WHERE CAN I FIND KEPS?
During missions carrying SAREX, Keplerian elements are 
available from:

AMSAT News Service publishes weekly information bulletins 
including Keps. 
These bulletins are distributed electronically through 
amateur packet radio networks, landline networks and the 
World Wide Web http://www.amsat.org

AMSAT also has email mailing lists to deliver Keps. To 
subscribe, send a message with your request to 
listserv@amsat.org Include your call sign (if any), your 
email address, and the names (shown below) of the mailing 
lists you wish to receive:
SAREX - mailing list
ANS - AMSAT News Service
AMSAT-BB - AMSAT Bulletin Board
KEPS - "Keps" mailing list
Goddard Amateur Radio Club, WA3NAN, maintains a BBS which 
carries Keps updated daily, and SAREX bulletins.
Modem line (301) 286-4137
Internet wa3nan@gsfc.nasa.gov
TCP/IP address 128.183.105.17
Packet radio WA3NAN on 145.090  MHz in the Maryland/DC 
area.

Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club maintains a service 
with the latest element sets available during missions.
Modem line (713) 244-5625
World Wide Web: http://www.phoenix.net/~mbordel/index.html

NASA EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
How do you find information on, payloads, space science and 
mission lesson plans? NASA has materials and resources for 
educators:

Specific mission and payload information can be obtained 
directly from NASA, via the shuttle mission Home Page: 
World Wide Web http://shuttle.nasa.gov 

NASA Spacelink - One of NASA's electronic resources 
specifically developed for use by the educational 
community. Spacelink is a comprehensive electronic library 
that hosts NASA's educational publications, the NASA 
Television education schedule, and provides hundreds of 
subject-related links.
http://spacelink.nasa.gov
Teacher Resource Centers (TRC) have free-loan publications, 
slides, audio cassettes, videocassettes, computer programs 
and  lesson plans. For information, contact the NASA TRC 
that serves your region:

AK, AL, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY:
NASA Ames Research Center
Teacher Resource Center
Mail Stop 253-2
Moffett Field, CA  94035-1000
(415) 604-3574 

CA cities near Dryden Research Center:
NASA Teacher Resource Center for Dryden Flight Research 
Center
45108 N. 3rd. Street East
Lancaster, CA 93535
(805) 948-7347
Inquiries on the solar system and planetary exploration:
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Teacher Resource Center
Mail Stop 601-107
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
(818) 354-6916

CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Teacher Resource Laboratory
Mail Code 130.3
Greenbelt, MD 20771-0001
(301) 286-8570

VA's & MD 's Eastern Shores:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Wallops Flight Facility
Education Complex-Teacher Resource Lab
Bldg. J-17
Wallops Island, VA 23337-5099
(804) 824-2297/2298
http://pao.gsfc.nasa.gov 

FL, GA, PR, VI:
NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center
Educators Resources Laboratory
Mail Code ERC
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899-0001
(407) 867-4090

CO, KS, NE, NM, ND, OK, SD, TX:
Space Center Houston
JSC Educator Resource Center
1601 NASA Road One
Houston  TX  77058-3696
(713) 483-8696

KY, NC, SC, VA, WV:
Educator's Resource Center
WVU/NASA Fairmont IV & V Facility
100 University Drive
Fairmont, WV  26554

IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI:
NASA Lewis Research Center
Teacher Resource Center
Mail Stop 8-1
21000 Brookpark Road
Cleveland, OH 44135-3191
(216) 433-2017

MS:
NASA Stennis Space Center
Teacher Resource Center
Building 1200
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000   Phone: (601) 688-3338

AL, AR, IA, LA, MO, TN: 
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
NASA Educator Resource Center
One Tranquillity Base
Huntsville, AL  35758

NASA Television offers a front-row seat during launches and 
a space activities, the latest in space science, plus 
educational and historical programs. They sometimes air 
live coverage of SAREX.  NASA-TV is received by satellite 
dish or may be on your local cable TV network. 

This TV schedule is available via the Internet.  The 
address is
http://shuttle.nasa.gov/ntv/schedule.html

Tuning-In NASA TV
Satellite - GE-2
Transponder 9C
85 degrees west longitude
Vertical polarization
Frequency 3880.0 MHz
Audio on 6.8 MHz

For more details, contact:  Kelly Humphries, NASA TV, NASA 
HQ, Washington D.C. 20546, or send email to: 
kelly.o.humphries1@jsc.nasa.gov

HOW DO I GET A SAREX QSL?
QSL cards are similar to postcards. Hams exchange QSLs to 
confirm their radio contacts with other stations. 
Participating in SAREX is an exhilarating experience. But 
waiting for that coveted QSL card requires patience. 
Designing a card for the ultimate DXpedition is a lengthy 
process.

After a SAREX mission, ARRL and the SAREX Working Group 
work with crew members to select photos from that mission, 
and design and layout the QSL card. This may take a few 
months because of the astronauts' busy schedules. Once the 
cards are printed, ARRL forwards them to the Amateur Radio 
club managing the QSLs.

Send your QSL cards or reports to ARRL. Include on your QSL 
or report: shuttle flight number (STS-XX), date, time in 
UTC, frequency and mode 
(voice, packet or sstv). If you wish to receive a card, you 
must include a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope with 
proper postage or sufficient IRCs included.
These clubs have graciously volunteered to handle QSLs for 
the following missions:
STS-74	Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club, Connecticut
STS-76	Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club, 
		Massachusetts
STS-78	"The Net", Washington
STS-83 and 94	Bergen Amateur Radio Asso., New Jersey
STS- 93	Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Ohio

ARRL's SAREX RESOURCE LIST
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT & INFORMATION is available from the 
American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Educational Activities 
Department, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111 USA Phone 860-
594-0301 Fax 860-594-0259
World Wide Web: http://www.arrl.org/

ARRL INFORMATION SERVER:
ARRL maintains an information email server. To receive an 
index of files on the server, send a message to 
info@arrl.org. Leave the subject line blank. On the first 
line of your message, type SEND INDEX. On the second line, 
type QUIT. A list of all files on the server will be 
emailed to you.

SAREX ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB:
ARRL Web site-http://www.arrl.org/sarex/
AMSAT Web site-http://www.amsat.org
NASA's SAREX Web site - 
http://www.nasa.gov/sarex/sarex_mainpage.html 
Goddard Amateur Radio Club 
http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/www/garc-home-page.html
Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club-
http://www.phoenix.net/~mbordel/index.html

W1AW BULLETINS:
ARRL's Amateur Radio station (call sign W1AW) transmits 
news bulletins (9:45 PM, 12:45 AM EST) on HF bands at 
1.855, 3.99, 7.29, 14.29, 18.16, 21.39, 28.59 MHz and, in 
the Hartford, CT area, on VHF at 147.555 MHz. Bulletins are 
also on packet.

AMSAT NET:
The AMSAT International Satellite Net on Sundays, 14.282 
MHz, +/- QRM.

CAN I BECOME A HAM?
Amateur Radio operators, or "hams," are people from all 
walks of life-no matter your age, gender or physical 
ability. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been 
easier! Contact ARRL to request a free New Ham Package. It 
contains details on your local Amateur Radio clubs, 
instructors, exam sites and popular study guides. Call 
ARRL's toll-free hotline for new hams: 1-800-32-NEW HAM 
(800-326-3942)  Why not get started, today!

ARRL BOOKSHELF
Call ARRL (888-227-5289) for book orders.

Now You're Talking! book (3rd ed.) contains everything you 
need to pass your Novice or Technician  ham radio written 
exam

ARRL Technician Class Video Course. Learn the "ropes" with 
the "pros." You won't find a better course or a better deal 
anywhere. 6 hours of excitement.

ARRL Tech  Q&A:   A "Question and Answer" format for the 
code-free Technician exam. Brief explanations of the 
correct answers reinforce learning. 

The Satellite Handbook has the information you need to 
communicate through, or receive signals from orbiting 
satellites and the spacecraft! Whether your interest is in 
ham satellites, weather satellites, or other spacecraft, 
you'll find  everything from setting up ground station 
equipment to antennas.

Your Packet Companion is perfect for the packet (computer) 
radio newcomer, covers everything-from assembling a station 
to sending mail, from packet satellites and spacecraft to 
the latest networking systems. Straightforward writing 
style and clear drawings get you on the cutting edge of 
digital ham radio. 

FOR CURRENT UP-TO-THE-MINUTE INFORMATION ON STS-93:
http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-93/mission-
sts-83.html
http://www.arrl.org/sarex/sarexnew.html