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Mir Status Aug 30, 1999





Mir Amateur Radio Status: August 30, 1999

By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

Mir Crew Returns Safely:
The last Mir crew for 1999 returned to Earth last Saturday (August 28, 1999).

On the Thursday August 26, the Mir crew was active on voice and SSTV
around 13:14 uct over the USA.  Jean-Pierre had a lot of nice things to say
about the Amateur Radio community and he wanted to thank everyone who
sent him packet and SSTV images.
I was in my car and was able to make a quick QSL at around 14:16 UTC.
It was my last two-way QSO with Jean-Pierre.

Then on Friday August 27, the crew was too busy for very many qso, however
they did pose for a Group SSTV image, which they repeatedly transmitted
to Earth over and over again for everyone to see.
As luck wold have it, I was too busy channel hopping and I missed a good copy
of the image.  The crew sent the image in Robot-36 and in AVT-90 modes.
I have a Robot-36 copy, but I was wondering if anyone got a high resolution
version in AVT-90 mode.  If u have a copy in AVT-90, could you please forward
me
a copy, thanks.

A few hours later, the Mir crew shutdown the Amateur Radio Station and came
home to Earth.

A spokesman for Mission Control in Korolyov  Russia said a landing
capsule (Soyuz) with Russians Viktor Afanasyev, 51, Sergei Avdeyev, 43, and
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Haignere, 51,  touched ground at 0035 GMT.
The crew was glad to be home.

The Russian Space Station Mir, is expected to fly un-manned until February 2000.
Then a new crew will arrive on Mir to continue its mission.
The information I have at the present time, indicates the next crews job will be
 to fly
Mir down to a lower altitude in preparation for a controlled reentry later next
year.
No specific date has been planed for the official retirement of the Mir station,
 however
it does appear to be possibly in the year 2000.

I was told, that when the next crew arrives on Mir in February 2000, they do
plan on activating the Amateur Radio projects, including PMS packet and SSTV.

It all began in 1988
November 1998 marked the 10 year anniversary of Amateur Radio activity from
the
Russian Space Station Mir.  It all began a little over 10 years ago, when Mir
flight
engineer Musa Khiramanovich Manarov U2MIR
made the first  two way 2-meter contact from the Russian Space Station Mir
to Leo Labukin UA3CR.
At the time of the contact, Leo Labutin, was visiting the Amsat convention
in Washington DC.
That first contact ushered in a whole new chapter in accessible Amateur
Radio satellite access.

Since that date 10 years ago, a lot has changed.  The Mir station has grown
from 2 modules to 6 modules.
The station has been visited by over 66 long time crew members and another
50+ short term visitors.  And it is sad to say, but we may be retiring the
Mir space station in the year 2000, after over 14 years of service.

The Amateur Radio equipment on Mir has also been upgraded several times.
The SAFEX club in Germany, provided most of the initial equipment to the
Energia MAREX-RU Cosmonaut Amateur Radio Department.  Sergej Samburov the
chief of the  department, is owned a lot of credit for making Amateur Radio
Satellite access simple and affordable.  And for getting all of the
projects on Mir.

The MIREX and MAREX-NA clubs then took over the daily support activities
and continued to upgrade the equipment.  Over the past 9 years we have been
able to keep the Mir Personal Message System (PMS) on line and active for
over 90% of the time.
The MAREX-NA team's Slow Scan TV system gave the crews the opportunity
to See and hear the people on the Radio. Cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Haignere
was able to get frequent pictures of his family by SSTV and he was
able to see how big his 17 month old daughter had grown during his mission.


The Mir PMS and the MAREX-NA SSTV project has done what no other satellite has
done before.  It made Satellite Access  simple and affordable.
Now for the first time, people with a HT and zero gain antenna could talk
to an Astronaut or a Cosmonaut in space and see a live SSTV image too.
The packet mail system was kept simple.  Everyone could afford a $99.00 TNC
and the low power radio
needed to access the PMS mail box on Mir.
Adding Share-ware SSTV software gave you instant access to Live SSTV images.
The down link signal from Mir was over 45 watts.  This made it the most
powerful Amateur Radio Satellite ever flown. (Note: some satellites have
more powerful transponders, but the power is dissipated across a 120k+
band)

The Results of the Mir Amateur Radio experiment have exceed all
expectations.  Thousands of new Amateur Radio Satellite fans are logging
into their first satellite each year, and that satellite is the Mir
Personal Message System.  Over the past several months the Mir PMS has been
handling over a 1000 message a month to the Mir crew.
On many occasions, the Mir PMS has been used to pass critical information
to the Mir crew.  And has been used to make Telephone-patches between the
crew members and their families.  The list of uses of the Mir PMS would
take too long to list at this time.

It is impossible to count how many people have logged into the PMS or
talked to the Mir crew members over the past 10 years, but it is safe to
say that the Mir Amateur Radio experiment is the Most Popular Amateur Radio
Satellite in the world.

I would like to thank all of the people responsible for helping the Mir
Amateur Radio experiment be a success including:

Musa Khiramanovich Manarov U2MIR
Leo Labukin UA3CR.
Sergej Samburov RV3DR
and all of the Mir Amateur Radio supporters.

The MAREX-NA team would like to thank the following groups for helping support
Mir Amateur Radio program:

AMSAT and IARU
For frequency coordination Support.

SAREX and SAREX-WG
Hardware testing and transportation

MIREX
For Earth to message transfers.

RSA Energia, MAREX-Russia, AMSAT-Russia
For Mir crew Time-Line Scheduling

All crews of the Russian Space Station Mir

MAREX-NA Team
And special thanks to the MAREX-NA team for schedule development
and logistics:

Henry Cantrell W4HTB, Don C. Miller W9NTP, Chris Scott  WB9NEQ
Farrell Winder W8ZCF, John Langner, W2OSZ,

Misc:
Dave Hendrick N1PPP, Joe D W2KQ, Dirk Schimmelpfeng DG3BFD

MAREX-NA ISS projects:
See you Next year!

QSL Information:
A few people have asked about the many qsl managers for Mir.
I asked the engineers at AMSAT-Russia, MAREX-Russia and RSA Energia, who
are the current QSL managers.

There were a few part-time QSL managers, but most are no longer providing
Mir / Sputnik QSL services.  The only two official active QSL managers
are Dave Larsen N6CO and Sergej RV3DR.

The N6CO address is running low on QSL cards.
The RV3DR address is completely out of QSL cards.
The  MAREX-NA team is working on the Final Mir QSL card with RV3DR.
We hope to have the final QSL design completed soon and a new order for cards
placed.  These new cards will be used to fill the back log of QSL cards in
Russia
and will be used for Mir contacts next year too.

Please provide the following information with your QSL  or SWL card.

Return Name and Address, country, ZIP
Date and time of your contact, In UTC format
Signal report (Best guess)
Radio Station and Antenna (optional)

All Mir contacts, including SWL, Two-way voice or Packet connections (R0MIR),
and including the Sputnik Satellites

Envelopes should be well sealed and do not include cash.
Send a SAE (Self Addressed Envelope ) and one or two IRC coupons
(which can be purchased at major US post offices).
Do not make any notes on the out side of the envelope with Amateur Radio
Call signs visible.

Sergej Samburov
PO Box 73
Korolev-10 City
Moscow Area, 141070, Russia

************************************************
The California address still has a short supply of cards in stock.
For Two-way contacts with Mir ONLY.  Just for the call sign R0MIR and R0MIR-1
No SSTV-SWL (Short Wave Listener) cards will be issued at this address.
No Sputnik-SWL cards

Dr. Dave Larsen - N6CO/K6MIR
PO Box 311
Pine Grove, California
95665
USA

Please include a SASE (Business Size Envelope) and two IRC?s  for international.
If you are sending an IRC, Please make sure it is dated 1999, as the post office
won't accept IRC's dated over 1 year old.
Make sure the cancel stamp is in the right place on the IRC.
"Green Stamps" (USA ONLY) are appreciated for covering additional costs.



Copyright 1999 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be freely
distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers), Usenet,
and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for profit including, but not
limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without prior
written consent from the author.
Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space Station
Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior
permission.

This is not good by.
DOSVIDANIYA
This is,  Until we meet again.
Miles WF1F MAREX-NA


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