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ANS-334 AMSAT Weekly Bulletins



ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on
the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who
share an active interest in designing, building, launching and
communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:

In this edition:
* AMSAT-NA President November NewsLetter
* ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful School List
* Satellite Operating Awards
* ARISS Status
* Tampa Hamfest, Request for Help
* Reception of MARS EXPRESS Signal

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.01
AMSAT-NA President November NewsLetter

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.01 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.01

The Buck Stops Here.

Greetings and a Happy Thanksgiving to all USA readers.

As President of AMSAT-NA, I am responsible to provide to you the information
which you need so that you can support the Funding of our Projects.
Several of you have been asking questions on the AMSAT-BB  about the funding
of ECHO and the need for an ECHO launch Campaign fund. Let me start off by
saying that I have not read AMSAT-BB for some time as I try and deal with
some  forty AMSAT related letters each day and reading the -BB would make
life almost  impossible, so with no apologies I state that I don't read -BB.
However I do get briefed on the contents, regularly by AMSAT Officers.

I will try and answer some of your questions  one by one below:-

1) How much does ECHO cost.

There is no exact answer to that, because as you know we entered into a
contract with SpaceQuest of Fairfax Virginia to build the "Basic Parts of

As in most commercial contracts there was a clause which prohibits AMSAT
from releasing the actual value of the satellite, however I can tell you
that I believe the price was very fair and I doubt that we (AMSAT-NA) could
have designed, built and tested ECHO for  close to this figure, particularly
as ECHO does use the triple Junction High effeicieny (27%) Solar Cells. I
estimate that with SpaceQuest, AMSAT-NA additions and experiments, Export
permits, meeting ITAR requirements,Testing, Launch etc the total
expenditures will be in the order of $350,000.

A real bargin for a complex satellite.

2) Where did AMSAT-NA get the funding from for ECHO?

The funding for ECHO was taken from our reserves, a large proportion of
which came from the work done by AMSAT-NA Builders & Designers on the
University of Toronto MOST project.

3) Why cannot the reserves pay for the launch?

AMSAT-NA has to maintain a small reserve of about one years operating
expenses, according to our Accountants, we are around that level now. If
the ECHO launch were paid for from the remaining reserves we would fall
below thesafe operating level.

4) Why have our reserves fallen so low?

In the year 2000 our reserves were over $600,000 mostly in good investments,
but they had got there through both good investing and the rapid escalation
of the Stock market in that year.  You may recall that during 2000 the
market bubble burst and with 911 ENRON, WorldCom etc. the Market continued
to slide until this year. In January we had lost about $100,000 and our
payments for ECHO were coming due.

AMSAT-NA was fortunate to have a good Security and Investment advisor who
had our investments well diversified, so we lost comparatively a smaller

5) You have posted a "Thermometer" on the web Page where did this $22,000
come from?

Members have provided only $7053 of this amount.  The rest is a gift from
AMSAT-UK Somebody on the web page suggested that "$25 dollars from each
member would be enough" - Yes that is Theoretically true, BUT remember there
are Members who cannot pay, Members who will not pay and Members who forget
to pay. That puts the average amount to about $125 not $25

6)  If there is surplus  money in the reserves after ECHO has been launched,
what will AMSAT-NA do with it?

In addition to being a financial operating reserve for our day to day
operations, the reserve is also a building fund reserve which enables us to
continue with the design and development of new satellite projects  so that
satellite construction can continue between  "funding appeals".

Our next satellite "Eagle" has continued at a very low activity level during
the rapid design, development and construction of ECHO. Once ECHO is "up and
running"  AMSAT reserve dollars will be applied to Eagle.

7) You mentioned in a previous letter that AMSAT-NA was sending a person to
the launch site is this really necessary?

The State department requires that every satellite developed in the USA must
have a US citizen  with it at all times up to launch.  (ITAR rules). In
addition it is very advisable to have  a person who understands the
satellite present, to monitor progress and see that all systems are
functioning at launch time.  So yes, it is necessary.

8) If I donate to the ECHO Launch Fund, can my donation also be a part of
the "President's Club"?

Yes, it most certainly can. For our accounting purposes make sure that
Martha (in the office) understands that you want the money to go to the
Launch Fund - but you also want President's Club recognition.

9) Is there any limit to the amount I can give?

No Limit at all, It is a good way to get a Tax letter from AMSAT-NA.
Remember if you donate early then you may be able to reduce your amount of
Tax payable next year (USA Members only).

I am sure that you have other questions you would like me to answer on this
subject, if so please post them directly to me (VE3FRH@amsat.org) and I will
reply via the December Presidents Letter.

Once more have a great Thanksgiving weekend....

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin Haighton VE3FRH for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.02
ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful School List

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.02 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.02

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list is now available on
the ARISS web site.  There are several ARISS web sites:

English:  http://www.rac.ca/ariss/

French:  http://c.avmdti.free.fr/ariss/index.htm

ARISS Europe:  http://www.ariss-eu.org/

ARISS Japan:  http://www.jarl.or.jp/ariss/

Other locations include:

Latest ARISS announcements and news

Successful school list


[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.03

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.03 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.03

Some exciting news on new ham radio hardware slated to be carried to the
International Space Station.  We have more in this report:


ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, reports that he and other
members of the USA team just returned from Russia where we they were
supporting a series of meetings and tests at the Energia facility.

According to Bauer, the primary reason for the US team visit was to
complete the testing of the Phase 1 Ericsson 2 meter and 70 cm radios,
along with the Phase 2 Kenwood D 700 radio system using a set of flight
identical ARISS antenna systems.

The tests were performed in the KIS facility at Energia that houses all
their flight equipment.  Inside the KIS is a flight equivalent Service
Module.  The good news is that the group not only successfully completed
the end-to-end testing of the Kenwood and Ericsson radio systems but the
SSTV system as well.

The successful completion of these end-to-end tests was a requirement by
the Russian team.  This, to clear these radio systems for use in the
on-orbit Service Module.


By the way, the International Space Station celebrated its fifth
anniversary in Earth orbit on November 20th.   (ARISS)

[ANS thanks Amateur Radio Newsline for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.04
Satellite Operating Awards

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.04 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.04

Congrats go out to those that have recently made their very first satellite
QSO. May they have many more years of fun on the satellites.

Guillermo Guerra, XQ3SA

Congrats go out to all of the following for earning their Oscar Satellite
Communications Achievement Award.

#388  N2AJK  Peter Sitter      12-Nov-2003
#389  N1HOQ  Shawn Reed        23-Nov-2003
#390  XQ3SA  Guillermo Guerra  23-Nov-2003

Congrats also go out to the following for earning their AMSAT Oscar
Sexagesimal Award.

#132   N1HOQ   Shawn Reed  23-Nov-2003

Congrats also go out to the following for earning their AMSAT Oscar Century

#36   N1HOQ   Shawn Reed  23-Nov-2003

To see all the awards and a list of those earning the awards, visit

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.05
ARISS Status, November 25, 2003

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.05 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.05

1. Upcoming Schools

ARISS contacts have been scheduled for Renmark  Primary School in Renmark,
South Australia on Tuesday, November 25, and for Berufliches Schulzentrum
Elektrotechnik, in Dresden, Germany on December 5, 2003.

2. TIM in Moscow

The end-to-end testing of the Kenwood radio system and the SSTV
system with the ARISS antenna systems, in the flight-backup Service Module
located at Energia, was completed.  The tests all went well and the
paperwork signature process has started to clear the Kenwood radio and
SAREX 70 cm radio for use in the Service Module with the new ARISS antennas.
 It is our hope that this will be completed by December 8.

3. ARRL Article on ISS Anniversary

ARRL ran a web story  entitled "International Space Station Marks Five Years
in Space."  It included highlights on how the ISS is home to the first
permanent Amateur Radio station in space, NA1SS.


4. ARISS International Educational Outreach Committee Meeting Held

The ARISS International Educational Outreach/School Selection Committee held
its bi-monthly meeting moderated by Rosalie White. Rosalie prepared minutes
that have been posted to the ARISS Web site.

http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arissschm.htm - November%2013,%202003

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.06
Tampa Hamfest, Request for Help

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.06 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.06

Hello all,

AMSAT will again have a booth at the upcoming Tampa Hamfest on Dec. 6th and
7th in Palmetto, Florida. I could use a few volunteers for both days, even
if just for an hour or so. We will have a portable AO-40 station on display,
as well as be doing demonstrations on SO-50 and FO-29, (maybe AO-7). I'll
also have a display of DX QSLs from AO-40, as well as playing some video of
a Dnepr launch like Echo will be on.

Please come by and help out....

Would some kind soul forward this to the field-ops list for me also?

[ANS thanks Drew, KO4MA for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-334.07
Reception of MARS EXPRESS Signal

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 334.07 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  November 30, 2003
BID: $ANS-334.07

Dear All,

The european MARS EXPRESS probe will arrive on Mars on Christmas Day
and deploy the lander BEAGLE toward the Mars surface.

Joint preparations by the IUZ and the AMSAT-DL for this event have started
months ago, because the 20 metre parabolic antenna is also deemed to be used
as ground station for the AMSAT-DL future P5-A Mars Mission.

On Sunday, Nov. 16th, Germany saw a first ever event when a strong (40dB/Hz)
8.4 GHz signal of the MARS EXPRESS - at that moment 102 million kilometer
distant - was directly received at Bochum over a number of hours.
It was the first time ever that a signal of an interplanetary deep space
probe was received in Germany. It was probably also the first time ever that
a signal was received by amateur radio operators.

With this successful test the general functional and operational readiness
of the 20 metre parabolic antenna in Bochum to serve as AMSAT-DL command
station for the P5A Mars Mission has been proven. It will then be used to
the P5-A Satellite in 2007 safely towards Mars and to enter a Mars orbit.

The complete report is here:

Peter Guelzow, DB2OS
President AMSAT-DL

[ANS thanks Peter, DB2OS for the above information]


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT-NA
offers membership in the President's Club. Members of the President's Club,
as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive
additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT-NA

AMSAT-NA has developed an on-line volunteer survey, designed to
identify the interests and skills of those who may be available to directly
help in efforts to develop the amateur satellite program. The survey is
designed to be completed and returned on-line, and takes only a few minutes
to fill out.  To request the survey, simply send an e-mail request
to:volunteer at amsat.org


This weeks ANS Editor,
Dave Johnson, G4DPZ, g4dpz@amsat.org

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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