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SSETI Express - just four weeks left until lift off

The launch date of September 27th and a lift-off time of 06:52:26 UTC now 
looks pretty certain for the Cosmos 3 rocket carrying SSETI Express with its 
three cubesat passengers and four other satellites into orbit.

Updated pre-launch keps will be made available in a few days time and there 
are a number of webpages being developed to enable amateurs to locate SSETI 
Express, receive and download the telemetry and to forward it to Mission 
Control for their evaluation. Later in the mission it will also be possible 
for amateurs to transmit so-called "friendly" commands to request particular 
telemetry or thumbnail pictures.

Obviously we also expect to be able to use the receiver part of the onboard 
70cms transceiver and the S band transmitter as a single channel FM U/S 

The SSETI team and ESA - The European Space Agency, are very keen to recruit 
as many radio amateurs as possible around the world to capture the telemetry 
. Our worldwide "virtual groundstation network" is a unique facility which 
we can use to our benefit as well as theirs. By showing how well our network 
can substitute for their expensive professional one, we will really 
encourage them to include amateur transponder systems in their future 

ESA will be offering a very significant prize for the amateur who sends them 
the largest amount of telemetry during the mission and is also offering a 
unique "I heard it first" T shirt to the station that sends them the first 
report. This is actually likely to be one of the three Stations that we hope 
to having listening for SSETI Express in Antarctica - an ideal item of 
clothing for their forthcoming winter season!

The main mission site is being finalised and can already be accessed at 
www.sseti.net -click on the "express mission operation website" link. This 
has full details of the mission, the software, present orbital position and 
a host of other information.

There is also a Mission Control website at 
which will include a webcam of the control room and eventually the antennas 
and radio equipment.

AMSAT-UK will shortly be publishing the first edition of the SSETI Express 
Handbook which has been kindly edited by Richard G3RWL . This will be 
available as a downloadable pdf file or, for a small fee, in a full colour 
printed version by post.

The SSETI Express launch campaign team will be setting off for Russia on 
Sept 5th and will try to keep a good flow of up-to-date information flowing 
from the launch site.

Meanwhile there are two possibilities for joining the excitement of the Sept 

THE LAUNCH ON ASTRA 1G which has coverage of most of EUROPE

The launch will be broadcast via ESA Television on Astra 1 G at 19.2 degrees 

Transponder:                          1.108
Reception frequency:              12551.50 MHz
Polarization:                            Vertical
Symbolrate:                             22Msymb/s
FEC:                                        5/6
TS_ID:                                     1108
ON_ID:                                    1
Service Name:                        ESA
Service provider:                     ASTRA
Service_ID:                             12140
TXT:                                        none

This is always on and will transmit an ESA logo starting three days before 
the launch.
The programme is expected to run for approximately 30mins and will include 
the launch sequence live from the Plesetsk launch site. The final programme 
timing will be announced by ESA nearer to the time.


The ESA launch programme on ASTRA 1G will also be available as a webstream 
on the internet. The Home Counties Amateur Television Club operate an 
amateur television repeater (GB3HV) at High Wycombe in the UK and the output 
of this repeater is usually streamed onto the internet. They have kindly 
agreed to make this webstream service available to us for the launch period.

The webstream runs at about 210Kbits/sec so a broadband internet connection 
will be required for a reliable relay. To access this webstream you need to 
have Windows Media Player and connect to mms://wm9.btrichmedia.com/hcatv 
This service should be capable of serving a large number of users without 

This webstream operates on a 24/7 basis so it can be checked at anytime. 
Before the launch it may be displaying a variety of test cards, amateurs or 
other pictures. The display may take up to 30secs to appear and during the 
second half of every hour (from 30 mins to 59 mins after the hour) it will 
display a blank screen unless GB3HV is actually in use.

So we are nearly there! Please keep your fingers crossed for just a little 
longer so we can have a successful launch campaign.

More information will be relayed over the next few weeks but if the websites 
listed do not give you the answers that you need about anything to do with 
SSETI Express please get in touch


Graham Shirville G3VZV
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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