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Mir Status Dec 7, 1998

Mir Amateur Radio Status:  Dec 7, 1998

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

Mir School Schedules:
The Mir crew has had some free time to run a Pre-arranged School schedules
to celebrate
the 10 year anniversary of Amateur Radio Access from the Russian Mir Space
As time permits the MAREX-NA team runs school schedules with the crews on
All schedules are arranged months in advance with the engineers at Energia
in Russia.

Last weekend we ran a school schedule with in North Yorkshire England, at
the Harrogate Ladies College.  Seven students were able to ask the Mir crew
over 14 questions.
The school received a temporary  Third-Party traffic waver and were allowed
to have
a few non-licensed Russian students conduct part of the radio schedule in
The crew enjoyed the schedule so much, they came back for seconds on the
next pass.  The
students had over 16 minutes of two-way contact with the Mir crew Sergei
Avdeyev and  Gennadiy Padalko.

Future Schedules:
Over the next few months school schedules with Mir are planned with the
following countries,
USA, Canada and Australia.  Due to the limited volunteer staff of MAREX-NA
and that we do not have a budget, were are not actively looking for new
schools.  We have a large back log of
existing schools, enough to keep us busy for the rest of the year (1999).
MAREX-NA has been running school schedules with Mir since September 1991,
and has participated in over 70 Mir school schedules world wide and more
are planned
for the future.

Third Party Traffic:
At the present time the laws of the USA and other countries severely limits
access to the Mir station and ISS.  Most countries will only allows a
licensed ground station to talk to another
licensed station.  We can only hope that the laws will be updated to allow
licensed control operators to handle Third-Party-Traffic with ISS and Mir
in the future.

PMS is off Line (Temporarily)
The Mir Personal Message System went off line Saturday Nov 29, 1998 and was
off line as of Dec 1.  I have been in contact with Energia and was have
been discussing
the problem.  The PMS is just sending a Beacon, and is not responding to
connect requests.
We have seen this problem twice before and it may be related to a
Overflowed serial buffer
in the KPC-9612.  The overflow is caused when the crew disconnects the PC
for several days.
Data coming into the TNC from the radio gets stuck trying to go out the PC
Since the PC is not connected, the data backs up.
A simple power cycle or soft reset should clear the problem.
Instructions will be sent to the Mir crew over the commercial channel this

Tracking Mir, Sputnik and Zarya

The best way to track satellites is to get access to a good satellite
tracking program.  There are numerous programs on the market, both for sale
and share ware.

The orbit of Mir is drifting much faster this year than last year.  Mir is
now 30 miles lower than
it was the same time last year.  The lower the altitude, the greater the
The drift is so great that week old KEPS may be in error by 4 minutes.  If
you want to track Mir,
you will need to update your KEPS at least weekly.
Unmanned Satellites in higher orbits do not need frequent KEP updates.  As
a general rule, the higher the orbit the longer your KEPS will be good for.
Example Oscar 10, keps are good for  30-60 days.

The best place for current Kep data is at the CelesTrak web page
Keps from December 4, 1998

1 16609U 86017A   98338.20190478  .00037871  00000-0  28508-3 0   203
2 16609  51.6591 261.9682 0007805  49.8781 310.2903 15.72108758730734
1 25544U 98067A   98338.54388251  .00021614  00000-0  27197-3 0   801
2 25544  51.5957  95.7122 0009209 255.4339 104.5620 15.59546302  2247
1 25533U 98062C   98338.22037716  .00269996  00000-0  14490-2 0   253
2 25533  51.6576 261.3133 0005313  75.4591 284.6990 15.78925452  3607

Web Page information:
For information about the MAREX-NA SSTV project, check the web page at:


For general information about some of the Mir Projects, check the web page

     http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm  OR

Copyright 1998 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
freely distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
Usenet, and WorldWideWeb.  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.

Miles WF1F

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