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Mir Crew comes home in Aug, June 30, 1999

Mir Amateur Radio Status: June 30, 1999

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

Live Long and Prosper:
The  Russian Space Station will be flying solo for a few months beginning around
August  24,  1999  until February 2000.  You have probably seen the news stories
about  the  current Mir crew returning to earth  August 1999.  During the weekly
telecon between MAREX-NA and Energia, we were informed the current Mir crew will
depart  Mir  on  August 23, 1999. The next crew which was scheduled to arrive on
Mir  in August, will not be launched until February 2000.  This is not the first
time  the Russian Space Station has flown with out a crew.  The Mir station will
be  empty for approximately 6 months.  Then depending on the funding status, the
February  Mir crew will either prepare the space station for a controlled splash
landing  in  the pacific or prepare Mir for operating until its 15 year birthday
in February 2001.

SSTV Update from Mir crew:
I was informed by Energia that the crew has been formally requested to activate
the SSTV project, when ever possible.  During the weekend of June 26th, the Mir
crew was very active on voice and SSTV.  The Mir crew even handed out many
Field-Day contacts.

Future Voice schedules with Mir:
The  MAREX-NA  team  has  been running Official Voice Schedules with the Russian
Space  Station Mir since September 1991.  Most of these schedules have been with
schools  around the world (over 70 schools).  During the month of August we hope
the make a schedule with the world.  I know there are many people who have never
talked  to a Cosmonaut in space before and we are trying to work out the details
for Mir crew voice time.
Stay tuned for further details.

Voice Contact Tips:
1 Listen first before Transmitting.
2 Wait till the crew says CQ or QRZ
We  have  been  teaching  the  crew  more   Amateur  Radio protocol and they are
catching on, slowly.

3  When  you hear CQ/QRZ, just say the last two letters of you calls sign, twice
and that?s all
     example:   WF  WF    (don?t say anything else, until you hear the crew say,
something similar too.  Station WF please continue?.

4  Keep  your  conversation  short  and speak very slowly.  If you are fluent in
French or Russian that?s better, use the appropriate languages or English too.

5  When  you are done, the crew will usually remember to say CQ/QRZ for the next
station  waiting.  When  the band is too crowded, Jean-Pierre usually says Break
Break, which is his way of asking all stations to please stop transmitting.

6  If  the  crew  is  on  voice, do not send any packet messages.  The crew will
sometimes leave the Kantronics KPC-9612 ON, while they are on voice.  This is so
they can read OLD mail while
they are talking on voice.

7.  Do  not  ask  the crew about the QSL card procedures.  The Mir crew does not
Keep a log
of radio contacts.  Just send a card to one of the two address below.

Current Channel, 145.985 FM Simplex.

I  would  like  to  ask  everyone  to  please be patient regarding Amateur Radio
operations  on  Mir.   The  Amateur  Radio  portion  of  the Mir experiments are
primarily OFF-Hours experiments.  The Mir crews do have a very busy schedule and
only  have  a  very  limited  amount of FREE-Time to use the educational Amateur
Radio experiments.

Personal Message  (PMS) Packet Update:
The  packet  system developed an audio problem on Friday.  MAREX-NA faxed a list
of  instructions  to  the engineers at MAREX-RU that same day.  The engineers at
Energia  did not know what was the exact cause of the audio problem but informed
us that Sergei Avdeyev is a very experienced amateur radio operator and he knows
the  equipment  very well. Sergei Avdeyev was able to fix the PMS and have it on
line by Monday morning.

When  the Mir station is temporally shutdown in August, there is the possibility
all  of  the  Amateur  Radio  equipment  may  be shutdown.  The safety rules for
placing Mir in a shutdown mode require that all non essential equipment be power
off  and disconnected.  Many of the power cables running between modules will be
disconnected.   And  the  Air-Lock  hatches between he different modules will be
closed.   The  Amateur  Radio  equipment  is located in the Priroda module.  The
Priroda modules does have its own Solar Panels.  There is the slight possibility
there may be enough extra power for the Amateur Radio station.

It  is  possible  to leave the Kenwood TM-733 and the Kantronics KPC-9612 system
running for long periods of time.  However some changes would need to be made to
the  existing  configuration.   The  PMS  as  it is designed requires a PC to be
connected  at  all  times.   If the PC is disconnected for long periods, the TNC
will lock up due to a Serial Buffer over flow problem.
MAREX-NA  has been working on a modification the Mir crew can make to the TNC to
prevent  the  over  flow condition.  The modification works great in the lab and
with  real  on-the-air  testing.   The  rest  of  the features of the PMS can be
remotely controlled from the Sys op stations on the ground.

We  do  understand  that safety of the Mir station is the top priority and if it
should be decided to turn off the equipment we understand fully and we hope that
every else also understand and support any official decisions.

QSL Update:
Several people have asked, Where are their QSL cards for Sputnik 17 and 18.  And
where are their QSL cards for Mir.
The short answer is:
The MAREX-Russia club has run out of QSL cards for those projects.

We  are now looking into different plans on how to restock the QSL cards for the
MAREX-Russia  club  and  we  need  about  4000  cards.  When I get more specific
information, I will pass it on.

QSL Information:

Please use one of the following QSL managers and follow the directions for that
and included the following information:

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.

Temporally out of QSL cards!

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

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.

Note: Dave Larsen MIREX / N6CO is not handling SWL cards for Sputnik, please use
the other addresses


Current Mir Crew Members:
SOYUZ TM-29 arrived at Mir on February 20, 1999.  Mir Soyuz TM-29 crew consisted
of  French  cosmonaut  Jean-Pierre  Heignere,  Viktor  Afanasyev  and  Slovakian
Cosmonaut Ivan Bella
On February 28, some of the crew returned to earth, they were:
Slovak Ivan Bella and Gennadiy Paldalko.
Gennadiys  mission  lasted  approximately 6 months (August 16 1998 ? February 28

The remaining crew consists of:

The French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere (aprox 6 months)
Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev (aprox 6 months)
Cosmonaut  Sergei  Avdeyev.   Sergei mission began August 16, 1998 and will end
on August 23, 1999.  On this Mission Sergei spent just over 1 full year on board
the Mir Space Station.
On June 20, 1999, Sergej broke the worlds record for Total-Time-In-Space.
Sergei has spent over two full years in space when you combine all the time from
all of his missions together.

PMS Status (Personal Message System):
The PMS activity was a little intermittent last week, but its running good.

Tracking Mir:
For current tracking data, try the CelesTrak web page at http://celestrak.com/

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

Miles WF1F

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