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STS-93 SAREX Bulletin 6: GOOD SIGNALS



SB SAREX @ AMSAT $STS-93.006
STS-93 SAREX Bulletin 6: GOOD SIGNALS

Silver Spring, Maryland  USA
July 24, 1999 @ 1400 UTC

GOOD SIGNALS

Chandra is currently orbiting the Earth in a highly elliptical 
orbit of about 200 statute miles by 44,000 statute miles, thanks 
to the successful firing of its two-stage Inertial Upper Stage 
booster an hour after it was spring-ejected from Columbia's 
cargo bay cradle.  Additional firings will refine the x-ray 
observatory's orbit.  

Columbia's large orbital maneuvering system engines and primary 
reaction control system jets were fired on several occasions to 
provide data for researchers in a pair of experiments designed 
to characterize jet thruster plumes in the space environment.  

Commander Eileen Collins (KD5EDS), Pilot Jeff Ashby and Mission 
Specialists Cady Coleman (KC5ZTH), Steve Hawley and Michel 
Tognini (KD5EJZ) worked on experiments involving everything from 
astronomy to biomedicine to plant growth as the shuttle continued 
to orbit the Earth every 90 minutes in excellent shape.  

With the major objective of their mission successfully completed, 
Columbia's astronauts spent a busy night conducting a variety of 
secondary experiments on both the flight deck and the middeck of 
the Shuttle.  

SAREX, one of the middeck payloads, was successfully set up on 
schedule -- but not without a few glitches.  

SAREX Operations Manager for AMSAT-NA, Will Marchant (KC6ROL), 
reported a beautiful "horizon to horizon" ham radio contact 
between Columbia and Dick Flagg (AH6NM) in Hawaii today at 
1226 UTC.  But before that, ...  

On 7/23/99, Martin WB6YMI wrote to sarex@amsat.org:
>SAREX doesn't seem to be working.
>
>Cdr. Collins has attempted to make SAREX contacts on two passes 
>that should have been easily heard at my location (So. California). 
>In both cases she reported no contact to the ground controller 
>briefly after the pass had finished [0431z & 0605z passes on 
>July 23]. (I'm watching/listening via NASA TV.)  

The 0434 UTC test pass with W5RRR, in Houston at the Johnson Space 
Center Amateur Radio Club station, failed due to a faulty orbiter 
power outlet.  The problem was fixed less than an hour before the 
first school contact that was scheduled for 1130 UTC.  SAREX is 
running on orbiter power, with two batteries saved for backup.  

According to Will Marchant, "the Buzz Aldrin Elementary School 
[Reston, Virginia USA] pass was *very* weak, and was classified a 
failure."  KD5EDS called Houston through NASA channels to say 
that she heard AMSAT Telebridge Network ground station Gerald 
Klatzko, ZS6BTD, South Africa "loud and clear".  

One of the crew members re-tuned the SAREX antenna and moved
it into another window, to Window 1 on the port side of the 
ship, and the following Hawaii pass was perfect.  

This was great work by the volunteer CSR staff in debugging 
multiple problems!  The Customer Support Room (CSR) is located 
at the Johnson Space Center down the hall and around the corner 
from the Mission Control Center (MCC).  The CSR staff is being 
headed this mission by AMSAT members Karen Nickel (WD5EEU) and 
husband John Nickel (WD5EEV).  John and Karen are being assisted 
by Gil Carman (WA5NOM) and several members of the JSCARC.  Two 
Zeltech representatives participated in the trouble shooting 
as well.  

At bulletin press time they had been up nearly 30 hours straight, 
working the problems and taking care of the other "routine" tasks.  

All the issues got worked well so SAREX now has good signals. 

Here is the element set for the next round of SAREX opportunities:

STS-093
1 25866U          99205.98953322  .00195264  00000-0  45119-3 0  118
2 25866  28.4688 185.2125 0016134 214.0160 145.9591 15.96243205  302

Satellite: STS-093
Catalog number: 25866
Epoch time:      99205.98953322  =  (24-Jul-1999   23:44:55.670 UTC)
Element set:     011
Inclination:       28.4688 deg
RA of node:       185.2125 deg        Space Shuttle Flight STS-093
Eccentricity:     .0016134           Keplerian element set JSC-011
Arg of perigee:   214.0160 deg       from NASA flight Day  2 vector 
Mean anomaly:     145.9591 deg
Mean motion:   15.96243205 rev/day             Gil Carman
Decay rate:    1.95264e-03 rev/day^2    NASA Johnson Space Center
Epoch rev:              30
Checksum:              304

The astronauts are scheduled to begin an eight-hour sleep period 
at 9:31 a.m. Central time this morning [1331 UTC] and will be 
awakened at 5:31 this afternoon [2231 UTC] to begin their third 
day in space.  

Preflight planning called for the SAREX packet robot to be 
activated during sleep periods and, if possible, during the few 
times over the USA when a busy crew member couldn't break away 
and grab the radio microphone.  

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, posted on the TAPR APRS Special Interest 
Group <aprssig@tapr.org> and sarex@AMSAT.Org lists yesterday that 
stations can also either "run APRS or use your TNC to send UI 
packets via W5RRR-1.  [Stations without APRS software can] begin 
each line with ">" so APRS stations will capture them.  Do NOT 
attempt connections to any other stations; it is very inefficient 
and inconsiderate.  Communicate [] via UI packets only.  While 
planning demos, don't overlook the UI packets on MIR's downlink of 
145.985 as well."  

Bulletin updates are released periodically through the mission.  
You may also check http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/~kc6rol/sts93.html 
for late braking news.  

Submitted by Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, for Will Marchant, KC6ROL, and 
the SAREX Working Group.

/EX



====================================================================
Patrick L. Kilroy                                                WK
SSPP Hitchhiker I&T Lead Engineer  Phone:  301-286-1984
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center   Fax:    301-286-1673
Building 5, Mail Code 568          E-mail: pat.kilroy@gsfc.nasa.gov
Greenbelt, Maryland  20771         Web:    http://sspp.gsfc.nasa.gov
====================================================================

          Visit SimSat at http://simsat.gsfc.nasa.gov



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