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Mir Status March 15, 2000

Mir / ISS status report

March 14, 2000

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

MIR Status:
The Russian Space Station is still on schedule for a new Mir crew which
consists of Cosmonauts Sergei Zaletin and Alexander Kaleri.  The
tentative launch date is on April 3.  A new cargo module has docked with
Mir, to help get Mir ready for the next Crew in April. Another cargo
rocket is scheduled for launch in May 2000. 

For those following Mir there is some very interesting News  reported by
MSNBC now running on their Web page at:


Mir Amateur Radio Status:
Last week the Mir crew was re-trained in the usage of the Amateur Radio
equipment for Mir, including the voice, packet and SSTV procedures.
Kaleri and Zalentin had fun with the equipment and came up with several
suggestions for changes for the amateur radio station.  MAREX-NA is
currently discussing with the engineers at Energia the change requests
to see if any of the suggestions can be implemented between now and
launch day. (gee, I love a nice short schedule, hi hi,  This is rocket
If all goes as planned the Mir Amateur Radio station may be reactivated
between April 5 - 10 on 145.985 FM Simplex (Voice, Packet and SSTV).

Mir School Schedules:
MAREX-NA is planning on running a Mir school schedule, possibly as early
as April this year (crew work load permitting).  The exact date of the
school like will be chosen after the Mir crew moves into Mir and
evaluates their work load.  We are also looking into to the possibility
of running the Audio Live over the WEB so that many schools around the
world can listen to the Mir / school Amateur Radio link. I will publish
more information on the Web audio later.

In a few weeks the Mir Space Station may be activating the amateur radio
projects, including the MAREX-NA SSTV project.  The International Space
Station (Alpha) may also be installing a new MAREX-NA SSTV called
SpaceCam1 system as early as Q4 2000.  Now is the time to start getting
your satellite station  ready to transmit and receive Slow Scan
Television signals. I have provided a few web links, which can help you,
get your satellite station ready to receive SSTV images.
The tentative SSTV/Packet Mir broadcast school is:
Saturday, Sunday and Monday SSTV. 145.985 FM Simplex
Tuesday - Friday  1200 baud AX.25 Packet 145.985 FM Simplex

Suggested Receiving Station for Satellite SSTV Images.

MAREX-NA home page

SSTV Repeaters:
The MAREX-NA team has posted some information regarding testing of the
SpaceCam1 SSTV software.

Mir QSL Update:
The card proofs have been sent to Energia/MAREX-RU for final approval.
We think we have all of the minor typographical errors corrected.  And
an updated QSL fax was sent to Energia on the 15th for approval. We hope
to send the final card to the printers in March 2000.

Note:  We are currently out of QSL cards for the Mir Amateur Radio
I  would like to thank you all for being patient on getting your QSL
cards.  We hope to begin shipping the new cards in Q2 2000.  The cards
we are making are just for the Mir crew QSL cards, we are not associated
with any of the special event QSL cards such as Sputnik.

QSL and Diplomas:
The Engineers at MAREX-RU have asked me to query the general public on a
few QSL related topics.
1. QSL Cut off date.  Some day in the future, the Russian Space Station
Mir will be retired.  The exact date of retirement is not known.  As
long as the Mir station can be safely operated and afforded, the Mir
program will continue.  The best guess on Mir's retirement date is some
where between 6 - 24 months from now.  
After the last crew moves out of Mir, we will need to pick a
cut-off-date for processing QSL cards for the Mir Space Station.  After
the cut-off-date, no more QSL cards will be officially issued for Mir. 
I have suggested a cut-off-date of 6 months after the official
retirement date for Mir.  Does this seem reasonable to the Amateur Radio
community.  Your comments on this topic are welcome.

2. Mir QSL Diploma:  The engineers at MAREX-RU are also interested in
knowing if the Amateur Radio community is interested in getting an
official Mir QSL Diploma.  The rules for getting a diploma have not been
chosen, but here is a rough guess.
To get a diploma you would have to have made approximately 10 logged
contacts with Mir, in any combination of modes, Packet (Mail MSG or
Digi, 2-way), Voice(2-way), SSTV RX.  You would need to provide photo
copies of log information or SSTV images.  There would be most likely be
a small fee associated with the Mir QSL Diploma to cover the cost of
manufacturing, handling and postal fees.  I was also informed that there
is a good possibility the diplomas would be hand signed by one of the
Mir crew members (signature of your actual voice contact is not
guaranteed ).  This proposal is just in the theory stage to see if there
is interest.  And we will also need a club to spearhead this whole
project and work closely with MAREX-RU, AMSAT-RU, and Energia to design
and manufacture the diplomas.  So, if your club has the energy to run
such a project from beginning to end, please contact me.

Emal band width:  To reduce the amount of bandwidth on the amsat
reflectors, please just forward your comments directly to my address and
please avoid the broad cast if possible.  Thanks Miles

The MAREX-NA web page has moved to a new location. We will try to keep
the page updated with the latest Mir and ISS amateur radio experiments.


Copyright 2000 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 permission.


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