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ISS Module launch set for July 12, 2000

Mir / ISS status report

July 7, 2000

Launch of next ISS module July 12, 2000	

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

The third module of the ISS will be launched on July 12 from the
Baikonur Cosomodrome in Kazakhstan.  After this module successfully
docks, there will be a sufficient number of ISS modules to allow a full
time crew to move in, later this November.  The service module is now
called Zvezda (Star in Russian).  This module is of great interest to
the Amateur Radio community because it is the module with the four (4)
antenna port feed-through connections.  And this is the module where
most of the Amateur Radio equipment will be located.

For more information about the modules current in flight, please read
the NASA link below:

Module overview

Here is a NASA link for the proposed time line.  

The ISS modules will be visible in the morning sky over North America.
(please check your tracking program for times for your location).  From
July 13 - 25 you will be able to see the Zvezda module chasing the ISS
modules.  Each day the modules will get closer.  Then on the last day
the ISS module will dock with the Zvezda module.

When will the Amateur Radio Station on ISS be turned on?
That's a good question, however we do not have a specific answer at this
time.  Many people on both sides of the pond are working on this issue.

Next Antennas:
The engineers at RSA really did a great job in planning for additional
antennas on ISS.  The Service module Zvezda has 4 extra multi purpose
antenna ports installed.  Each one of these empty antenna ports can be
used simultaneously for commercial and amateur radio access.  The
simultaneous access is achieved by properly filtering the signals which
allows 2-3 different signals to share a single antenna port.  The Zvezda
Service Module Antenna port number 1 will have three antennas diplexed
into one cable, supporting Amateur Radio bands 2-meters (144 - 146 MHz)
and 70 centimeters (435 - 438 MHz) and a wide band L/S antenna, which
supports 1.2 - 2.5 GHz.  AMSAT Italy designed the ISS triband antenna
for port 1 and additional proposed antenna for other ports.  Some of the
long-term proposals for ISS include Amateur Radio access to all ITU
satellite sub bands, including HF.  The new Zvezda Service Module ports
are all empty antenna feed through ports at this time.  There were no
antennas connected to any of the Zvezda Service Module ports before
launch.  The Zvezda Service Module antennas must be installed after
docking via a space walk.  The space walks to install the Service Module
Amateur Radio antennas are not scheduled until the summer of 2001.  The
GHz commercial antenna will be used to receive TV signals from crews
during a space walk (just like in the movie Aliens).  Each crewmember
will be wearing a TV camera attached to his helmet.  After the new
antennas are installed in 2001, we will be able to connect additional
Amateur Radio experiments to these ports.  The Zvezda Service Module has
some cabinet space reserved specifically for Amateur Radio experiments. 
The MAREX-NA team is actively developing a software version of Slow Scan
TV for use on ISS.

MAREX-NA home page

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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