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Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 23, 2001

R0MIR  (R Zero MIR)  SK !!

MIR 1986 - 2001
R0MIR 1988 - 2001

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

Who will pus the Button?
I spoke with the engineers at Russians Mission control yesterday about
the end of Mir.  Tomorrow morning around 8am Moscow time (06:00 UTC)
many of the engineers and cosmonauts who were responsible for Mir will
gather in Mission control to bid farewell to a fine space station. 
Cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyov, who was a flight engineer on the very first
Mir mission (March 13, 1986) will also be present.  Solovyov, who helped
bring Mir alive in 1986, will be responsible for bringing the Mir
project to an end.  At approximately 06:00 UTC Vladimir Solovyov will
issue the command to fire the Mir engines for one last time.  Then
approximately 30-45 minutes later, Mir will splash down Pacific Ocean.
The chief of the Amateur Radio Cosmonaut Department, Sergej Samburov
said, "I have been working on Mir for 20 years, most of my life.  It's
like loosing a close relative."
Samburov is responsible for approving all of the amateur radio
experiments on Mir and for several other Russian launched Amateur Radio

MAREX Projects Light up the sky's over FIJI
Mir's Retirement date adjusted to March 23, approximately 0620 UTC.

I saw some video today taken from FIJI.  It shows Mir streaking across
the sky. And inside the glowing streaks are parts of the three MAREX
Amateur Radio stations living along the Pacific Rim, will be able to
bounce radio signals off the Ion trail of the Mir station and may be
able to have a few minutes of "meteor bounce" propagation.  In that
trail of Ions will not only be tons of expensive test equipment but it
will also include several amateur radio projects, including:

Icom 228h 2-meter transceiver (SAFEX project)
Icom 70cm Repeater (SAFEX II)
Kenwood TM-733 dual band transceiver (SAFEX project)
Kenwood TM-V7A dual band transceiver (Marex SSTV system)
Kantronics KPC-9612 TNC (Marex Email system)
PacCom TNC (MIREX project)
And the first joint project between MIREX/MAREX/SAREX/ARRL/AMSAT was the
DCI RF Filter project.

When Mir goes, I will be sad.  She served us well during her historic 15
year Mission.  The Mir Station reminds me a little of the fictional TV
series, Star Trek.  Mir boldly went where no one has gone before and
paved the way for her little child, Space Station Alpha. Do you remember
Start Trek 3, In search of Spok?  At the end of the Movie, we all shed a
tear, when the Enterprise NCC-1701 burnt up in the atmosphere of the
Genesis planet.  So too will Mir bun up as she head for her splash down
in the pacific.

Long Time Visitor:
As Mir made here fiery end, many people watched the sky, including her
longest visitor, Sergei Avdeyev.  Sergej lived on Mir for almost 2 years
and currently holds the word record to total time in Space.  Sergej will
be in the South Pacific sky watching.  Serge was also a very active
Amateur Radio operator on Mir and sent us many great SSTV images.

ISS Crew Bids Farwell:
There will be a ceremony on ISS honoring Mir when she is retired.  The
at 06:34 the ISS will be passing over the same area of the south
pacific, just as Mir will be heading for the ocean.  The ISS crew may
even be able to see the glow of the Mir station.  The people on the
ground looking for Mir should also look up to the south and be happy,
because the shining dot in the sky heading east is the child of Mir. 
Mir's Daughter Alpha is flying  high and proud, continuing in her
mother's footsteps.

Daughter of Mir:

ISS (ZARYA)             
1 25544U 98067A   01081.21693648  .00031287  00000-0  37706-3 0  7871
2 25544  51.5698 167.1633 0008461 199.3076 267.2921 15.60464118133492

Taco Bell:
A fast food company, Taco Bell is having a Hit me contest with Mir.  If
parts of Mir hit a 40 x 40-foot target floating in the ocean, Taco Bell
will pass out free tacos.  I wonder if they will give Marex any extra
Tacos, if the parts turn out to be from any of our Amateur Radio
projects on Mir?

Post Card from Space:
Amateur Radio operators frequently exchange postcards between radio
stations to confirm the 2-way radio contact. These post cards are often
called QSL cards.  I received a very special QSL card, which came
directly from the Russian Space Station Mir.
In 1999, on of my QSL cards flew into space on a Progress cargo rocket.
The three Mir crew members then signed the WF1F QSL card and
placed ink post-mark stamps on the back of the card, indicating the card
was actually on the Russian Space Station Mir.  One of the stamps has
the date August 28, 1999, which is the date the Mir crew undocked and
left the Space Station and came home to Earth.  The card spent over a
month in space (over 39 days) and traveled around the world 585 times
(over 21 million miles in space).
The QSL card was signed by:
French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere
Russian Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev
Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev.

I wold like to thank all of the Mir crew Sergej Avdeyev, Viktro
Afanasyev and Jean-Pierre and the engineers at Energia including Sergej
Samburov for making it possible for me to receive this once in a life
time gift.  I am very please and proud to have been a part of the
successful and valuable Russian Space Amateur Radio program.
G. Miles Mann WF1F

>From Farrell Winder W8ZCF

    The Mir Space Station with its re-entry plunge to Earth has taken
it several historical Amateur Radio Systems.  Among these is the SSTV
package developed specifically for Mir by the MAREX-NA group.
    Using the SSTV setup the Mir crews sent thousands  of exciting
pictures to Earth.  Dr. Don Miller received one of the 1st images,
W9NTP,  also one of the developers of the Mir System. This picture was
received on December 12, 1998 and is shown on the following web page:
(This picture is of  Comdr. Gennady Padalka with the SSTV System)
 (pictures are on WEB)       

    Gerald Klatzko received one of the last known pictures from Mir,
ZS6BTD on April 23, 2000 and is also shown on the above URL. (Alex
U8MIR is shown at his workstation)  From Mir's pictures much was learned
about the world renowned Mir Space Station which spent more that 15
in outer space. The Mir pictures also included many spectacular scenes
    Realizing that there cannot be any more pictures from Mir is very
saddening,  but we all can look forward to new exciting pictures from
International Space Station ( ISS) via SpaceCam1 which is  described in
The above URL.

New MAREX Web pages:
Check out our future ISS Projects and a large list if Mir related links


Copyright 2001 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for profit including, but
limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without
written consent from the author.

Until we meet again


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