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Packet Operations Status, Feb 9, 2003


Over the past few weeks the ARISS team has received numerous queries as to 
when the packet system will be turned back on.  We want to thank you all 
for your concern in getting this important capability up and running 
again.  We realize that it has been down since around the first of the 
year.  We have been working hard with our NASA (U.S.) and Energia (Russian) 
colleagues to get this operational again, but have only been successful in 
getting it turned on for about 1 orbit.

I want you to be aware that there are several things that may continue to 
impede the packet startup.  1)  The progress vehicle docked with ISS this 
past week and the crew is currently unpacking and stowing about a ton of 
equipment, 2)  Parts for the "Glovebox," the science equipment that broke 
down in December, were delivered on this progress flight.  One of the high 
priority items for the crew will be to fix this device and get the Glovebox 
science program started again, 3) The crew is working with their mission 
control counterparts on  schedule changes that have occurred due to the 
Columbia accident.

Given these items that are on their plates and the fact that this crew is 
not as engaged in ham radio as Valery was on the last Expedition, please do 
not be surprised if our packet system is not turned on for a bit 
longer.  Also, once it is operational again, I would suggest just use the 
system in unproto mode since the Expedition 6 crew has not been reading the 
e-mail on the packet system.

I hope this helps explain the matter.


Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
Chairman, ARISS International
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