AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

July 20, 1997

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AMSAT-NA Announces Appointment of New Vice President for Canadian Liaison

AMSAT-NA President announces the appointment of Robin Haighton VE3FRH as Vice President for Canadian Liasison. Robin is also coordinating the AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium to be held in Toronto October 17 through 19.

Robin has already begun work, having recently discussed subjects of mutual interest with officials of the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). One of his tasks will be in working with RAC and Canadian Government people on positions to be taken at the radio allocation conference to be held in 1999.

Robin will also be assisting AMSAT-NA Vice President for Field Operations, Barry Baines WD4ASW, in locating suitable Area Coordinators in Canada.

AMSAT-NA President, Bill Tynan W3XO expressed great satisfaction in finding someone with Robin's qualifications to fill this import post in the organization.

[ANS thanks Bill Tynan W3XO for this bulletin information.]

Well-Known Astronomer and Space Scientist Victim of Auto Crash

It is with sadness that ANS notes the death of Eugene ("Gene") Shoemaker. Shoemaker was killed in a two-car accident near Alice Springs, Australia, on the afternoon of July 18. His wife Carolyn suffered broken bones, and is hospitalized in stable condition at Alice Springs Hospital. Further details are expected later today.

Original news of the tragedy was posted by Sky & Telescope.

Their announcement said "The world has lost one of its most renowned scientists with the death of Eugene Shoemaker at age 69. On the afternoon of July 18th, Gene and his wife, Carolyn, were involved in a car accident in central Australia. He was fatally injured; Carolyn suffered broken ribs but is expected to recover. The pair had arrived in Australia just six days before to study some of the continent's numerous impact craters -- an annual trek Down Under that they'd made a habit in recent years.

Best known for his pioneering work in elucidating the mechanics of impacts and in the discovery of Earth-crossing bodies, Gene gained worldwide fame in March 1993 for his discovery, with Carolyn and colleague David Levy, of a comet that would strike Jupiter 16 months later. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was just one of the finds that made this husband-wife team the leading comet discoverers of this century. They are also credited with discovering more than 800 asteroids. But the one research interest he never tired of was Meteor Crater, the kilometer-wide pit east of Flagstaff, Arizona.

While still in his teens, Gene realized that someday astronauts would walk on the Moon, and from that point forward his whole professional life would be directed toward becoming one of them. But a medical condition prevented him from ever being selected for the Apollo program. "Not going to the Moon and banging on it with my own hammer has been the biggest disappointment in life," he said last year. "But then, I probably wouldn't have gone to Palomar Observatory to take some 25,000 films of the night sky with Carolyn -- she scanned them all -- and we wouldn't have had the thrills of finding those funny things that go bump in the night."

[ANS thanks Dan Schultz N8FGV for this sad information.]

ANS Bulletin Editor on Sick List

The ANS bulletins will be somewhat short this week due to illness of our regular bulletin editor B.J. Arts WT0N. BJ informed us Friday afternoon that he had to go into the hospital that evening and would be unable to post bulletins this weekend.

I know that prayers for BJ's speedy recovery go out from all who benefit from his fine work for AMSAT each week.

Those who would like to send well wishes, may address:

  B. J. Arts
  2309 10th Ave. E.
  Hibbing, MN 55746
  U.S.A.

A separate bulletin, summarizing recently completed SAREX operation on the Shuttle will be posted by AMSAT Vice President for Manned Space Programs, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. [Included below. -WebEd]

[ANS thanks Bill Tynan W3XO for this information.]

STS-94 SAREX Mission Ends

On Thursday July 17 Commander Jim Halsell and pilot Susan Still guided Space Shuttle Columbia to a perfect touch down at Kennedy Space Center at 10:47 a.m. UTC, ending the enormously successful flight of STS-94. Columbia crossed over Baja California, northern Mexico, and the southern tip of Texas before crossing out over the Gulf of Mexico, then swinging southeast across the Florida peninsula to land at the Kennedy Space Center. Many AMSAT members witnessed the plasma trail and heard the sonic boom as the Shuttle traversed across the Southern part on the U.S. on its way to its landing. AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, described the Plasma Trail as "Really Bright with remants of the trail lasting for 2 minutes. Shortly thereafter the sonic boom was heard."

The Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX) payload was quite active on this flight. AMSAT Vice President for Manned Space Programs, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, stated "This mission was a tremendous shot in the arm for the SAREX program. We accomplished all we set out to do and acheived much more." Of particular note were the ship-to-ship contacts between the Shuttle Columbia and Space Station Mir on July 5 and the 10 minute Shuttle to Mir contact on Tuesday July 8. This contact was patched to Mir by SAREX Principal Investigator Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL at the NASA Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club and to the Shuttle via NASA's air-to-ground communications link. During the contact, the astronauts discussed the docking of the Progress resupply vehicle to Mir, with Foale's Mir 23 crew mate Alexander Lazutkin announcing that "Christmas had arrived." Foale also invited Columbia's crew over for a cup of tea, after a fresh supply arrived on the Progress. All these contacts got extensive press coverage.

The STS-94 preliminary summary shows that the SAREX system was used to complete nine personal contacts and 17 school contacts, a 100% completion rate. Over 194 student questions were addressed. There were over 2,100 who witnessed the educational contacts. Over 52 news media organizations were represented. All the schools were elated with their contacts. David Chang, BZ1BM, the technical point of contact at the Tsinghua University contact in Beijing, China, stated: "We are much too exciting now!! The contact...was the first SAREX mission in China! I am sure you know...BY1QH, are very proud of the great achievement...Thank you all!"

There was one test contact made with W5RRR, one Mir air-to-ground patch performed for the MSL-1 crew, and two Columbia-to-Mir ship-to-ship contacts. In amateur radio tradition, there was a not-so-trivial work around performed on orbit by astronaut Susan Still to replace a missing cable required to maintain packet radio operations.

There were over 500 random contacts made between the crew members and individual hams around the world, based on about 25 shifts and about 20 contacts averaged per shift at midflight. The packet radio QRZ and QSL counts are forthcoming and will be forwarded to the sarex@amsat.org reflector in the near future.

Those wishing to glean more information on this SAREX flight are welcome to visit the SAREX Web Page at http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/sarex/sarex_mainpage.html

An archive of SAREX bulletins from previous missions is found at http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/sarex/bulletins

This was the 24th mission to carry SAREX.

[Information for this Bulletin provided by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO and Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . RS-10 . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . FO-20 . KO-23 . KO-25 . AO-27 . FO-29 . AO-10 . UO-11 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . UO-22 . IO-26

Mir

Recently on 145.985 simplex.

Status cloudy in the light of recent problems, although the packet system has been reported active. Reports from anyone hearing or working Mir, are welcome.

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

(Uplink 435.750 MHz FM, Downlink 437.950 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 141.3 Hz)

Not operational at this time.

RS-10

(Uplink 145.865-145.905 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.36-29.4 MHz CW/SSB)

RS-10 still silent.

RS-12

(Uplink 21.21-21.25 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz or 145.91-145.95 Mhz CW/SSB)

Operational.

If the activity on RS-12/13 the weekend of 28/29 June, the US-Canadian Amateur Field Day, was indicative of activity on all satellites, it is surprising that all space station receivers aren't still de-sensed. This bird remains active and continues to provide good signals into eastern North America. The passes will remain somewhat inconvenient through July for those of us with day jobs, occurring in the late morning and the very late evening as they do. August will result in more convenient times during the weekdays."

[ANS thanks Dick Montgomery, N3DV, for this update.]

RS-15

(Uplink 145.858-145.898 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.354-29.394 MHz CW/SSB)

WT0N reports that downlink signals are still weak from RS-15, but the bird is still workable. If SSB is unsuccessful, stations are advised to try CW.

RS-16

RS-16's 435.504 MHz beacon is active. Also, the 29.408 MHz beacon is reported as being heard. No transponder activity yet.

Telemetry information was published in last week's ANS bulletins. It will be re-published in subsequent bulletins.

FO-20

(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]

KO-23

(Uplink 145.85, 145.9 MHz FM, Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-23 operating normally.

KO-25

(Uplink 145.980 MHz FM, Downlink 436.5 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-25 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for his reports on KO-25 and KO-23.]

AO-27

(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM (As of April 1, 1997) )

Operating normally.

AO-27 information can be found at www.umbra.com.

Users are reminded that as an FM-mode repeater, AO-27 is subject to FM "capture effect" and can only transmit one signal at a time. Users are asked to cooperate, keep calls short, give breaks so as many stations as possible can work a pass, and above all, listen before and while transmitting. The satellite has a very sensitive receiver, and stations running approximately 25 watts power to moderate-gain omnidirectional antenna can get a good uplink signal into the satellite. A sensitive UHF FM receiver with a preamplifier and an omnidirectional antenna can receive AO-27's downlink with some fading; moderate-gain directional arrays should provide a solid receive signal. Remember to correct for the +/- 9 kHz of Doppler shift on the 436 MHz downlink signal during a pass. No Doppler correction is needed for the 145.850 MHz uplink signal.

Users are asked not to transmit on 145.85 MHz if they do not hear the satellite's downlink so as to avoid possible interference to other satellite uplinks and downlinks on adjacent frequencies.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, AO-27 Control-op, for this update.]

FO-29

Voice/CW

(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)

Digital

(Uplink 145.85, 145.87, 145.910 MHz FM, Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK)

Operational.

The latest FO-29 Schedule is as follows:

FO-29 Schedule 1997
July 18 Fri 00:20 UTC JD 9600
July 25 Fri 09:23 UTC JA  
Aug 1 Fri 08:17 UTC JD 1200
Aug 8 Fri 00:30 UTC JD 9600
Aug 15 Fri 01:08 UTC JA  
Aug 22 Fri 08:26 UTC JD 1200
Aug 29 Fri 00:40 UTC JD 9600
Sep 5 Fri 01:18 UTC JA  
Sep 12 Fri 00:13 UTC JD 1200
Sep 19 Fri 00:51 UTC JD 9600
Sep 26 Fri 08:09 UTC JA  

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]

AO-10

(Uplink 435.030-435.18 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 145.975-145.825 MHz CW/USB)

Operational.Many have reported good results with AO-10 in recent days. Everyone so equipped, are encouraged to give it a try.

OSCAR-11

(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK. Beacon 2401.500 MHz.)

Operating normally.

The operating schedule is unchanged.

[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, for this information.]

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

(Uplink 145.9, 145.92, 145.94, 145.86 MHz FM, 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.0513 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK 1200 Baud PSK. Beacon 2401.1428 MHz.)

Operational.

Graphic information about WOD/Telemetry values can be found at http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/wod.htm

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]

DO-17(DOVE)

(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK. Beacon 2401.220 MHz)

No report available.

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

(Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25)

No report available.

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

(Uplink 145.84, 145.86, 145.88, 145.9 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK.)

Operational.

Add 6.83 minutes to the clock of the satellite.

Graphic and general information about Telemetry values can be found at: http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/lo19.htm.

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]

UO-22

(Uplink 145.9 or 145.975 MHz FM; Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK.)

UO-22 is operating normally. The Earth Imaging System (EIS) is being scheduled to take images 2 or 3 times per week.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager, for this report.]

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

(Uplink 145.875, 145.9, 145.925, 145.95 MHz FM, Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK.)

The satellite is in good shape.

Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, will try to reload the BBS soon.

[ANS thanks Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, ITMSAT Command Station for this report.]

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to ANS Editor B.J. Arts, WT0N, via e-mail, at bjarts@the-bridge.net or to wt0n@amsat.org]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by B.J. Arts, WT0N, wt0n@amsat.org, and Bill Tynan, W3XO, w3xo@amsat.org.

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