AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

August 2, 1998

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Astronaut Thomas Talks About Mir

Astronaut Andy Thomas, the final American to live on board the Russian Mir space station, discussed his journey during a national news conference held recently.

Frank Culbertson, manager of the Phase 1 Shuttle/Mir program, also participated in the briefing, talking about Thomas' tenure on Mir and reviewing the entire program, which saw seven Americans live and work on board the Russian space station.

During his 130 days on board Mir, Thomas traveled more than 56 million miles. He launched as a member of the STS-89 crew on January 22, 1998, becoming a Mir crewmember on January 24th. He returned on board Discovery as a member of the STS-91 crew last June. When Thomas returned to Earth, he concluded 802 consecutive days of an American presence on board Mir, beginning with astronaut Shannon Lucid's arrival March 24, 1996.

On ham radio, Thomas was very active from Mir using both 2 meter and 70cm amateur radio equipment aboard the spacecraft.

[ANS thanks NASA for this information]

Astronaut Wilcutt Replaces Halsell in Star City, Russia

NASA has announced that astronaut Terrence W. Wilcutt will replace James D. Halsell, Jr. as manager of operational activities at Star City, Russia.

The tenth astronaut to serve in this rotational position, Wilcutt will support the training and preparations of NASA astronauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City. He will be the primary liaison between NASA and cosmonaut training center management, and will continue the operational and personal relationships with Star City management and the cosmonauts, as American astronauts live and work in Russia.

Wilcutt has three flights to his credit, including two missions that docked with the Mir space station. He first flew as the pilot on STS-68 in 1994 on a mission studying the Earth's surface. In 1996, he was also the pilot for STS-79, the fourth Shuttle-Mir docking mission, and in 1998, he commanded STS-89, the eighth docking mission.

American and Russian cooperation of this nature is vital to the success of the upcoming International Space Station.

[ANS thanks NASA for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . AO-10 . AO-27 . FO-20 . FO-29 . KO-23 . KO-25 . UO-11 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . UO-22 . IO-26 . TMSAT . TechSat-1B

Mir

SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Semi-operational

Mike, N1JEZ reports he copied the MIR/SAFEX repeater during the 0042 UTC pass on 7/29. The repeater was active at that time.

SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Semi-operational.
 
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Operational.

The current crew onboard Mir are Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin. They speak and read Russian only. Any messages addressed as personal to R0MIR will not be understood unless it is in Russian. MIREX is again allowing R0MIR-1 for store and forward message traffic.

WA6LIE reminds all stations that in order to send Personal Mail to other stations you must address it to a valid callsign. Any personal mail addressed to a non-amateur callsign can not be read by anyone and is a waste of TNC memory. WA6LIE asks all stations to please read your TNC manual on how to address messages.

The PBBS is running a Kantronics KPC-9612 + V.8.1 TNC. The commands are similar to most PBBS and BBS systems.

MIREX has announced an on going APRS School Days Test. MIREX is allowing schools to use APRS for position and status reports via R0MIR. Non-school stations are asked to refrain from using APRS type transmissions or beacons via R0MIR.

[ANS thanks Scott Avery, WA6LIE, and the MIREX team for Mir status information]

RS-12

Uplink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Operational, mode KA.

RS-12 continues to be the most popular of the current RS 'easy sat' series.

RS-15

Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Semi-operational.

The RS-15 TLM beacon has apparently started working again, although intermittently. Jerry, K5OE reports RS-15 is basically unusable. Jerry says he could hear his uplink just fine whenever the beacon tone was off -- there seemed to be a delay of about 2 seconds between loss of the tone and ability to hear an uplink.

RS-16

The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. Attempts to command the Mode A transponder on have been unsuccessful.

AO-10

Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Operational.

NN0DJ notes FMing of the beacon has become more pronounced lately. From Finland, AMSAT life member Birger Lindholm notes less illumination of the solar panels, marked by much weaker downlink and beacon signals.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at the following URL:

http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM for his AO-10 status information and web site]

AO-27

Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM
Operational.

AO-27 TEPR States are currently:
4 = 36 = 18 Minutes
5 = 72 = 36 Minutes

This means AO-27's transmitter turns on 18 minutes after entering the Sun and stays on for 18 minutes. AO-27's transmitter is turned off at all other times during the orbit. N4USI reminds stations that this happens on every orbit, approximately 14.2 times a day. The current TEPR settings will cause the satellite to be on during the daytime at northern latitudes.

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

FO-20

Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational.

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

Greg, WB6FZH/KH6 reminds FO-20/29 and AO-27 operators to watch the western passes that include the Hawaiian Islands. AMSAT coordinator NH6VB, along with NH6YK and WB6FZH are trying to use the Oscar satellites to increase the number of licensed hams in Hawaii. A complete AO-27 satellite station will soon be available through the Koolau Amateur Radio Club on Oahu. It's hoped that the relatively easy operation of AO-27 will encourage interest.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK and the Hawaiian amateurs for the FO-20 reports]

FO-29

Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational.
 
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Not operational, the satellite is in JA (voice) mode.

Kazu, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that OBC bit error investigation continues.

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

KO-23

Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

KO-25

Uplink 145.980 MHz FM
Downlink 436.500 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

OSCAR-11

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz
Operational.

In response to many requests for information about methods of decoding OSCAR-11 signals, a package of hardware information has been added to the satellite web site. The site also contains some software for capturing data, decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD information. The URL is http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/

Beacon reception reports should be sent to: g3cwv@amsat.org

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

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

Uplink 145.900, 145.920, 145.940, 145.860 MHz FM, 1200 bps Manchester FSK
Downlink 437.0513 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK 1200 Baud PSK
Beacon 2401.1428 MHz.)
Operating normally.

The AO-16 command team has authorized an APRS experiment on AO-16 to explore the use of the 1200-baud PACSAT for APRS position/status reporting. The test periods will run each Tuesday from 0000 to 2359 UTC.

The telemetry is nominal.

General information and telemetry WOD files 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
Currently non-operational.

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air. No additional information is available at this time.

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25
Currently non-operational.

WO-18 is in MBL mode after a software crash. No additional information is available at this time.

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

Uplink 145.840, 145.860, 145.880, 145.900 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK
Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK
Currently non-operational.

Miguel Menendez, EA1BCU reports LUSAT/Oscar 19 apparently has stopped transmitting. Ground control station LU8DYF is attempting to regain control. No additional information is available at this time.

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

UO-22

Uplink 145.900 or 145.975 MHz FM
Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

More information on the satellite is available at the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, Operations Manager of UO-22 for this report]

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK
Semi-operational.

Telemetry is reported as being downloaded on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK. No additional information is available at this time.

TMSAT-1

Downlink 436.923 MHz

The TMSAT-1 micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998 and has now completed its second week in space. The satellite is in an 821km sun-synchronous orbit. Current output power is approximately 1.7 to 2 watts. The satellite is still undergoing ground control tests and initial loading of flight software. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

Stations that can capture telemetry from the satellite are asked to send a report to:

C.Jackson@ee.surrey.ac.uk

A brief overview of the TMSAT satellite and commissioning plan is available at the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/amateur/tmsat/tmsat_commissioning_plan.html

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, for this report]

TechSat-1B

Downlink 435.325 435.225 MHz
HDLC telemetry framed so a TNC in KISS mode will decode it

The TechSat-1B micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998 and has now completed its first full week in space. The satellite is still undergoing ground control tests and initial loading of flight software. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

The satellite does not have a continuous beacon, but does transmit a 9600-baud burst every 30 seconds (for about 3 seconds in length), currently on 435.225 MHz.

The TechSat team has also constructed a new home page about the TechSat bird, and promise they will add more information in the next few weeks. To view the new site, point your web browser to:

http://techsat.internet-zahav.net/

[ANS thanks Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS for this information]

[Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at ans-editor@amsat.org, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at nn0dj@amsat.org.]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, nn0dj@amsat.org.

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