December 20, 1998

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Endeavor ISS Flight Complete

Initial construction of the International Space Station came to a close as the Endeavour/STS-88 mission ended with a successful night landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The astronauts successfully completed all mission objectives, ending with the 10th nighttime Shuttle landing in the program's history.

International Space Station flight controllers report that all systems on the new complex are functioning normally as the station orbits the Earth at an altitude of 246 statute miles, the Unity module facing the Earth and the Zarya module facing deep space. The station was commanded to spin slowly at one revolution every 30 minutes to maintain the proper heating and cooling while it flies unpiloted for the next five months. The next shuttle assembly mission to the station is STS-96, scheduled for launch aboard Discovery in May.

Following a 4.6 million mile journey, STS-88 Commander (and Minnesota native) Bob Cabana guided the orbiter down onto runway 15, the 17th straight landing at Kennedy Space Center and the 24th in the last 25 Shuttle missions to land at the Florida spaceport. Cabana and his crewmates, Pilot Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy Currie, Jim Newman, Jerry Ross and Sergei Krikalev all returned in great physical shape, according to NASA medical personnel.

International Space Station flight controllers at Mission Control, Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside Moscow, will now spend the next five months monitoring the station's systems and awaiting the launch of the Discovery/STS-96 mission. That mission will see a multi-national crew of seven astronauts return to the station in a logistics resupply flight which will include at least one spacewalk to attach additional hardware to the new orbiting facility.

[ANS congratulates the crew of STS-88 and thanks NASA for this information]

Live SSTV Transmitted from Mir

Live SSTV images have been transmitted from the Russian Mir space station. SSTV equipment was transported to the spacecraft earlier this fall and put on the air for the first time on December 11th. Several amateurs reported copying the images from space on 2-meters, but plans call for the SSTV transmissions to move to a 70-cm frequency that's coordinated for that purpose.

The SSTV system was turned off for several passes after December 14th, and the Mir packet system was back on 145.985 MHz -- but as of December 16th, R0MIR was transmitting SSTV on some passes and packet on others. Meanwhile, APRS developer Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, had announced a four-day APRS school experiment via Mir through December 18th.

Maxim Memorial Station W1AW copied R0MIR's SSTV pictures December 14th and 16th on 145.985 MHz. "We were able to see one of the solar panels and part of what appeared to be the lower outline of the spacecraft," said W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. He added that Mir's signal was "pretty strong, a good 5x8 or 5x9 for most of   the pass." Before the SSTV transmission commenced, the station sent "R0MIR" in CW.

Neither of the cosmonauts aboard Mir during the current tour of duty is a licensed amateur. The SSTV equipment aboard the spacecraft was supplied to the Russians by Miles Mann, WF1F. He says the system operates in automatic mode and can display a new image every two minutes.

Mann had originally coordinated a 70-cm frequency, 437.975 MHz, for the SSTV project with AMSAT Frequency Coordinator Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR. The 2-meter (145.985 MHz) frequency has been coordinated for FM voice and packet use. While the SSTV system is operating, the Mir packet system and the SAFEX repeater are off the air. Mann said December 16th that he's seeking to keep the SSTV system operating on 2 meters for a while longer, but added that it would likely go to 70 cm on or before January 1st.

For details on how to receive SSTV using your PC, visit the following URL:

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . RS-16 . RS-18 . 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 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34


SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Semi-operational due to SSTV transmissions.

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

Andy, G0SFJ, reports his local newspaper in Leicester, England published three SSTV pictures and a story about Mir and G0SFJ.

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.

Scott, WA6LIE, has a set of instructions on how to work the Mir space station. Copies of the instructions are available from Scott by e-mail at, or by packet at

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


Uplink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Uplink 21.210 to 21.250 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.408 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.129 MHz, Downlink 29.454 MHz

Last reported to be semi-operational, beacon only.


Uplink 21.260 to 21.300 MHz CW/SSB
Uplink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.460 to 29.500 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.504 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.140 MHz, Downlink 29.458 MHz

Last reported in mode K (from Jerry, K5OE).

The RS-12/13 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation during the past weeks. Modes K, T, KT and simultaneous RS-13 operation have all been reported by a number of stations.

Tom, AD1B, reports that he has been using the RS-12/13 satellite extensively, telling ANS that recent activity level has been modest.

No official word from the satellite controllers has been received. ANS recommends monitoring each satellite carefully to determine the transponder in operation and which mode it is operating in.

RS-12/13 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia.


Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.352 MHz (intermittent)
Semi-operational, Mode A (2m uplink, 10m downlink)

Dave, WB6LLO, reports he has prepared a "quick and dirty" set of operating instructions for RS-15 at the following URL:


Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Beacon 145.810 MHz (unmodulated carrier)

AO-10 continues to function well with the exception of the periodic deep QSB, which can be partially eliminated by switching antenna polarization. Strong signals have been heard even at apogee. Also note that AO-10's apogee is approaching its most northern point (ArgP = 270). This gives the satellite track on a rectangular (Mercator) map projection a distinctly symmetrical pattern. The apogee will begin a slow migration southward.

John, W2FS, reports recent contacts on AO-10 using a 'barefoot' rig and with the satellite at 33,000 km.

Mart, DL6UAA, tells ANS that he is planning AO-10 operation from 3B8 in March and April '99. If successful, Mart says this will be the "first satellite operation from 3B8 land." Stay tuned to ANS for details. Additional information on the operation is available at

W4SM tells ANS that he has, using ranging software (and hardware) developed by James Miller, G3RUH, recently made ranging measurements on AO-10 for the last week and have fed these measurements into an algorithm which generates modified Keplerian elements from a "seed" set of elements. The Keplerian elements generated appear to be accurate within 16-25 km.

Note: This element set may have to be entered by hand or cut and pasted line by line into a tracking program, rather than automatically extracted. They are not in the complete AMSAT format, orbit# (Epoch rev), Element set#, and Checksum are not included.

Satellite: 		AO-10
Catalog number: 	14129
Epoch time:    		98351.41768
Inclination:   		27.0440 deg
RA of node:         	53.3190 deg
Eccentricity:  		0.60045
Arg of perigee:    	274.4330 deg
Mean anomaly:      	220.1480 deg
Mean motion:     	2.05837918 rev/day
Decay rate:         	0.00    rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 		11664

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

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


Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM

The TEPR settings of AO-27 were recently reset by Chuck, KM4NZ. The new settings now reflect the Earth's position during the northern fall/winter season, and should provide more satellite 'on' time for AO-27 during each pass.

Jeff, KF4KGQ, reports that he has worked stations from Canada to Mexico via AO-27 and his handheld.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, for AO-27 information]

JAS-1b FO-20

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

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for the FO-20 status reports]


Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
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 the FO-29 Command Team has released the following announcement concerning FO-29 status:

The present JA mode of operation will continue to investigate the frequency of bit errors in the on-board-computer. Reports from Amateurs on the value of channel 2A are appreciated. The position of 2A is the fifth item after 'HI HI' in CW telemetry. The normal value is '00'. Reports should be sent to

FO-29 is still in 'full sun illumination'; this should end in December.

The on-board-computer (OBC) did accept commands from ground control before full illumination began. The FO-29 Command Team says digital (JD) mode operation may be available soon. Digi-talker operation is also being planned.

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


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

The Virginia Air and Space Center station operators (of KE4ZXW) report little signal activity from KO-23. Jim, AA7KC, also reports little RF energy detected, telling ANS "the cause of this anomaly is unknown at this time."

Update: AA7KC tells ANS that KO-23 is now operational. The satellite returned to full service on 12-19-1998 at 06:58 UTC.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-23 status information]


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

KO-25 downlink efficiencies recently exceeded 90 percent at AA7KC.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-25 status information]


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

No additional information is available at this time.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the current status of UO-22.

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

[Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, is the Operations Manager of UO-22]


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

Clive, G3CWV, provides the following OSCAR-11 report, dated 15-December-1998

The current duration of solar eclipse time has continued to provide OSCAR-11 with near optimum conditions, maintaining an adequate power budget while not allowing internal temperatures to rise to excessive levels. During the period 15-November to 16-December reasonable signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon.

Telemetry has been nominal.

Magnetorquer spin correction counters have continued to be of interest. Recently there have been very few spin counter increments, although the spin period remains around its nominal value of -300 seconds.

The internal temperatures have fallen slightly, by about one degree C after reaching a peak last month. They are now 9.0C and 7.0C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.

The single WOD survey, of channels 1, 2, 3, 61 (magnetometers) dated 10-October 1998, has continued to be transmitted. This current WOD starts at the normal time of 0:0:5 UTC.

Reports have been received of the mode-S beacon from Jack, W9JIU, and Victor, Ok1VKW.

The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and frequencies of all the amateur radio satellites. There are additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted, and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, prior to the launch of P3-D. The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally off

More information about OSCAR 11 can be found at the following URL:

Beacon reception reports should be sent to:

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


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.

Telemetry is nominal.

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at

New telemetry WOD graphics corresponding to Dec-09 can be found at

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


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

No BBS service. On Board Computer reload in progress. The digipeater is active.

General information and telemetry samples can be found at

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


Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

Telemetry is reported as being received on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the status of IO-26. No additional information is available at this time.


Downlink 436.923 MHz

TMSAT-1 is now open for general access by Amateur Radio operators worldwide. Normal access will allow operators to use the store and forward communications on the spacecraft and also download the high-resolution multispectral images.

Mark, K0MDJ, reports attempts to track TO-31 recently, Mineo, JE9PEL, reports TO-31 reception on 18-December.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN, tells ANS that he reloaded the OBC to update the software on the satellite. Fernando, CX6DD, reports he is about to finish his first set of image files from TO-31, telling ANS the images "look great."

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

TechSat-1B GO-32

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. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use in the future.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the current status of GO-32. No additional information is available at this time.

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

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


Downlink 437.910 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

SEDSAT-1, signifying Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Satellite number one, was successfully launched and placed in orbit on Saturday, October 24, 1998.

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports SedSat reception on December 13, 15, 17 and 18th.

For more information on SedSat-1, including Version 1.2 of the SedSat ground station software -- visit the satellite web site at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, for this information]


Downlink frequency not established.
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

PANSAT, developed by the Naval Postgraduate School, was launched from the shuttle Discovery. PANSAT spread-spectrum digital transponders will be available to amateur radio operators in the near future along with software to utilize this technology. The PO-34 command station is located in Monterey, California.

Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, PANSAT Project Manager recommends 'The ARRL Spread Spectrum Sourcebook' as a good place to start in understanding the spread-spectrum scheme.

The PANSAT Team does not expect the satellite to be available to the Amateur Radio community for another few months.

For more information, visit the official PANSAT web site at:

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, for this information]

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:


Attempts to command the mode A transponder 'on' have been unsuccessful to date. At this time the RS-16 transponder is non-operational. The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational.

No additional information is available at this time.

RS-18 (Sputnik 41)

Russian cosmonauts successfully launched RS-18/Sputnik 41 on November 10, 1998, during a spacewalk from the Mir space station. The satellite stopped transmitting early on December 11, 1998, meeting the 30 day projected lifetime.

Gerard, F6FAO, tells ANS that the last active reports of RS-18 are as follows:

F6FAO 10 Dec 19:35UTC RS-18 working
VE1AOE 10 Dec 22:35UTC RS-18 working
VE1AOE 11 Dec 00:07 UTC no signal
K5PK 11 Dec 00:10 UTC decreased signal, orbit 467
WB5RUE 11 Dec 01:32 UTC some noise, no audio
AP2TJ 11 Dec 15:00 UTC RS-18 silent
F6FAO 11 Dec 16:45 UTC RS 18 silent but strange noise

A computer .wav file of the actual received signal can also be found at:

Gerard, F6FAO, suggests the following address for RS-18 QSL requests:

RS-18 QSL Manager
14 bis rue des Gourlis
92 500 Rueil-Malmaison

The list of received QSL's by the French QSL manager is available at the following link (note: the list changes daily as cards are received):

DO-17 (DOVE)

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK
Beacon 2401.220 MHz

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air.

No additional information is available at this time.


Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25

WO-18 is reported to be in MBL mode after a software crash.

No additional information is available at this time.

[Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ,