August 5, 2001
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AO-40 status continues this week as before; currently the U/L1 to S2 passbands are active. The current ALON/ALAT is providing low squint
angles (especially in the Northern Hemisphere), allowing excellent downlink signals.
AO-40 experimental transponder operation started on May 5, 2001 at approximately 08:00 UTC when the U-band and L1-band uplinks were
connected to the S-2 transmitter passband downlink for the first time, via the onboard
AO-40 command station Stacey Mills, W4SM, tells ANS that orbit 345 (which started at approximately 19:50 UTC on July 30th) was significant
because it featured continued testing of the RUDAK system.
During orbit 345, which was visible by South America, most of North America, Africa, and
Europe, the transponder passbands and the middle beacon were on from MA=10 to
MA=37. At approximately 22:35 UTC (MA=37), the transponder passband and middle beacon were turned
off for RUDAK software loading.
RUDAK testing continued on August 3rd, during orbit 349.
W4SM also reports that for the immediate future, the passbands can be assumed to be on from MA=10 through 99.
Stay tuned to ANS, the official source of AO-40 information.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL for this information]
The next shuttle mission to the International Space Station is currently undergoing final preparations as the August launch date nears. Top
priorities for the shuttle Discovery crew during the mission is the rotation of the ISS crew, bringing water, equipment and supplies
to the station and completion of a series of spacewalks and robotics tasks.
International Space Station program priorities include the following tasks:
- water transfer from the shuttle to the station
- rotation of the Expedition-2 and Expedition-3 crews
- transfer of critical cargo from the shuttle mid-deck to the station
- berth the Multipurpose Logistics Module (MLM) to the station
- complete checkout of the MLM module
- transfer and stow return cargo in the MLM module and return the module to the shuttle cargo bay
Spacewalk and robotics activities during the mission include installation of the Early Ammonia Servicer along with preparation for future station
assembly modules, including laying heater cables for a planned (future) truss segment.
ANS will follow the launch, in-orbit activities and return to Earth of Mission STS-105.
[ANS thanks NASA and Roy Neal, K6DUE, for this information]
ANS news in brief this week includes the following:
- The existence of a large moon in orbit around the Earth and its implications for the origin and nature of life have been a subject of
considerable discussion. With models for the catastrophic origin of the Moon by glancing collision, it becomes clear that our Moon is a
rare celestial object and that few Earth-like planets could have produced such a chance outcome during their assembly.
- ESA is organizing Teach Space 2001, the first ISS education conference for teachers, this October in the Netherlands. ESA is
inviting teachers to enter space-related projects for this event. The conference will enable teachers, companies and space enthusiasts
to share ideas with colleagues from other European countries. Teachers will also have an opportunity to show their own space projects with the
best space projects selected for presentation.
- Will, KC6ROL, and Charlie, AJ9N, report the Joan Martin School ham contact with Jim Voss aboard the International Space Station (using
NA1SS) went very well. Mike, KF9WW, was the control operator for the contact and he and his crew did a great job. Contact was made with the
space station within about 5 seconds of AOS! Seventeen students had their questions answered before loss-of-signal. There were two
newspapers and a PBS TV station at the school to watch the contact. Congratulations to all!
- Boeing Satellite Systems and IBM recently announced they have created what they feel is the world's most powerful satellite-based
digital signal processor, designed to make space-borne wireless communications available to a wide audience of users.
- Meeting recently in Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to provide amateurs the same protections
from real estate covenants, conditions and restrictions now enjoyed under FCC rules by home satellite dish owners. BOD members felt that
amateurs should be granted the right to install an antenna having a visual impact similar to that of a home television satellite dish or other
antenna that falls under the FCC's Over the Air Reception Devices policy.
- The latest AMSAT-ZL Newsletter included an article on four of the more popular S-band downconverters. Following this, AMSAT-ZL
members conducted additional bench tests and posted the results the AMSAT-ZL page
- China is said to be ready to launch its third unmanned spaceship soon to pave the way for sending the first Chinese astronaut into
space sometime next year. In addition, China is in final testing and preparation to launch a new satellite dedicated to study ocean
colors and related phenomena. The launch may come as early as this month.
Link to the weekly report on satellite ...
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the
ANS Editors at email@example.com,
or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by
AMSAT News Service editor Dan James, NN0DJ.