August 5, 2001

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AO-40 Update

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 matrix switch.

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]

Mission STS-105 Nears Launch

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:

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 in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . SO-35 . UO-36 . AO-40 . SO-41 . SO-42

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.