January 13, 2002

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Craig Mellinger, N2MNA, Silent Key

Jim, KK3K, informed the AMSAT-NA bulletin board that long time satellite enthusiast and DXer, Craig Mellinger, N2MNA, of Parsippany, New Jersey, died in his sleep on January 10th, 2002.

Craig developed Parkinson's disease several years ago. His condition forced him to retire early from his job in sales. Craig's condition worsened after the recent holidays.

"Craig was a good and loyal friend," said KK3K, "and remained an active ham as long as he was able."

Craig was well known on the AO-13 Mode B transponder. His sense of humor and good nature -- combined with his willingness to be helpful -- will be missed.

Gene, WB9MMM, remembered Craig's column in the OSCAR Satellite Report. Chip, K7JA, noted that Craig "was a great help to many satellite enthusiasts over the years, and really had his heart into everything he did."

Craig Mellinger's family has suggested donations to the Parkinson's Alliance organization, at 211 College Road East, 3rd Floor, Princeton,  New Jersey  08540.

Craig Mellinger, N2MNA, will be missed by the amateur radio satellite community.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA members KK3K, WB9MMM and K7JA for this information]

AO-40 Update

Stacey Mills, W4SM, a member of the AO-40 command team, told ANS that as of orbit 549, the passbands on AO-40 will be active beginning at MA-5. W4SM notes that the downlinks should be very strong at these low ranges and suggests that stations should adjust uplink power accordingly.

ALON/ALAT will be precisely determined with YACE camera images very shortly, but the ALON/ALAT should be close to 302/-10.

The command team has predicted that the solar sensors would again function on orbit 549, and preliminary indications are that they are about to lock again. Once command stations have precisely determined ALON/ALAT - and the sun sensors are functional - they will start magnetorquing to hold ALON against the mystery effect.

As noted earlier, it will take until mid-April to get back to 0/0.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for this information]

ARISS Antenna Installation

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, announced that one of the four new ARISS antennas will be installed soon. "I'm very excited about this event," said KA3HDO, "how many times in our lifetime will AMSAT be involved in an EVA with the ISS Crew?"

It's anticipated that the VHF-UHF flexible tape antenna will be installed on one end of the ISS Service Module during a scheduled EVA beginning around 21:45 UTC on January 14th. The antenna system is tentatively scheduled for deployment around 02:00-02:30 UTC (on January 15th). KA3HDO notes that EVA schedules are very fluid, so those interested in viewing the deployment on NASA TV will need to stay attentive during the entire EVA activity.

Installation of the new antenna on the Service Module paves the way for two separate ham stations aboard ISS. Plans call for a 2-meter station to remain in the Functional Cargo Block and a second 70-cm station to be set up in the Service Module.

Franks reported to ANS that he would not be surprised if some video from the antenna installation was carried on NASA TV. There has been some great video downlinked of the antenna preparation over the past few days - and there was an ISS press conference where the ham radio antennas were discussed.

A detailed breakdown of the antenna installation with some great pictures and diagrams (depicting the entire ISS ham system including antenna's) can be downloaded at

The current ISS crewmembers may perform up to four spacewalks to continue station assembly during their time in orbit, while continuing to perform a host of scientific experiments.

The ARISS team is also working with the ISS crew to get the packet system working on a continuous basis.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA, ARISS and the ARRL 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.