March 3, 2002

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Russian ARISS Contact Successful

As the month of February came to a close, International Space Station Commander Yury Onufrienko, RK3DUO, staked out new ARISS territory by chatting with students at a Russian school.

Onufrienko, using the callsign RS0ISS, chatted for ten minutes with students at station RW3WWW, the club station of the Kursk Technical University.

The school is located some 250 miles south of Moscow.

The ARISS event, another in a series of scheduled sessions with school students around the world, was the first ISS contact with the Russian Kursk Radio Club. Station director Valery Pikkiev, RW3WW, reported "The students were very excited and happy to talk to Yury!"

The ARISS program is an international project with participation of AMSAT, the ARRL, and NASA.

[ANS thanks the ARISS group for this information]

Hubble Shuttle Mission Underway

With the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting high overhead, the shuttle Columbia lifted-off last Friday morning on a complex mission to replace and upgrade key telescope systems through five challenging spacewalks.

Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey, Flight Engineer Nancy Currie and spacewalkers John Grunsfeld, Rick Linnehan, Jim Newman and Mike Massimino blasted off from Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center. A cold snap in Florida had caused NASA to delay the launch of Columbia.

Columbia began a two-day chase to reach Hubble for its fourth service call, in which the observatory's solar arrays, main power switching unit, and a gyroscopic pointing mechanism will be replaced by newer components.

This is Columbia's first flight since July 1999, following an extensive modification period in which many of its systems were replaced or enhanced. Columbia is NASA's first shuttle orbiter and flew for the first time in April 1981.

[ANS thanks NASA for this information]

Very Long Distance Contact

In what must be the ultimate DX contact, NASA successfully bridged 7.4 billion miles of space to contact the Pioneer 10 spacecraft on the 30th anniversary of its launch.

Scientists beamed a message to the craft last Friday from a radio telescope in the desert east of Los Angeles. A radio telescope in Spain received the return response 22 hours and six minutes later. The return signal was loud and clear. NASA last heard from the craft in July.

Pioneer 10's original, 21-month mission has improbably stretched three decades. The spacecraft was launched March 2, 1972. It passed through the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and obtained close-up images of Jupiter. In 1983, it became the first manmade object to leave the solar system when it passed the orbit of distant Pluto.

[ANS thanks NASA 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 . NO-44

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.