November 10, 2002

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AMSAT Space Symposium in Progress

As this edition of the ANS Bulletins is released the 20th Space Symposium and AMSAT-NA annual Meeting is in progress in Ft. Worth, Texas. This conference chronicles recent and future Amateur Radio satellite technology developments.

The conference included an Electronic Surplus Stores tour, a Field Operations Breakfast and a tour of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, and the AMSAT Board of Directors Meeting.

The first official day of the Symposium, Friday, November 8 featured the AMSAT Store, exhibits, and a flea market. Kent WA5VJB performed the Antenna Gain Measurements; Noise Figure Measurement of pre-amps, receivers, downconverters was done by Al W5LUA. The AMSAT Education Staff hosted the Satellites in Education Program for students and teachers. The President's Club Reception, hosted by Robin Haighton VE3FRH was held on Friday evening.

The Symposium featured Technical Papers and presentations on Friday afternoon and all day on Saturday covering radio amateur spacecraft design, construction, control, and operations of current and proposed missions. Also, the Lockheed Club Station W5SJZ was available for satellite operations.

[ANS thanks Keith Pugh, W5IU Symposium Chairman for the above information.]


ANS welcomes the opportunity to publish your good news of success in working a new satellite, new DX, new mode, etc. We also print reports about what space related activities your local satellite groups and ham clubs are doing. Send your operating reports to ANS Editor JoAnne Maenpaa ( and they will be printed here.

[ANS thanks KK5DO and congratulates K9PO and KB1GVR for this week's operating news.]

ISS Packet Basics Posted On-Line

For those of you just getting into ISS packet, Miles WF1F has posted some tips and actual packet mail messages from the crew on ISS to the marex web page.

The main page is at

Packet Mail:

How to access ISS:

[ANS thanks Miles WF1F for the above information.]

ARISS School Success in Philadelphia

Philly Youngsters Meet Astronaut Peggy Whitson via Ham Radio

US Astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, told students in Philadelphia that she thinks it's possible there's life on other planets somewhere in the universe. Using NA1SS aboard the International Space Station October 22, Whitson answered several questions from youngsters attending Spruce Hill Christian School. The contact was arranged via the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) project.

"Actually, I think with the thousands and thousands of universes that we can see," Whitson said, "and knowing that there are even thousands and thousand more that we can't, I think that on all those planets somewhere there probably is going to be life somewhere else--maybe not exactly like ours, but I imagine there's going to be some kind of life."

Whitson said one of the most "fun" things she does aboard the ISS is look out the window. "Seeing the earth from this vantage point of over 200 miles above the earth is really impressive. It's really a beautiful place that we live on, and I think we take it for granted sometimes, when we live there." She said she also enjoys exercise--a necessity for long-term spaceflight. "We obviously aren't exposed to the effects of gravity, so we have to work very hard to maintain our physical fitness," she said.

Life in microgravity leads to demineralization of bones, Whitson explained. When the Expedition 5 crew returns to Earth next month, she said, it will take months before their bones return to normal. The crew likely will recover much more quickly from the other aftereffects of several months in space, she added, such as the dizziness or lightheadedness experienced by some returning astronauts.

The ARISS QSO got off to an uncertain start when Whitson and ground control operator Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN, in Hawaii, apparently got on different frequencies. Initially, Rocheleau was able to copy NA1SS, but Whitson did not hear WH6PN. Once things got under way for real, the contact lasted a little more than seven minutes.

Remote audio between the school and the ISS via WH6PN in Hawaii was handled through a WorldCom teleconferencing circuit. Whitson, who is related to the wife of the school's principal, Seth Cohen, asked ARISS to arrange the Spruce Hill contact as a "crew pick." ARISS is an international project with US participation by NASA, ARRL and AMSAT.

[ANS thanks The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 43 for the above information.]

AMSAT-UK OSCAR Book Announced

AMSAT-UK announced the release of its new edition of "The Guide to Oscar Operating". This book, the mainstay of AMSAT-UK's beginners training manuals since 1975 and last rewritten in 1998, has undergone a major rewrite and now consists of 65 pages including color photographs. But the price, five UK pounds plus postage (roughly US $12.50 including overseas postage), has not changed. Richard G3RWL, Communication Officer of AMSAT-UK said, "We are keeping the price low so that beginners are able to obtain information cheaply."

The book is available by credit card from our website; follow the links from, by fax or mail to the Secretary (details below), or come and pick one up from the AMSAT-UK stand at the upcoming London Communication & Computer Show on 23 to 24 November. A limited number of copies will probably be available at the AMSAT-NA Space Symposium in Fort Worth too. (Orders can NOT be accepted by e-mail for security reasons - sorry.)

Actual prices: five pounds plus one pound postage in the UK but include two pounds postage in Europe, and three pounds postage for the rest of the world. (The minimum order is waived for the purchase of this book.) All profits go towards amateur satellite programs.

Amsat-UK Secretary's address:

"Badgers", Letton Close
Dorset DT11 7SS

Fax orders to +44 (0)1258 453959

[ANS thanks Richard G3RWL ( for the above information.]

Weekly ARISS Contact Schedule Update

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-11-05 23:00 UTC

The ARISS (a joint effort of AMSAT, the ARRL, NASA, the ARISS international partners including Canada, Russia, the European Partners, and Japan) operations team wishes to announce the following very tentative schedule for ARISS school contacts. This schedule is very fluid and may change at the last minute. Remember that amateur radio use on the ISS is considered secondary. Please check the various AMSAT and ARISS webpages for the latest announcements.

Also, please check for possible live retransmissions ( Listen for the ISS on the downlink frequency 145.800 MHz.

For information about educational materials available from ISS partner space Agencies, please refer to links on the ARISS Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are interested in supporting an ARISS contact please fill out an application. The ARISS operations mentor team will not accept a direct request to support an ARISS contact.

You should also note that many schools think that they can request a specific date and time. It does not work that way. Once an application has been accepted, the ARISS mentors will work with the school to determine a mutually agreeable date.

Websites that may be of interest include:

Your completely filled out application should be returned to the nearest coordinating ARISS region if your specific region is not listed. E-mail is the preferred method of submitting an application.

Here are the email addresses:

ARISS-Canada and all other countries not covered Daniel Lamoureux VE2KA
ARISS-Europe J. Hahn, DL3LUM / PA1MUC
ARISS-Japan and all Region 3 countries Keigo Komuro JA1KAB
ARISS-Russia Valerie Agabekov N2WW/UA6HZ
ARISS-USA The American Radio Relay League

ISS Expedition 5 crew:
Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD
Sergei Treschev RZ3FU
Valeri Korzun RZ3FK

ISS Expedition 6 crew:
Kenneth Bowersox KD5JBP
Nikolai Budarin RV3FB
Donald Pettit KD5MDT

Expedition 6 is scheduled to go up on STS-113. The launch is scheduled for No Earlier Than 2002-11-11. Scheduled ARISS contacts are off limits for the first 3 weeks after the handover. ARISS contacts will probably resume in mid December 2002 or early January 2003.

The following organizations are on the list for future ARISS contacts. The details such as time and date remain to be determined depending on the ISS mission schedules:

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site: then choose English or French. Next click on News.

Currently the ARISS operations team has a list of over 60 schools that we hope will be able to have a contact during 2002-2003. As the schedule becomes more solidified, we will be letting everyone know. Current plans call for an average of one scheduled school contact per week.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information.]

News in Brief

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. AO-7. AO-10. UO-11. UO-14. AO-16. LO-19. FO-20. UO-22. KO-23. KO-25. IO-26. AO-27. FO-29. TO-31. GO-32. SO-33. PO-34. UO-36. AO-40. SO-41. SO-42. NO-44. NO-45. MO-46

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Senior Editor JoAnne Maenpaa, WB9JEJ,