December 29, 2002

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A Happy New Year from the Editors

As this is the last ANS bulletin of 2002, and my first year as one of the editors I should like to express my thanks to all the other editors and those who have made contributions to ANS.

JoAnne has now taken over as editor of the 'Journal' and I'm also editor of AMSAT-UK Oscar News. It's a challenging task for us and all our fellow editors in the various AMSAT organisations around the world. May I take this opportunity to ask you to put hand to keyboard and give us your input in terms of articles or news.

Dave Johnson G4DPZ

[ANS thanks all editors & contributors in 2002]

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-12-27 22:00 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. Changes from the last announcement are noted with (***). Also, please check for possible live retransmissions ( Listen for the ISS on the downlink of 145.80 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, then you must fill in 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 6 crew:
Kenneth Bowersox KD5JBP
Nikolai Budarin RV3FB
Donald Pettit KD5MDT

World Scout Jamboree 2003, Sattahip, Thailand, Direct via E20AJ
Contact is on for Saturday 2002-12-28 08:40 UTC
Don Pettit is the scheduled astronaut.
Good luck Scouts and Don!

The contact will be on the web starting after 08:30 UTC

Here are the proposed questions for the World Scout Jamboree.

  1. How do you eat your food? How is it cooked?
  2. Do you think the camping skill is useful as astronauts?
  3. What are you doing to maintain your health?
  4. What is the first thing you want to do when you come back to the earth?
  5. Do you think that the earth is still blue?
  6. How do you find time for your family or loved ones and how do you communicate with them?
  7. Astronauts are dedicated, patient, and under constant pressure, how do you handle all the demands on yourself?
  8. What are you feeling from living in space?
  9. If you were to meet Thai people, what would you like to ask them?
  10. May I have your message to the scouts?
  11. What was the most delightful thing as astronaut?
  12. Do you want your children to become astronaut like you?
  13. How can I be the astronaut like you?
  14. How do you obtain fresh water, is there big tank?
  15. How does the lack of gravity affect the body and how do you manage it?
  16. How do you take a bath?
  17. How is the temperature in the space station maintained? What is the outside temperature?
  18. If the ISS slip from its orbit, how would you take it back to the right position?
  19. When you left the earth, did any cosmic rays affect you and how?
  20. Do you feel something great in the space?

Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, Illinois direct via AJ9N
Contact is on for 2002-12-29 18:21 UTC
Ken Bowersox is the scheduled astronaut.
Good luck Adler and Ken!

Contact will be on live streaming video/audio, the website is and follow the links.

Here are the proposed questions for Adler.

  1. What happens if you run out of gas in space?
  2. What kind of plants will you be growing on this mission and why are you growing them?
  3. What is your favorite space food and how do you cook it?
  4. Do you get home sick and how do you handle it?
  5. How many sunrises do you see in a day?
  6. Are the astronauts able to communicate with their families? And if so, how often?
  7. When I try something new or different, sometimes I get a little nervous. Do you ever get a little nervous doing something new or different in space?
  8. What is the most interesting and/or important thing you have learned in space?
  9. What do you feel (proud, scared...) when you are in space for the first time?
  10. How do you sleep in the ISS?
  11. How do you eat and drink when there is no gravity?
  12. How big is the space station compared to the Sears Tower which is 1,400 ft tall?
  13. What was your favorite thing you remember working with Astronaut Story Musgrave on the Hubble Space telescope mission?
  14. How many people are aboard the station and what do they do?
  15. What happens to the food and stuff that floats up and gets lost on the Station? (***)
  16. What happens if you sneeze inside your helmet?
  17. Now that you have spent a significant amount of time in space, if it were possible, would you want to be part of a manned mission to Mars?

Groupe scolaire "René Mure", Commelle-Vernay, France
Contact is on for Tuesday 2002-12-31 10:18 UTC
Don Pettit is the scheduled astronaut.
Good luck "René Mure" and Don! (***)

Here are the proposed questions for "René Mure".

  1. How were you chosen to go to the ISS?
  2. How long will you stay on board?
  3. What is your own task during this mission?
  4. How many persons are there on board?
  5. How long does it take to fly from earth to the ISS?
  6. Can you bring a lot of personal stuff into the station?
  7. In microgravity conditions, is it difficult for you to find your way in the station?
  8. What is the ISS's inner temperature?
  9. How do you manage to take a shower in microgravity conditions?
  10. How long do you sleep?
  11. How do you feel when on board?
  12. What maximum weight can you lift up in microgravity conditions?
  13. The ISS flies at a very high speed. Do you feel this on board?
  14. What is the most dangerous action in a space mission?
  15. Are you tied up to the ISS when you work outside?
  16. Are scientific tests done with animals? Do they behave like humans in space?
  17. Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?
  18. What did impress you most in space?
  19. Will the ISS be destroyed at the end like Mir?

Ecole Immaculle Conception, Brest, France, Direct
TBD week of 2003-01-06

Sacajawea Middle School, Montana Direct
TBD week of 2003-01-06

Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA, Telebridge
TBD week of 2003-01-13

Hochwald-Gymnasium, Wadern, Germany, Direct via DN1TA
TBD 2003-02

Cowichan Secondary School, Duncan, BC, Canada, Direct via VE7POH
TBD 2003-02

Park Ridge, Illinois

Oregon State University
TBD 2003-02

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there.
click on English (sorry I don't know French)
you are now at
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 for the above information]

Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2003

You are cordially invited to participate in the 30th annual Straight Key Night on OSCAR, conducted by AMSAT-NA for radio amateurs throughout the world.

There are no rules, no scoring and no logs required. Just operate CW on any OSCAR satellite, using a straight hand key, from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC on 1 January 2003, working as many SKN stations as you can. The moon (OSCAR Zero) counts too.

In keeping with the friendly nature of this event, each participant is asked to nominate one of the operators worked for "Best Fist." It is not necessary that your nominee have the best fist of anyone you heard, just of those you worked. Please send your nomination to W2RS via e-mail at, via packet radio at W2RS @ WA2SNA.NJ.USA.NA, or by mail. Those nominated will be recognized in an ANS bulletin to be published in early February, and in The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, for the above information]

Introducing the ISS Achievement Award

The ISS Fan Club is proud to announce the introduction of the "ISS Achievement Award".

The IAA is the first ham-radio award issued for the ISS, it is printed on picture quality paper and is so beautiful that your radio shack simply cannot miss it.

Here are the award rules:

1. The "ISS Achievement Award" is given for contacting or listening to the ISS International Space Station using amateur radio. There are actually three different categories:

Others categories, like SSTV, will be added when available on ISS.

2. Applications will be accepted beginning December 15, 2002. Contacts may have been made at any time since November 2, 2000

3. The applicant must auto-certify the authenticity of log information he provides by sending a normally compiled QSL card for each category he wishes to claim.

4. This award is available to all amateur radio and SWL operators anywhere in the world.

5. The donation necessary for the ISS Achievement Award is $10 or Euro &8364;10. Stickers for category upgrade are available for $3 or Euro €3. When asking for the IAA, category stickers are free. This is a no-profit award. All collected money will be spent for printing, postage and handling costs. Any exceeding fund will be donated to AMSAT-NA.

6. Applications for the award or for category update must be sent by priority mail to:

Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD
Via Montessori, 6
15033 Casale Monferrato (AL)

7. Processing status, award listings and more information will be available at:

[ANS thanks The ISS FanClub Staff for the above information]

Santa and KSC Landing Team Were Set for Possible Christmas Eve Contingency

As children in Central Florida and around the world prepared to celebrate Christmas, Santa and NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) landing convoy team are rumored to have conducted secret exercises to address any possible contingencies that might arise during Santa's annual space flight.

Continuing a long-standing tradition at KSC, the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), also known this time of the year as the "Sleigh" Landing Facility, was available to Santa if an emergency landing was required during his mission.

In the event of an emergency landing by the reindeer-propelled sleigh, the KSC landing convoy team would have been available to assist Santa once the sleigh was safely on the ground.

The KSC landing convoy vehicles were "on-call" beginning the afternoon of Dec. 24. The primary functions of the convoy team would be to provide immediate service to the sleigh after landing, assist in Santa's egress from the toy-laden vehicle, and prepare it for towing to the Sleigh Processing Facility (located adjacent to the Orbiter Processing Facility) for emergency repairs, if required.

A new state-of-the-art convoy command vehicle, commissioned in June 2002, would lead the convoy. The new vehicle is equipped to control critical communications between the Shuttle orbiter, the crew and the Launch Control Center, to monitor the health of the orbiter systems, and to direct convoy operations at the SLF.

A recent modification to the new command vehicle would also have permitted specially trained KSC personnel to privately communicate with Santa via closed loop state-of-the-art circuits and guided his reindeer to a safe landing if the sleigh's navigational systems had failed.

Denny Gagen, KSC's convoy commander reports, "I have no comment on whether the emergency simulations with Santa did or did not occur, but I can say with certainty that the Shuttle orbiter is not the only 'orbiter' with which the new convoy command vehicle can communicate."

According to inside sources, the convoy personnel on call would have been prepared to don SCAPE suits, (Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble suits), for protection from the expected large amounts of ice and snow that frequently accumulate on high-flying sleighs.

Once Santa's egress procedures were complete, the Crew Transport Vehicle  (CTV), also used by disembarking Shuttle crews, would have been be moved  into position on the sleigh's port side. A KSC physician would be on  stand-by to board the sleigh and conduct a physical examination, if  required. (Typically, milk and cookies are all that is necessary during  stops.) The CTV would have allowed Santa the privacy to leave his sleigh and change from his red, fur-lined flight suit into his work clothes. He could then perform any necessary mechanical repairs before returning to his scheduled deliveries.

In the event the emergency is not mechanical in nature, the SLF Landing Aids Control Building (LACB) is equipped with telephones, a clean-rag canister, water faucets and a hose, an eyewash rack, a snack bar, and bathrooms.

When asked to comment on this emergency contingency plan, Santa refused, citing a heavy workload this time of year. Queries forwarded to his Public Affairs Office went unanswered.

[ANS thanks the KSC Media Services Office for the above information!!!]

Silent Key Grote Reber ex-W9GFZ

It is with a lot of personal sadness that I read in today's Washington Post ( of the passing of Grote Reber, ex-W9GFZ. A nice news piece is also carried on the ARRL's web site (

In 1932, Karl Jansky that detected radio signals from our own Milky Way galaxy at a frequency near the present 15 meter amateur band with a Sterba curtain array (

Starting in 1937, in the backyard of his home in Wheaton Illinois, a young (he was than 26) year old radio amateur named Grote Reber, W9GFZ became fascinated with Jansky's discoveries and set out to build his own radio telescope. The result was a 30 foot, fully steerable dish antenna (

Grote first tried to build a 3300 MHz radiometer, then a 900 MHz radiometer but neither effort was successful. He then went to 160 MHz and was successful in seeing a diurnal signal pattern with maxima that corresponded to the passing of the plane of the Milky Way (

Thru the course of the next few years, despite World War 2 blazing in Europe, Asia and Africa, despite the poor (by today's standards) of VHF receiving hardware, Grote was able to construct crude maps of the radio signals from our galaxy at 160 and 480 MHz ( Much of Grote's story is told on the NRAO web site at

After WW2, Grote sold off most of his Wheaton hardware to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now known as NIST) and their Central Radio Propagation Labs (CRPL). In the 1950's, Grote emigrated to Tasmania to build low-frequency (1-5 MHz) radio telescopes. The 30' telescope he left behind was left to rot in the CRPL junkyard.

In the 1960's, the US concentrated it's radio astronomy efforts on the Government funded, multi-university laboratory known as the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). At the NRAO facility in Greenbank, WV it was decided to re-construct the historical W9GFZ telescope (the results are seen at Grote was invited back to help and when he arrived in Greenbank, the observatory director asked if he had any other science experiments to perform. Grote answered "Well, I brought some beans that have stalks that spiral counterclockwise in Tasmania. I want to see if the beans will spiral in the opposite direction in the northern hemisphere."

Now I come to the personal part of this story. In the early 1960's I was a young graduate student at the Univ. of Colorado working at NBS/CRPL. My thesis involved building a large radio telescope at 10 MHz. I scrounged around in the warehouse ad found several old Esterline-Angus strip chart recorders. All of them had Grote's personal property tag on them and some still had original recordings of the type seen in on the tail-ends of the rolls of chart paper. I rebuilt those legacy instruments and they helped "Elmer" my scientific career.

Years later I met Grote personally. We chatted for hours about using amateur radio techniques to build radio telescopes; we shared a lot of experiences in mucking around for cosmic signals down in the 1-10 MHz range. I then told him of my use of his old EA recorders and he asked if I had ever been able to make a particular one ink properly. I told him that I had found it necessary to rebuild them all. He was pleased!

In 1983 in Greenbank, we re-activated the original Jansky telescope on 15m to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jansky's original discovery and put the 140' radio on 432 EME.

73, Grote -- you are missed in my heart.
Tom Clark

Other references:

[ANS thanks Tom Clark, W3IWI for the above information]

Deep Space 1: The Archeology Mission

A thousand years from now NASA's Deep Space 1 probe could make some archeologist very happy...

December 20, 3002: "We've got it in the tractor beam, doctor!" called the pilot.
"It's a small spaceship--an old one by the looks of it."
"About a thousand years old, if I'm right," replied the archeologist.
"Will it fit in the cargo hold? Beam it aboard, I want to take a look."

The air shimmered and the craft materialized, suspended in midair. It was a boxy cylinder, about the size of a person, with wings stretching 10 meters from tip-to-tip. "Primitive solar arrays," he nodded. The walls of the craft were blackened from long exposure to space radiation. There was one big dent, as if the craft had strayed too close to an active comet, and lots of tiny pits -- a thousand years' worth of micrometeoroid impacts.

A genuine ship from the Early Space Age!

Then he noticed a puffed-out spot in the insulation, and a flap. Something was in there. He reached inside and pulled out a compact disk. Scrawled across it in marker pen were the words: Deep Space 1.

"That's how I imagine it will happen," says Marc Rayman, the project manager of NASA's Deep Space 1 (DS1) mission, who tucked the CD inside his spacecraft just before it was launched in 1998. "The CD is a time capsule," he explains. "It contains information about the spacecraft and its mission, some personal messages from our team and more than 800 drawings made by schoolkids depicting what they think life might be like 1000 years from now."

[ANS thanks science@NASA for the above information]

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. RS-20. 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. 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 Editor Dave Johnson, G4DPZ,