January 26, 2003

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President's Letter January 2003

Hello All,

Time seems to go very quickly and before I realize what is happening it is time for another newsletter. As you are aware, AMSAT-NA tries to hold its Annual meeting and Space Symposium in a different part of the continent each year. This allows a number of people to attend when it is in their local area, particularly those who cannot travel any distance. This year we will be returning to Toronto, Canada and it is some six years ago that we were there.

Toronto is easy driving from many of the US North Central States with expressways leading almost to the hotel door. A web site is being set up and will be fully accessible from the AMSAT web page. We are now looking for volunteers to hold the 2004 meeting and it would be great to have that settled before this years meeting in order to give the 2005 organizers a "look" at our format. Please send your offers to me at preferably to arrive before our next Board of Directors meeting which will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland on March 1st 2003. As I have asked a number of officers to be present at this BoD meeting space will be very limited. The meeting will be open to members however, there may be certain topics at which only the elected and specific appointed officers may be present. If you would like to attend, please let me know in advance, and any remaining space will be allocated on a first request basis.

This board meeting will look at the allocation of our funds for building satellites, and at all of our financial matters. I am pleased to announce that the "President's Club" is attracting donors. However the reduction in economic activity in the USA is being reflected in the total number who are donating. Although he does not know it (yet) Richard Haxton KC3AN is our 100th President's Club Core Donor. Richard is a Life Member of AMSAT so it is not possible to extend his membership, I will have to think of another way to reward him. Meanwhile "Congratulations to Richard". Now ... who will be the 200th new Core Donor and the recipient of a one year membership?

For your information there are currently 18 Gold Donors, 12 Silver Donors, 18 Bronze Donors and 100 Core Donors. Although this is quite a substantial number we do need to have an average income per member of about $100 and we are still quite a long way from that goal - can you help?

Now for the good news!. It seems that Echo will probably be launched sometime in a window starting in September 2003 and lasting through December 2003. More on this as we approach the launch.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin Haighton VE3FRH for the above information]

 Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2003-01-24 05:00 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

Field School Park Ridge, Illinois
Contact is 2003-01-23 14:37 UTC, telebridge via ZS6BTD
Contact failed and is being rescheduled. (***)

Proposed questions for Field School are:

  1. What do thunderstorms look like for the ISS?
  2. Do you ever get claustrophobic in the ISS?
  3. What did the Leonid meteor shower look like from the space station?
  4. Why did you want to become an astronaut?
  5. What is your diet like in space?
  6. Can we talk to you only when you are above us?
  7. What changes in the Earth have you seen from photos you have taken?
  8. Which of your experiments is your favorite and why?
  9. How do you keep the things that you use in the space station from floating away?
  10. During a shuttle launch, "lift off" is straight up. On an airplane, "take off" is at an angle. Why is there a difference?
  11. How do you sleep in space?
  12. Do you ever get dizzy in the space station?
  13. Will any of the ISS experiments help the military to learn how to make better weapons?
  14. What kind of experiment are you doing on kidney stones?
  15. What does it feel like to be in zero gravity?
  16. Is it hard to get around in the space station?
  17. Is brushing your teeth in space just like brushing your teeth on Earth? If not, how do you brush your teeth?
  18. How do the astronauts get from the space shuttle onto the space station, and how do the astronauts exit the space station to get back to earth?
  19. How long does it take to orbit the world?
  20. Is it difficult to move around in the space station?
  21. Have the space station experiments led to any surprises or accidental discoveries?
  22. What is your opinion of civilians going to space?
  23. Have you noticed any changes in your own body from having been in space?
  24. Do you ever get homesick?

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

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

Oregon State University
TBD 2003-02-21

ISIS Malignani, Cervignano del Friuli, Italy

Hirano Elementary School, Kobe, Japan direct via 8N3HES

Lounsberry Hollow Middle School, New Jersey

Porin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu, Pori Senior High school, Finland

Krueger School of Applied Technology, San Antonio, Texas

Saint Ursula's College, Toowoomba, Australia

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 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.

Charlie Sufana AJ9N
One of the ARISS operation team mentors

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana AJ9N for the above information]

Weekly Operating Update

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 JoAnne ( and they will be printed here.

[ANS congratulates F6IXI and YB0KTQ. Thanks to KK5DO, I8CVS, I6PNN, IT9UJY, JH1AOY, OH2AUE, JA1ATI, JI5MFZ, JA1AUH, K0BLT, and K0KN for this week's operating update.]

AO-40 QSO Party. Suggestions from Lee KU4OS

The AO-40 QSO Party is this weekend, 24-27 Jan UTC, He wonders what ideas people might have to make the event successful and minimize disruption to those who are on the satellite but not participating in the QSO party. He starts with three suggestions.

  1. Make sure your signal is 10db below the level of the MB. I leave one VFO tuned to the MB and it is easy to compare your level to the MB with just two button pushes.
  2. Pick a spot in the passband away from the usual active area just above the MB. He suggests either MB+75 kHz and above or MB-25KHz and below. He points out that the passband is 250 kHz wide and extends from 2401.225 to 2041.475.
  3. Operators should have an "operating event" or "party" attitude. It will only take a few aggressive big guns to make people decide that these type of events should never again be held on satellites.

[ANS thanks Lee-KU4OS for the above information]

AO-40 QSO Party (CW Operation). Suggestions from Frank, K0BLT

He is an avid CW operator and in his opinion, there is not nearly enough CW activity on AO-40. Perhaps the CW addicts can operate BELOW the MB and not create "QRM" for those who will be operating fone above the MB.

His hope is that by some stroke of luck, a new one for his satellite DXCC shows up and it will be the frosting on the cake!!

[ANS thanks Frank, K0BLT for the above information]

News in Brief

[ANS thanks the respective authors 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. AO-49. SO-50

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,