February 2, 2003

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President's Message on Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 Loss

It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the Columbia disaster. AMSAT has always been a strong supporter of the Shuttle program and of ARISS. We have had many interactions with the astronauts who have fearlessly ridden the shuttle into space, currently several are AMSAT members and supporters.

On this sad occasion on behalf of the Board of Directors, officers and members of AMSAT I wish to send our deep sympathy to the families, relatives and friends of those who undertook this Columbia mission, their understanding of the risks taken on this and other missions did not prevent them from performing at the highest level and unfortunately paying the ultimate price.

To our friends at NASA, we at AMSAT send our understanding and our sympathy, knowing that the exploration of space and carrying out important experiments for the benefit of humanity will continue to be your mission.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT

[ANS thanks Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, for the above information.]

Shuttle Columbia Crew

Our sympathies and prayers are with the family, friends, and other loved ones of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia, lost over the southern United States at approximately 1400 UTC February 1, 2003.

David M. Brown, KC5ZTC - Mission Specialist
Kalpana Chawla, KD5ESI - Mission Specialist
Laurel Clark, KC5ZSU - Mission Specialist
Rick D. Husband - Commander
William C. McCool - Pilot
Michael P. Anderson - Payload Commander
Ilan Ramon - Payload Specialist

ANS editor

[ANS thanks Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA, for the above information.]

SORCE Successfully Launched

NASA successfully launched the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) spacecraft Saturday, January 26. The satellite was sent into orbit via a Pegasus rocket dropped from an airplane flying over the Atlantic.

SORCE's planned 5 year mission will measure the sun's x-ray, ultraviolet, near-infrared, and total radiation. Further information can be found at the mission's official website

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]

Starshine's Final Flare

Starshine 3, the 91 kilogram "disco ball" in space, burned up in the Earth's upper atmosphere sometime between 0504 and 0519 UTC on January 21, 2003. It had made 7434 revolutions around the earth between the date of its launch on September 29, 2001 and its fiery end. The exact location of its flameout is still uncertain, but its final half orbit carried it in a northeasterly direction over the states of California, Nevada, Idaho and Montana in the U.S., then across the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in western Canada, then in an easterly direction across Hudson's Bay, Baffin Island and the southern tip of Greenland.

The highly reflective Starshine was designed to be easily seen as it passed overhead during dawn and dusk. Its purpose was to inspire school children's interest in science. Amateur radio operators could also monitor its 145.825 MHz transmitter.

Further information on Starshine 3 and the continuing project can be found at

[ANS thanks Gil Moore of Project Starshine for the above information.]

GPS Satellite Launched

Another satellite, GPS IIR-8, was added to the GPS constellation on Wednesday, January 29. The satellite was launched by a Delta 2 rocket with "Let's Roll" painted on the nose cone.

[ANS thanks Space Daily & for the above information.]

Pakistan Announces First Satellite

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said Saturday, January 25 that Pakistan would put a home-built communication and surveillance satellite into orbit in three years. "Pakistan's satellite will not only meet its communication needs but will also be an earth observation satellite for our national interests," the state run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted the president as saying.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

ISS Fan Club Processes First Batch of Awards

The ISS Fan Club announced that it processed the first batch of awards. These awards are given to amateur radio operators who contact the International Space Station via voice or packet as well as shortwave listeners who listen in on voice or packet transmissions.

Further information can be found at

[ANS thanks Claudio, IK1SLD, for the above information.]

ARRL Supports AMSAT's FCC Petition

The ARRL has commented in favor of an AMSAT-NA Petition for Rulemaking that seeks to change an FCC rule regarding pre-space notifications for Amateur Satellite Service stations. AMSAT-NA wants the rule changed to require a single, written pre-space notification (or information document) within 30 days after receiving a launch commitment. The current rule, 97.207(g), requires two pre-space notifications -- the first at 27 months before initiating space station transmissions and the second at five months prior, even if no information has changed. The ARRL said that because finding affordable launch opportunities can be difficult and often involves last-minute decisions, "the 27-month notice requirement imposes an unreasonable and practically impossible compliance burden." AMSAT must seek a waiver of the requirement for essentially every launch, and the FCC has routinely granted such waivers, the ARRL noted. The change to a 30-day requirement (with updates also required if any information changes) "reflects the realities of the Amateur Satellite Service, which is a model of the type of scientific accomplishment, educational opportunity and self-regulation that is a hallmark of the Amateur Radio Service," the League commented. AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, expressed his appreciation to ARRL for its support of its petition.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

FCC Begins New e-mail Service

The FCC has inaugurated a new e-mail service -- The FCC Consumer E-Bulletin -- to let consumers know about FCC developments, to disseminate FCC consumer information and to invite comments on FCC regulatory proposals. Those signing up can expect to receive FCC fact sheets, consumer brochures and alerts, news releases, public notices, notices of proposed rulemaking, reports and orders, and other consumer-related information. The Consumer Education Office in the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) operates the free service. To subscribe, send an e-mail to On either the subject line or in the message body, type "subscribe fcc-consumer-info <first name> <last name>". If you encounter difficulties subscribing, send an e-mail to The FCC Web site also contains extensive information on virtually all telecommunications-related issues. Consumer-friendly fact sheets and brochures are at the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Web site.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

NASA Recruiting Teachers for Future Missions

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says that recruitment is currently underway for the Educator Astronaut Program. Applicants must be teachers who are U.S. citizens, certified to instruct kindergarten through 12th grade with a minimum three years in-classroom teaching experience within the past four years. They must also hold at least a bachelor's degree in physical science, biological science, engineering or mathematics, or an education degree with a concentration in physical science, biological science, engineering or mathematics. An amateur radio license is not required. Applications are being accepted through April 30th. More information and the application package is available at

[ANS thanks Amateur Radio Newsline for the above information.]

New AMSAT FAQ on using Satellite Frequencies Posted

AMSAT member Art Feller, W4ART, wrote a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) bulletin on the use of Amateur Satellite service frequencies. This FAQ answers basic questions about who can use Amateur satellite frequencies and under what conditions. This document can be found at

[ANS thanks AMSAT 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 Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA,