March 9, 2003

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
2003 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS

AMSAT-NA March President's Letter

On the first of March, the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors (BoD) met in Silver Spring, Maryland to review our project funding. As you are, no doubt, aware I have been soliciting funds from the membership for our projects for the past two years, and while this has been quite effective it has not produced the funding that we need to meet the schedule of launches that was called for in our Strategic Plan.

At the BoD meeting a complete review of our income and expenses took place, and it was determined that our organization is generally in good shape, but that
a) the cost of building satellites has escalated
b) the cost of launching satellites has escalated exponentially
c) the current economic conditions do not encourage members to contribute at the levels necessary to overcome a) and b) above.

Meanwhile your BoD have determined to look at many other aspects of raising funds for satellite projects, and you will be hearing more of these in the coming months. Of course we could meet all the funding requirements if all of our members were also sustaining President's Club donors at any level.

On the brighter side we have good news to report about Echo, which if all continues to proceed according to plan will be launched later this year. In addition AMSAT-DL are planning on launching P3E in the 2004/5 time frame, and as P3E and Eagle have much in common from the amateur radio operations viewpoint, it seems reasonable to delay Eagle until after the launch of P3E and then make a decision on the launch date for Eagle.

For details of Echo see our web site and for details of P3E see the web site of AMSAT-DL.

Also on the brighter side, two good items of news concerning Echo. Firstly thanks to Ron Parise WA4SIR, we have been given the use of the lab building behind the Visitors Center at Goddard Space Filght Center (NASA) and we will do the final integration of Echo in that building. This is the same laboratory that was used for the integration of Phase 3A. Secondly, a critical piece of equipment to be used in that center and at the launch site is the "Test and Integration Ground Station Simulator". This is a complete command and control ground station that can test all the features of the satellite. It needs to have a rugged portable case so that it can be checked as luggage and taken to the launch site later this year.

The Simulator costs $6000, and an AMSAT member from the D.C. area has volunteered to build it and to he has also offered a challenge grant. He will donate half of the funding if the membership will donate the other half. How about it? Can we do it? I'll bet we can!

Please send your donations to the AMSAT Office marked as Simulator Challenge Grant. Every dollar counts. Our address is AMSAT-NA, 850 Sligo Ave, Silver Spring, MD. Phone (310)589-6062. Checks, Visa and MasterCard are all accepted.

I hope to be able to report to you, in the next President's Letter, that we have met the challenge.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

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

Ham Radio in Space: Crew of 2 to the ISS

It will be a two man crew rather than a three man crew on the International Space Station until the U.S. Space Shuttle flies again. But ham radio will remain on the air from the ISS as the investigation in the Columbia tragedy continues. Amateur Radio Newsline's Roy Neal, K6DUE, has more:

NASA's worst nightmare became reality when an orbiting Space Shuttle blew up, killing all seven aboard and putting United States space activity on hold for an indefinite future. Now, out of the debris, investigation and sorrow, NASA has begun to reorganize.

Administrator Sean O'Keefe has told a congressional panel that an agreement has been reached with the international partners. The International Space Station will continue in orbit for at least the next 18 months.

The two astronauts and one cosmonaut on board will be brought back to Earth in late April or early May aboard the Soyuz space ship that's docked at the station. They will be replaced by a new crew of only two people, one astronaut and one cosmonaut, probably Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko, who are now in training at Russia's Star City. They will keep the station operational, even plan to talk to one or two schools on Earth every week. Future crews will consist of two people for the time being.

Russian Progress spacecraft will be used to ferry supplies. Soyuz will carry passengers. Once NASA has figured out what aused the Shuttle Columbia to disintegrate, they hope to fix and fly the remaining Space Shuttles. The Boeing Company has been asked to go to work on a new carrier to augment the Shuttle fleet.

Russia has agreed to accelerate the delivery of two Progress re-supply vehicles for a total fleet of four this year and five in 2004, and there is talk of augmenting the Soyuz fleet.

Existing ham radio equipment on board should keep the station on the air. Other equipment may be sent up if needed. The space agencies have committed to staying in space while they map a future and ham radio is an integral part of that orbiting station.

[ANS thanks Roy Neal, K6DUE, AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE, for the above information]

ARISS Contact Schedule

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list is now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there.

Latest ARISS announcements and news

Successful school list


click on English (sorry I don't know French)
you are now at
click on News

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana AJ9N, ARISS for the above information]

OSCAR 11, 19 Years Old

OSCAR-11 REPORT 01 March 2003

OSCAR-11 celebrates its 19th birthday today! It achieved 100,000 orbits on 31 October 2002. The satellite continues to output consistent signals on its 145.826 and 2401.5 MHz. beacons. Once again congratulations to the UoSAT team, past & present for a very fine achievement.

[ANS thanks Clive G3CWV for the above information]

AMSAT-NA Space Symposium Call for Papers

The 2003 AMSAT-NA Annual Symposium is scheduled for October 17 - 19, 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the first call for papers to be presented at the 2003 Symposium.

Papers may be presented by the author during the Symposium or simply offered for inclusion in the Symposium Proceedings publication.

The subject matter should be of general interest to amateur radio operators involved in satellite communications.

Suggested topics include: operating techniques, antenna design and construction, space craft design and construction, current mission status, proposed satellite missions, telemetry acquisition and relay, etc.

A brief abstract of the proposed paper should be submitted as soon as possible. The final date for abstracts is June 15, 2003. Copy ready papers must be received no later than August 15, 2003.

Electronic submittal is preferred in MS Word format. Please e-mail your electronic submittals to Wayne Chandler at

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa for the above information]

ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference Call for Papers

Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the 22nd Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference to be held September 19-21, 2003 in Hartford, Connecticut, and publication in the Conference Proceedings. Annual conference proceedings are published by the ARRL. Presentation at the conference is not required for publication. Submission of papers are due by August 5th, 2003 and should be submitted to:

Maty Weinberg, ARRL
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111

or via the Internet to

Information on paper submission guidelines are available on-line at

[ANS thanks Steve Ford WB8IMY for the above information]

A Letter to Americal from the Columbia Crew Families

The families of the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) crew have requested NASA to release the following letter to the media and public.

"The families of the Space Shuttle Columbia crew are deeply grateful for the generous outpouring of support and affection we have received from around the world over the past three weeks.

"Many people have asked how they can honor the STS-107 crew and assist our families during this difficult time. There are several charitable funds that have been established on our behalf. Information about these funds can be found at

The Columbia Crew Families"

For more information about NASA or the Space Shuttle Columbia investigation on the Internet, visit

[ANS thanks NASA News 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

Return to top

This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dave Johnson, G4DPZ,