August 9, 2003

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ARISS Chairman Promoted at NASA

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, has been promoted to the highest technical rank accorded a NASA scientist or engineer. Bauer, who works at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, now is a Special Technical--or ST--in recognition of his record of exceptional technical achievement in the field of guidance, navigation and control. Bauer's promotion came through in time for him to be appointed to the NASA deputy administrator's new blue ribbon panel, "Alternatives to the Orbital Space Plane." Bernard Seery, chief of the Mission Engineering and Systems Analysis Division in the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, said Bauer's new ST rank formally recognizes him as a lead guidance, navigation and control expert at the Agency level. ARISS is an international program with participation by ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

NASA Teams with Local Libraries

NASA and the American Library Association have partnered to create a one-of-a-kind interactive space research exhibit. This, as part of a new program called NASA @ your library.

The unique exhibit will tour 120 public libraries in five regions across the nation for the next two years. It will feature special presentations specifically created to expose people of all ages to NASA research in the areas of health, home and transportation, agriculture and environment, and commerce.

The program was recently launched at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. NASA @ your library was created to inspire more participation at public libraries, raise awareness and encourage interest in science.

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

Mars Closing In

This August, scientists and amateur astronomers will benefit from the spectacular view of Mars as it appears bigger and brighter than ever before, revealing its reflective south polar cap and whirling dust clouds.

On August 27, 2003, the fourth planet from the sun will be less than 55.76 million kilometers (34.65 million miles) away from the Earth. In comparison to the space between your house and your neighbor's yard, that may seem like a large distance, but Mars was about five times that distance from Earth only six months ago.

Although Mars will be closest on August 27, astronomers suggest viewing the planet earlier, as dust storm season is just beginning on the red planet and can obstruct a more detailed view.

Mars will not make another neighborly visit this close until 2287.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

FCC Hikes Vanity Fee

The FCC has announced that the new amateur radio vanity call sign regulatory fee of $16.30 for the 10-year license term will go into effect September 9. Applicants for amateur vanity call signs will continue to pay the $14.50 fee per vanity call sign application until the new fee goes into effect. The FCC says it expects to collect close to $160,000 from 9800 amateur radio vanity call sign applicants during Fiscal Year 2003. That's up by almost $30,000 and 800 applications from FY2002.

Further details on the FCC's position and response to amateur requests to eliminate the fee can be found on ARRL's website:

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

Space Agencies Team Up in Satellite Launch Project

Europe's Arianespace, Boeing Launch Services of the United States and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have signed an agreement that will enable clients to make emergency use of satellite launchers from any one of the three companies, Arianespace said Wednesday.

"This alliance will allow each company to continue to sell its individual launch services and to promote its own launchers," it said in a statement.

But the agreement, worked out following negotiations in Tokyo and Los Angeles, also provides a "back-up" in case of technical problems with one launcher, with clients entitled to seek the immediate services of either of the other two companies.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

Expedition 8 Crew Named

The crew of the International Space Station marked 1,000 days of people living aboard the station on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the two men who have been training for months to be the next space-station crew have been assigned to the job officially.

Mike Foale, a British-born American, will serve as commander of the two-man crew. Russian Alexander Kaleri will be the flight engineer and the commander of the Russian Soyuz, which will take them to the outpost Oct. 18.

On the flight, they'll be accompanied by Spaniard Pedro Duque. The European Space Agency astronaut will visit the station for a few days, then return to Earth with the current crew, Yuri Malenchenko and Ed Lu, who have been aboard since April. They will return in the Soyuz that took Lu and Malenchenko to the station.

Foale and Kaleri were the backup crew for Lu and Malenchenko. Their backup crew will be NASA astronaut Bill McArthur, who has been on three shuttle missions, and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev.

[ANS thanks Florida Today for the above information.]

Canadian Space Agency Celebrates 1000 Days in Space

July 30th marked the 1000th day of human presence aboard the International Space Station (ISS), a platform for scientific experiments and observation of Earth and space.

"The milestone marked by the 1000th day of human presence aboard the largest international scientific program ever undertaken is testament of the cooperation of Canada and its partners, the U.S., Russia, Japan and eleven European countries, helped in no small part by the Canadian Space Agency," said CSA President Marc Garneau.

Canadian technology is playing a key role in the building of the ISS, through the use of the Canadarm2 and its mobile base system that allows it to move around the station. "Dextre" a multi-function two armed robot when launched in 2005 or later will perform precision ISS assembly tasks reducing the need for spacewalks by astronauts.

[ANS thanks Canadian Space Agency for the above information.]

Canada-U.S. Satellite gets a Triple Brain Transplant

The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite has been given a new lease on life following the successful implementation of new software in three on-board computers controlling the precision pointing of the telescope.

For the past two years, engineers and scientists at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and at the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, have worked together to change the flight software used for science observations. The three spacecraft computers -- the Attitude Control System, the Instrument Data System, and the processor on the Fine Error Sensor (FES) guide camera, provided by the Canadian Space Agency -- all received new software directly in space via up-links established in mid-April 2003.

FUSE can now operate without gyroscopes with no degradation in science data quality and only a slight loss of observation scheduling efficiency. The gyroscopes aboard FUSE do not move the satellite, but they provide information on how the spacecraft is moving or drifting over time.

[ANS thanks Canadian Space Agency for the above information.]

Teen Astronomers at Brussels Planetarium Speak via Ham Radio with ISS

Teenaged members of an amateur astronomers' club enjoyed an opportunity to speak via ham radio with someone in space July 24. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact originated at Brussels Planetarium, an annex of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Contact participants got to ask 13 questions of astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, at the controls of NA1SS aboard the ISS. In response to one youth's question, Lu said he and the Expedition 7 crew commander, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, get along well in part because they have been in space together before. Lu said if others were able to share his and Malenchenko's perspective on Earth the experience might contribute to world peace.

Handling Earth station duties for the contact was Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, in Johannesburg, South Africa. An MCI teleconferencing circuit provided two-way audio between South Africa and the Brussels Planetarium, where the teenagers and ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, used a speakerphone. MCI also provided streaming audio to the Web. The planetarium's public address system made contact audio available for an audience of about 100 people, Bertels said.

Two TV and one radio station covered the event and interviewed the teenaged astronomers afterward. The Belga press agency also was on hand. In the planetarium, the participants and those looking on could see the ISS replicated on the planetarium's hemispheric dome.

ARISS is an international project with participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful School List updated 2003-07-31

The International Space School contact this Friday will be on the web. Go to the announcements page for complete instructions.

Check out Ed Lu's webpage:

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 can be found at

Successful school list is at or

If the GSFC website is having problems, then go directly to the RAC site.

click on English
you are now at
click on News.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, 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,