October 26, 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

OSCAR Echo to Fly in March!

AMSAT-North America has announced that launch of the AMSAT OSCAR-E amateur radio microsat--the "Echo Project"-- is scheduled to launch March 31, 2004. Earlier plans had called for a May 2004 launch. Echo Project Team member Richard Hambly, W2GPS, reported at AMSAT-NA's Annual Meeting and Space Symposium October 18-19 in Toronto, Canada, that the Echo project has made significant progress in recent months.

A Russian Dnepr LV rocket--a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile--will carry the approximately 10-inch-square satellite into a low-Earth orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Echo Project Team member Richard Hambly, W2GPS, reported that the project team powered up the Echo flight hardware in late summer in a "flat-sat" configuration at SpaceQuest. Data communications, command and control, and attitude control subsystems were tested, in addition to the radio equipment, power systems and cabling.

The satellite will incorporate two UHF transmitters, each running from 1 to 8 W and capable of simultaneous operation, four VHF receivers and a multiband, multimode receiver capable of operation on the 10 meter, 2 meter, 70 cm and 23 cm bands. Echo will feature V/U, L/S and HF/U operational configurations, with V/S, L/U and HF/S also possible. FM voice and various digital modes--including PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink--also will be available.

[ANS thanks Dave Hassler, K7CCC, for the above information.]

ARISS Equipment Update

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, outlined the delivery of the so-called Phase 2 ham equipment to the ISS. A Progress rocked delivered a Kenwood TM-D700E VHF/UHF transceiver to the ISS. The unit will mean a significant boost to the power output of the ARISS initial station gear--from 5 W to 25 W.

"A Yaesu FT-100D and SSTV equipment, along with some new headsets, will be taken to the ISS on Progress Flight 14P," Bauer said. That flight is scheduled for January. Additional ARISS gear will not go up until the space shuttle returns to flight in September 2004, however.

Bauer said the equipment still on the ground will be tested in November at the KIS Service Module model facility in Moscow to validate that the Phase 1 and 2 systems are compatible. RF testing will also be conducted.

According to Bauer, current plans call for the Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex Kaleri, U8MIR, to install the Phase 1 and 2 70-cm hardware after ground tests are complete. Previous crews already installed four amateur radio antennas to cover HF, 2 meters, 70 cm and microwave frequencies.

Bauer said the software for the D700 has been set up with five program modes: phone, crossband repeater use, APRS, packet and an emergency mode. APRS probably will be the default mode when a crew member is not actively using the ham station, he predicted.

Crew members typically use non-mission off-time to operate the ARISS gear. Bauer says he's been working with US and Russian space officials to have them dedicate a few additional hours each month for operation and maintenance.

[ANS thanks Dave Hassler, K7CCC, for the above information.]

Volunteers Needed!

During our Board Meeting in Toronto, the directors identified the following positions that need to be filled urgently.

1) AMSAT Journal Editor - (Software supplied) for the January /February 2004 issue.

If you have any expertise in the layout of articles (particularly with Adobe Pagemaker) then please let me know. We issue the journal every two months and on average the Journal Editor spends about 80 hours per issue. Generally the articles are readily available but on occasions you may need to twist a few arms. Printing, advertising and distribution are looked after by the AMSAT Office. In these days of fast international communications, it is not necessary that you live in the USA or Canada, however a solid working knowledge of English is essential, together with a high speed modem. Can you help?

2) AMSAT Marketing Director to assist in all aspects of Marketing AMSAT.

We have a dynamic program for the foreseeable future and really need your assistance. The first task involves development of a "ECHO" launch fund campaign. We have to raise $110,000. As a person with advertising and marketing and advertising skills you will head up this campaign. You have possibly been a marketing person, recently retired who would like to contribute to your amateur radio hobby. You may live in North America or any other country that can easily communicate via e-mail, fax, etc.

Please contact me if you are interested in either of the above positions and we will communicate further.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
AMSAT-NA President

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

World's First Taikonaut

China launched its first manned space mission on Wednesday, October 15, sending an astronaut hurtling into orbit and becoming the third country in history to do so.

A Shenzhou 5 rocket launched Lt. Colonel Yang Liwei, 38, into orbit making him the world's first taikonaut, the Chinese word for astronaut.

Yang's 14 orbit voyage ended safely the following day amid worldwide congratulations for the Chinese achievement. The capsule will be put on display at the Millennium Monument in western Beijing.

[ANS thanks Florida Today for the above information.]

Five Hams on ISS

The contingent of space travelers now aboard the International Space Station (ISS) expanded to five early Monday, October 20, with the arrival of the Expedition 8 crew and a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut who accompanied them into space. Expedition 8 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, U8MIR, and ESA Astronaut Pedro Duque, KC5RGG, joined Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, after their Soyuz TMA-3 transporter docked with the ISS above Russia.

The Expedition 8 crew, which left Earth from Russia October 18, will spend the next six months on the ISS. NASA says the two teams will conduct crew hand-over activities during their eight days of joint operations. The formal change of command takes place October 24. The Expedition 7 team of Malenchenko and Lu has been aboard the ISS since April.

Duque, who's flying under a commercial agreement between the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos and the ESA, will spend the week conducting a series of scientific studies before returning to Earth with the Expedition 7 crew. He's also scheduled to conduct two Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts with school groups in his native Spain.

ARISS Vice Chair Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, credits the Union de Radioaficionados Espanoles (URE)--Spain's International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society--with working to obtain the special call sign--ED4ISS--assigned for Duque to use. The ESA launched a competition among all of Spain's schools, and winners will get the chance to interview Duque via ham radio. Bertels says the ESA has established a special Web site (in Spanish) to document Duque's ARISS activities.

This mission mark Duque's second space flight, following his mission on the shuttle Discovery on the STS-95 mission in 1998.

Malenchenko, Lu and Duque are scheduled to depart for Earth October 27 aboard the Soyuz vehicle now attached to the ISS. During his duty tour, Malenchenko was married by proxy to Ekaterina Dmitriev, a native of Ukraine who now lives in Texas. Upon his return, the couple reportedly plans a church wedding in Russia followed by a honeymoon in Australia. Malenchenko is 41; Dmitriev, who lives in the Houston area, is 26.

The Soyuz, which carries a crew of three, will remain the prime crew transport system. Russian Progress rockets will transport needed supplies.

Foale, 46, is a veteran of five space flights and has spent a total of nearly 180 days in space--including more than four months on the Russian Mir space station in 1997. During his Mir stay, Foale found ham radio a valuable supplement to conventional Russian and NASA communication systems after the station was damaged in a collision with an unmanned Progress cargo rocket. Kaleri, 47, flew on three Mir missions and has logged 416 days in space.

(Information provided by NASA was used in this report.)

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

Converged Satellite-WiFi Services Create New Revenue Opportunities

Northern Sky Research today released its newest market survey and forecast report "Satellite-WiFi Convergence: A Developing Model for Broadband Access". This new report examines the technical and economic viability of offering converged satellite-WiFi services in broadband access and content distribution markets in each region. The report concludes that disappointing growth in the satellite access market has led satellite companies to pursue alternative models of broadband service delivery. WiFi technology is extremely low cost, widely deployed and a critical element of telecom growth.

By integrating WiFi access technology with a satellite backbone link, satellite service providers can expand the reach of ubiquitous satellite coverage, spread out the cost of the satellite solution, and provision low-cost broadband service to anywhere in the world.

With over 1,000 satellite-based hot spots already deployed and the market projected to reach 95,000+ hot spots in the next 5 years, it is clear that satellite-WiFi integration will be an important component of satellite broadband revenue.

Samples of key segments in this market include internet access to rural and remote communities, enterprise and military video applications, maritime deployments, internet access to passenger trains, and VoIP over WiFi technology.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

Sea Launch To Come Ashore

Following the 10th successful Sea Launch mission on Sept. 30, the Sea Launch Board of Directors met and resolved to go forward with plans to offer launch services from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in addition to its sea-based launches at the Equator. The new offering, Land Launch, is based on the collaboration of Sea Launch Company and Space International Services (SIS), of Russia, to meet the launch needs of commercial customers with medium weight satellites.

Optimizing on heritage hardware, systems and expertise, the Land Launch system will use a version of the Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket to lift commercial satellites in the 2000-3500 kg range to geosynchronous transfer orbit, and heavier payloads to inclined or lower orbits.

A two-stage configuration of the same rocket will also be available for launching heavy payloads, or groups of payloads, to low Earth orbits. Payloads and vehicles will be processed and launched from existing Zenit facilities at the Baikonur launch site.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

2004 AMSAT General Meeting

It was announced that the 2004 AMSAT-NA General Meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Crystal City hotel just across the Potomac River from Washington DC.

Stay tuned during the year for exact dates and other details.

[ANS thanks Rick Hambly, W2GPS, for the above information.]

ARISS Contacts

ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful school list updated 2003-10-22 03:00 UTC

Check out Ed Lu's webpage:

More information is available on the ARISS-Europe website for the Pedro Duque contacts:

The local AR club EA1URO has dedicated a website to the ARISS contact with Ourense:

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 or

click on News

[ANS thanks Charlie, AJ9N, for the above information.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. 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 Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA,