January 4, 2004

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AO-27 Returns to Operation

The AO-27 Command Team reports that as of 29 December 2003 UTC, a new schedule has been uploaded to AO-27 after tracking down several bugs in the on-board schedule state machine.

The schedule starts 3.5 minutes before the sub-satellite point crosses latitude 39.0N on an ascending (South to North) pass. At that point AO-27 will turn on for 1 minute of digital telemetry download followed by 6 minutes of analog repeater operation. In addition to the analog repeater operations in the evening, there will also be 1 minute digital telemetry transmitted in the morning starting when it crosses latitude 39.0N on a descending pass.

When there is a better understanding of the battery condition, the analog time will be increased.

Your help is needed logging TLM from AO27. Please visit the Logging AO-27 Telemetry page, for directions in getting started.

[ANS thanks the AO-27 Command Team for the above information]

AO-40 Status Update

AO-40's attitude drift proceeded at about 85% of the predicted rate, so we moved a little slower moving then we would have liked. As of 3 January 2003, ALON/ALAT is approximately 337 / 3. The U,L1 -> S2 passbands are now active from MA 20 to 140.

Please run low power and stay well clear of the beacon.

N  QST AMSAT AO-40          SCHEDULE                 2004-01-03
                     MA      002   020   140   002
                     S2/K-Tx  |  S  |  S  |  S  |
                     MB       |  *  |  *  |  *  |
                     RUDAK    |     |     |     |
                     V/U-Rx   |  U  |  U  |  U  |
                     Uplink   |     | UL1 |     |

As we chase the sun back to 0/0 at about 1 deg/day, the passbands will be lengthened and moved more into the second half of the orbit.

The AO-40 team would like your telemetry files! Please "zip" compress your daily telemetry files and e-mail to

[ANS thanks Stacey, W4SM, for the above information]

AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Meeting Announced

The next meeting of the Board of Directors of AMSAT-NA will take place at the Airport Clarion Hotel Orlando on Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, 2004. Commencing at 8.30 am on Saturday, the meeting will be open to all AMSAT-NA members. As is our normal procedure, the first item of business will be to receive presentations from the membership.

The second item will be to develop the AMSAT-NA Strategic plan considering current circumstances.

AMSAT members wishing to attend and make a presentation to the BoD should advise me in advance (by February 15) of their topic and the length of time they wish to present.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH,
President, AMSAT-NA

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

ARISS Status 30 December 2003

Upcoming School Contacts

The next ARISS contact is scheduled for Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio. The contact will take place Friday, January 2, 2004.

ARRL Article on California School Contact

On December 23, ARRL ran an article on the Monroe Elementary School ARISS contact entitled, "ISS Commander Tells West Coast Youngsters He Believes Life Exists on Other Planets." See

ARRL Article Involving Astronaut Jim Voss

ARRL ran a web story about the effort involved in setting up an amateur radio station for the Gulf Coast Exploreum and Science Center's ISS exhibit in Mobile, Alabama entitled, "An Out of this World Effort." See

ARRL Article on the International Space Station

ARRL ran an article entitled, "Santa Has Company in the Christmas Sky." See

ARRL Story on Ham Radio Payloads and High-Altitude Balloons

ARRL ran an article about a program NASA-TV will air about amateur radio payloads and high altitude ballooning. Arizona Near Space Research (ANSR), whose goal is to promote science and education, noted that their program will air December 29 and 30. For more information, see

Packet Radio System

Amateur radio operators have been very active on the packet radio system (RS0ISS) on the International Space Station. Those that have communicated through the ISS using packet also qualify to receive a special certificate from the Roy Neal Commemorative event.

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO, for the above information]

K6DUE ISS Commemorative Event Certificates

Astronaut Mike Foale was active during a North America and Europe passes during several weekends in December. Numerous ham radio operators in these parts of the world made contact with Mike Foale or heard the ISS downlink. Those who heard or worked the ISS qualify for a special ISS Commemorative Certificate.

Instructions on receiving an ISS special event certificate follow:

  1. Please send an 9 inch by 12 inch (minimum) envelope for your certificate with adequate postage or IRCs included. Smaller envelopes will result in your certificate getting folded (not a pretty sight).
  2. Include your name, callsign and whether you worked ISS or heard ISS.
  3. Send your QSL/SWL information with the envelope to your ARISS QSL distributor in your area (Americas, Europe, Japan, or Russia). See the ARISS web page for more details:

Please note that this process will take several weeks. The plan is to get a bulk listing of QSLs/SWLs so that the calls can be added to the certificate prior to printing. We will then bulk mail these certificates to the QSL distributors. The distributors will then mail the certificates to you.

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO, for the above information]

SKN OSCAR Best Fist Nominations Due

Thanks to all who participated in Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2004.

Some Best Fist nominations have already been received, but if you have not already done so, please take a moment to nominate someone you worked. Remember, the person you nominate does not have to have the best fist of anyone you heard, just of those you worked. Please address nominations by e-mail to or by postal mail to W2RS's Callbook address.

A list of Best Fist nominees will be published in an AMSAT News Service bulletin in early February, and in The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, for the above information]

This Week's News in Brief

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

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Lee McLamb, KU4OS,