April 11, 2004

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AMSAT-NA Member Survey Underway

About 400 members of AMSAT-NA will receive a copy of the members survey in the next few days. The survey envelope contains a small gift to you to enable you to promptly fill out the survey and to return it as soon as possible. The members who receive this survey were selected at random, and your Board of Directors hope to get a true picture of the membership, and your needs and expectations from the survey.

Through the generosity of one of our members, the costs incurred in developing, mailing and the small gift have not been a part of AMSAT's expenses. If you are one of the members selected to receive this survey, we will be relying on you to return it and provide AMSAT with your thoughts as soon as possible.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH for the above information]

AMSAT News Service Editors Wanted

The AMSAT News Service (ANS) is currently seeking volunteer editors to assist with the preparation of the Weekly Bulletins. Volunteers will work with the existing ANS editors on a rotating schedule to produce the weekly news bulletin. In a typical rotation each editor is responsible for producing the bulletins once a month. Since the entire ANS staff is volunteer, we always work together to accommodate schedules and unforeseen events.

If you'd like to be part of the team please contact me at

Lee McLamb-KU4OS
ANS Senior Editor

[ANS thanks Lee, KU4OS for the above information]

AMSAT-SM (Sweden) New Web Address and E-mail

AMSAT-SM (Sweden) has a new web address and e-mail:

Please update links and local information pages!

[ANS thanks Lars, SM0TGU for the above information]

ARISS Status 06 April 2004

Saint-Mard Schools Contact Successful

The two schools of Saint-Mard, "College Georges Brassens of Saint Mard" and the "Jacques Prevert School," both located north of Paris, France experienced a successful contact with Mike Foale, KB5UAC, on April 1. The contact took place at 18:27 UTC. The students' teacher, Jocelyn Raffray, F5CAR relayed ten questions of the students to Foale. The students asking the questions, the technical team and the educational team participating in the contact were located in the radio room during the contact, while the contact was relayed via amateur television to the school's main hall for an audience of 150 students, teachers, parents, and media.

Sonoran Sky School Contact Successful

The school group contact between Sonoran Sky Elementary, Scottsdale, Arizona and the ISS was a tremendous success. Astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, answered 21 questions (22 asked) during the 10 minute ham radio contact. This contact is the final school group contact for Expedition 8. The contact started as scheduled at 1834 UTC. It was a tremendous horizon-to-horizon pass contact with every second utilized wisely. The contact was broadcast live at the school via amateur television where approximately 500 students participated. The contact will then be replayed to the entire Scottsdale School district, which includes 44 schools, 30 elementary schools and 35,000 students. There was significant press at the contact, including Channel 10--Fox news, Channel 3 KTVK, Channel 12 NBC, and the Arizona Republic and Scottsdale Tribune newspapers.

Sonoran Sky is expected to be the last Expedition 8 contact. Thank you Mike and Alexsandr for making all of the ARISS contacts possible.

Normal ARISS contacts are expected to resume on or after 2004-05-24.

ARRL Article on Ham Radio Licensed Astronauts' Promotions

On April 2, The ARRL Letter, which is distributed to 165,000 people, published an article about astronauts who are hams who have been promoted to key positions at NASA JSC. See

ARRL Sets up Booth at Science Teachers Association Conference

On March 29, ARRL's Mark Spencer went on travel in order to set up and staff a booth at the National Science Teachers Association national conference. He took handout materials and hands-on items to attract the attention of teachers, and thanks NASA for their support.

ARISS Delegates Follow-up Activities from ARISS International Meeting

With the ARISS International Meeting a tremendous success, the ARISS Delegates are following up the meeting with necessary activities and completion of action items. Rosalie White, ARISS Secretary Treasurer, edited the minutes she took at the ARISS International Meeting held at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. She then debriefed the ARRL Board, her management and ARRL's media branch on news from the meeting. Many of the delegates and committee members are handling action items from the list which was developed at the meetings.

Space Tourist Interested in ARISS Program

Dr. Gregory Olsen, a scientist who started his own company, Sensors Unlimited, Inc., headed to Star City, Russia last week to begin training for an eight day flight in space. As the next space tourist to take a ride on the Soyuz, Olsen plans to do some research of his own. He has also expressed an interest in the ARISS program and would like to make some school contacts while aboard the ISS. He would like to train for his Amateur Radio license with Nick Lance of JSC. He is scheduled to launch in April, 2005. For more information, see:

[ANS thanks Carol for the above information]

Eagle Q&A

Rick Hambly, W2GPS, AMSAT Executive Vice President and Board of Directors member recently answered some questions about AMSAT's upcoming high Earth orbiting satellite project Eagle.

Q: I put together a pretty decent S-band downlink for AO-40, and had great results! I really enjoyed U/s operation but am not in a position to build an L-band uplink at this point. Will U/s be included on Eagle?

A: It's too soon to say for sure what will be on Eagle, but I would expect Mode U/s will be accommodated to support all those who have invested in this mode for AO-40. One of the experimental modes that can be activated on Echo is Mode U/s (FM voice and data only) but that will be a challenge due to the high Doppler shift and the rapid movement.

Q: Will Eagle have fixed transponders or a matrix such as was used on AO-40?

A: The current state of Eagle's design includes a matrix so any receiver can be connected to any transmitter. The design is not finalized and I expect there may be at least one exception to this, the mode C/c transponder (see the C-C Rider article by W3IWI in the 2003 Proceedings).

[ANS thanks Rick, W2GPS for the above information]

FAA Issues License for Sub-Orbital Manned Rocket Tests

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it issued the world's first license for a sub-orbital manned rocket flight. The license was officially issued from April 1 by the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to Scaled Composites of Mojave, CA, headed by record setting aviator Burt Rutan, for a sequence of sub-orbital flights spanning a one-year period.

The FAA sub-orbital space flight license is required for U.S. contenders in the X-Prize competition, a high-stakes international race ultimately to launch a manned, reusable private vehicle into space and return it safely to Earth.

The X- Prize foundation will award $10 million to the first company or organization to launch a vehicle capable of carrying three people to a height of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles), return them safely to Earth, and repeat the flight with the same vehicle within two weeks.

Twenty-seven contestants representing seven countries have already registered for the X-Prize contest, modeled on the $25,000 Orteig Prize for which Charles Lindbergh flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927.

In its 20 years of existence, the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation has licensed more than 150 commercial launches of unmanned expendable launch vehicles. This license is the first to authorize manned flight on a sub-orbital trajectory.

While the highest criteria to issue a license is public safety, applicants must undergo an extensive pre-application process, demonstrate adequate financial responsibility to cover any potential losses, and meet strict environmental requirements.

[ANS thanks SpaceDaily for the above information]

Hamvention 2004: AMSAT events

Two more special events timed to coincide with Hamvention 2004 to report this week. The Third Annual AMSAT "Pizza 'n' Suds" party will be held Thursday evening May 13th. Again this year the venue will be Marion's Pizza at 1320 North Fairfield Rd. The party will begin at 1830 and go until the last pizza is gone! Food will be ordered from the menu and drinks are available at the bar.

Also, the AMSAT Banquet will be held Friday evening at 1800. Location is the Amber Rose Restaurant at 1400 Valley St. in old north Dayton. As with past years the meal will be a buffet with a price of $25.00 per person. Reservations are required and the banquet is limited to 90 people maximum. Please contact Nancy Makley for reservations. Her e-mail is (N8NUY)

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,