ANS-003 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan. 3, 2021

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

The news feed on publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: [email protected]

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:

In this edition:

  • 2021 Promises To Be A “Big” Year in Space
  • Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution
  • New AMSAT Contact Information
  • FO-29 operation schedule for Jan. – Feb. 2021
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 1, 2021
  • New Mail System Archives Changes
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 31, 2020
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-003.01
ANS-003 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 003.01
DATE 2021 January 3
BID: $ANS-003.01

2021 Promises To Be A “Big” Year in Space

2021 is looking to be at least as big a space year as 2020. To name just a few highlights:

* Three missions (and a helicopter!) arrive at Mars (Tianwen-1, Hope Probe, Perseverance),

* The James Webb Space Telescope launches in October (it just completed final sunshield testing),

* NASA’s DART, Lucy, and CLPS landers start launching, the Vera Rubin Observatory should see first light, Starliner OPT-2 will hopefully go smoothly, and China’s space station starts assembly.

* We also expect to see a number of firsts throughout the industry:

+ first orbital flights for Astra, Virgin Orbit (carrying 11 CubeSats scheduled to be deployed on this launch, including RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E), Firefly, and maaaaybe Starship, New Glenn, and Artemis I;
+ first orbital booster reuse from a non-SpaceX commercial space company (Rocket Lab);
+ the first fully private crewed mission to the ISS, launched by SpaceX and Axiom;

* And, the first two movies filmed in space, both to begin shooting on the ISS in the fall.

[ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit

Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution

Due in part to the e-mail system upgrades and ongoing changes in technology more generally, distribution of the AMSAT New Service (ANS) bulletins (the bulletins you are reading right now) have changed slightly in the new year.

Beginning with this release, ANS bulletins will no longer be sent with hard returns (CR/LF) inserted at 72 characters or fewer. Line length has traditionally been delineated for transmission on packet networks. However, few such networks remain operational, and most users receive the bulletins via a computer or mobile device.

For the time being, ANS bulletins will continue to be sent in plain text, and most users will notice no change. A few may have to turn on or adjust the “word wrap” feature in their email client, but for the vast majority, bulletins will display on their devices as they always have. The only difference most might notice is fewer hyphens breaking words in the various news stories.

This is a first step toward moving to an HTML format that will eventually allow bulletins to be sent with color and photo illustrations, much as bulletins from ARRL and other sources have been for some time. AMSAT News Service is moving slowly toward this change, so users may expect the plain text distribution to continue for some months yet.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor, for the above information]

New AMSAT Contact Information

AMSAT’s long-serving office manager, Martha Saragovitz, has retired! Martha’s last official day was December 31st. Because Martha is literally irreplaceable, AMSAT will be transitioning to a virtual office.

The best way to communicate AMSAT will be via email. If you have a question about AMSAT membership, please use the Contact Form on our Member Portal,, or email us directly at [email protected]. If you have a general question for AMSAT, please use the contact form on our main website,, or email us directly at [email protected]. It is important that you include your name and call sign. You would be surprised how many inquiries we receive with just an email addressed that cannot be easily traced back to a member.

If you need to mail something to AMSAT during the month of January, please send it to AMSAT, PO Box 27, Washington DC 20044-0027. This is our permanent mailing address, and it requires a volunteer to travel. As such, we will only retrieve this mail once a week.

We will open a virtual office at some point in January. Our virtual office will include a telephone answering service and the ability to receive and electronically process mail. We will post our new, virtual telephone number and mailing address on the Member Portal and main website contact pages, as soon as this service is available.

We are excited about the opportunities these new communication challenges bring and understand there will be some hiccups along the way, but, ultimately, we are committed to providing you with an open and effective communications system. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT President, for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

FO-29 operation schedule for Jan. – Feb. 2021

Time in UTC
Jan. 2021
1st 01:40- 03:25-
3rd 01:35- 03:20-
9th 01:20- 03:05-
10th 02:10- 03:55-
11th 01:15- 03:00-
30th 01:20- 03:05-
31st 02:10- 03:55-

Feb. 2021
7th 02:45-
11th 02:35-
21st 02:10-
23rd 02:05-
27th 01:55- 03:40-
28th 02:45-

For more information, see

[ANS thanks Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU, for the above information]

AMSAT Awards Update

Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) has just finished processing the last awards for 2020. Here are those that have earned awards recently.

AMSAT Satellite Communicators Award for making their first satellite QSO

Stephen Small, KC1NBI
Michael Pelaez, K4KMP
Kevin Addison, KM4RYN
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA
Timothy Stinson, AI5BE
Lowell Davis, WA2ZQX


AMSAT Communications Achievement Award

Michael Pelaez, K4KMP, #630
Robert Sours, K9UO, #631
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA, #632


AMSAT Sexagesimal Satellite Communications Achievement Award

Robert Sours, K9UO, #189


AMSAT Century Award

Adrian Liggins, VA3NNA, #56


AMSAT South Africa Satellite Communications Achievement Award

Michael Pelaez, K4KMP, #US233
Robert Sours, K9UO, #US234
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA, #US235


AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award (1,000-4,000)

Greg Phillips, WI4T, #115
Bernd Scholer, DL6IAN, #116
Michael Mark, VE4MM, #117
Gerry Krebs, N0JE upgraded to 4000


AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award

Ronald Parsons, W5RKN, #36
Christy Hunter, KB6LTY, #37
Robert Sours, K9UO, #38


AMSAT Rover Award

Rover Call
===== ========
None this time


GridMaster Award

GridMaster Call
========== ========
#14 N0JE
#15 N8HM
#16 AA8CH
#17 KE4AL
#18 N3GS
#19 WC7V
#20 N9EAT
#21 KK4YEL
#22 K9UO
#23 K7TAB
#24 KE0PBR
#25 KI7UNJ
#26 WI4T

To see all the awards visit and click on Services then Awards.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, for the above information]

VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 1, 2021

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period December 1, 2020 through January 1, 2021. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

There is a huge list this month. Perhaps due to the end of a Covid year.


For some reason KJ4EU *404 was not on the 01 Dec ARRL list

If you find errors or omissions. please contact W5RKN off-list at <mycall>@<mycall>.com and I’ll revise the announcement. This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned.

Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!

[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN for the above information]

New Mail System Archives Changes

AMSAT’s new mail system was introduced several weeks ago, but a number of users remain confused about its operation. If you are not receiving email from AMSAT-BB or other lists from which you have received posts in the past, you probably need to register your email address at Please contact postmaster [at] with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Likewise, if you are searching for archives of recent posts to AMSAT-BB, ANS (AMSAT News Service), the Keplerian Elements Mailing List (KEPS), you will now find those archives at

Archives of message posts that date from prior to the first week of December 2020 are still maintained at for your continued reference. However, no new mail posts are archived at that location.

Any messages from December 7, 2020 and onward are on the new “HyperKitty” archive. Messages prior to that date remain in the old “PiperMail” archive.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor, for the above information]

Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
from our Zazzle store!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 31, 2020

The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from
this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

EQUISat – NORAD Cat ID 43552 (Decayed on December 26, 2020 per Space-Track).

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]


Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be a telebridge contact via amateur radio and students will take turns asking their questions of Victor Glover, amateur radio call sign KI5BKC. John Sygo in Paardekraal, South Africa will use call sign ZS6JON to serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio ground station. English is the language that will be used for this contact. The Radio Club Argentino will assist the students with the contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for January 6, 2021 at 11:19 a.m. GALT (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island), which is 17:19 UTC. The contact will be live streamed and can be viewed at

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.

Support AMSAT’s projects today at

Upcoming Satellite Operations

****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately, and I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

@WL7T: Is headed to Colorado for 3 weeks in January. Will be in DM69 most of the time but might be able to be persuaded to go as far south as DM66.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no events are currently scheduled.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ A great article about ARISS and ISS was recently published on the website, PHYS.ORG
(ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, for the above information)

+ ON THIS DATE in 2004, the Mars rover Spirit made its landing on the Red Planet. In 1962, NASA publicly announced the Gemini program. And in 1920, biochemist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov was born.
(ANS thanks The Year in Space for the above information)

+ Of all the estimated 2700 CubeSats and other “nanosatellites” that have been created to date, less than 10% have had their own means of propulsion. This leaves them at the mercy of gravity and atmospheric drag, which can cause them to deorbit while they are still functional. In addition, they are unable to maneuver and adjust their orbit and get out of the way of other satellites and space debris. Thanks to Howe Industries and a breakthrough engine design (known as the ThermaSat) that utilizes steam to generate propulsion, all of that could change very soon. ThermaSat differs from conventional steam engines by relying on plain water and solar-electric power, and avoiding toxic, highly pressurized or even explosive liquids, such as hydrazine.
(ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)

+ The UK and EU announced a broad agreement Dec. 24 governing the UK’s relationship with the EU once the country formally withdraws from the European Union, a process known as Brexit. The agreement will allow the UK to remain in the Copernicus Earth observation program after it formally exits the EU. The situation is different with Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program, which is not covered by the Brexit deal. Those programs are “100% financed” by the EU. A third EU space program, is the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking program for space situational awareness. The UK government and private satellite operators based there will continue to have access to those services under the deal.
(ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information)

+ The uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Wednesday, Jan. 6, more than three months after delivering nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo to the orbiting outpost. Live coverage of the cargo spacecraft’s departure will begin at 1445z on NASA Television and the agency’s website, with release of Cygnus scheduled for 1510z.
(ANS thanks NASA and Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ Effective on June 29, 2021, amateur radio licensees and candidates must provide the FCC with an email address on all applications. If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as “defective.” The FCC has already begun strongly encouraging applicants to provide an email address. Once an email address is provided, the FCC will email a link to an official electronic copy of the license grant. Licensees can log into the ULS License Manager System with their FRN and password at any time and update anything in their FCC license record, including adding an email address. Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.
(ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

+ Today’s moment of Zen: your motions on this planet during your lifetime have shifted the center of masses of both our planet and our solar system by minuscule amounts, and this, in turn, has gravitationally altered the motions of every star within the distance that light traveled during your life. While undetectable, your life and choices shape the motion of the stars.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)



In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT Store.

Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status. Contact AMSAT for additional student membership information.

73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor, Mark D. Johns, K0JM
k0jm at amsat dot org