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 http://www.amsat.org 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]
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In this edition:
- RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E Is Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 109 (AO-109)
- SN9 Starship Test Launch: Otherwise successful test ends in a fireball
- CAPE-3 Updates and iGate Request * First QO-100 satellite contact from Indonesia
- ARISS Call for Proposals: Contacts for January to June 2022
- Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 4, 2021
- ARISS News * Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
ANS-038 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 038.01
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 Feb 07
RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E Is Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 109 (AO-109)
On January 17, 2021, the RadFxSat-2 cubesat was launched on a LauncherOne vehicle off the coast of California. RadFxSat-2 is a joint mission of AMSAT and the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. The satellite carries a telemetry beacon and a linear transponder, along with radiation effects experiments. The telemetry beacon has not yet been heard, but the transponder is partially operational at reduced signal strength. Work continues to recover the telemetry beacon and characterize the transponder with the goal of opening it for general use. AMSAT hereby designates RadFxSat-2 as AMSAT-OSCAR 109 (AO-109).
Testing and characterization of RadFxSat-2/AO-109 continues. After user reports and additional verification that the linear transponder is at least partially functioning with a low level downlink signal, the Engineering and Operations teams made the official designation. Of the several objects have been suspected (D, C, and M), with Object C being suggested recently by Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA. Recently, these satellites have sufficiently spread apart to allow testing to determine which object is RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E.
During the 2 Feb 2021 0240 UTC passes, command station Mark Hammond, N8MH, compared Objects D, C, and M for the “best fit” for received signals with Doppler correction on both the uplink and downlink frequencies for each of the candidate objects. Objects D and M were quickly eliminated from further consideration, due to poor frequency predictions of Doppler correction compared to observed signals. The clear best fit is Object C, which is known OBJECT C, INTELDES 2021-002C, and NORAD CAT ID 47311. Therefore, AMSAT is happy to identify Object C/2021-002C/47311U as RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E and make the designation AO-109. Thanks to Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, for support during the identification.
The Engineering and Operations teams appreciate the community’s cooperation thus far and affirm the request that users do not attempt to use the transponder until further notice. The proper identification will allow further characterization of the satellite’s condition through additional testing.
(ANS thanks Mark L. Hammond, N8MH, AMSAT Director and the Engineering and Operations Team for the above information)
Join the 2021 President’s Club! Score your 2″ 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin.
This gold finished coin comes with Full Color Certificate and
Embroidered “Remove Before Flight” Key Tag
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You won’t want to miss it!
Another Starship Test Launch: SN9 test ends in a fireball
On Tuesday, February 2, Starship serial number 9 (SN9) completed SpaceX’s second high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from our site in Cameron County, Texas.
Similar to the high-altitude flight test of Starship serial number 8 (SN8), SN9 was powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee – approximately 10 kilometers in altitude. SN9 successfully performed a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent.
During the landing flip maneuver, one of the Raptor engines did not relight and caused SN9 to land at high speed and experience a RUD.
The full description and a video of the test launch may be found at: https://bit.ly/3avfkPC
[ANS thanks SpaceX Public Relations for the above information]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed
until further notice. For details, please visit
CAPE-3 Updates and iGate Request
Rizwan Merchant, KF5BNL, reports: “It seems CAPE-3 is indeed healthy in orbit. Our power system seems to be working as intended and UHF transmitters seem healthy. However, we’re suspecting the VHF radio is dead on arrival. We’ve not seen any indication of it functioning in orbit, which aligns with a fear we had prior to integration.
The CAPE-3 team is devising plans to begin testing individual subsystems on the satellite to gauge the health of those. This might take a few more weeks to validate and provide an update on what capabilities we can still carry out, as we update our ground systems.”
Additional updated information on CAPE-3 may be found at: https://bit.ly/2O6t1Nj
Rizwan continues: “If anyone is able to switch their iGates, or make a UHF iGate to help track CAPE-3 email packets, we’d be really grateful for the help! We’ve turned on one at our University as well. 1.) We are expecting UHF APRS on 437.325, the same as what our FSK and AX.25 packets are coming across on. 2.) From what I can tell, our NORAD ID is 47309. 3.) Currently we are having some issues commanding CAPE-3 from our University lab, so once we are able to transmit commands, we’ll be able to set the APRS emails to come across more often, and begin experimenting the tweeting function to see if it works as we intended.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped so far! We got our first email packet from W7KKE-13 earlier this evening (approximately 00:45 UTC Saturday, 02/06/2021).
The SatNOGS network is getting packets fairly regularly: https://bit.ly/3q9LQgR
[ANS thanks Riswan Merchant, KF5BN, 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.
First QO-100 satellite contact from Indonesia
Indonesia’s national amateur radio society, ORARI, reports on the first contacts from Indonesia via the Qatar-Oscar-100 geostationary satellite transponder
The contacts took place on Thursday, January 27, 2021. Those involved were Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, Remco den Besten PA3FYM and Rene Stevens PE1CMO.
ORARI’s report says a team from the Telkom University Telecommunication Engineering Student Association (HMTT) led by Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, succeeded in conducting the first contact from Bukit Moko (Grid square OI33UD), Bandung, West Java with a satellite elevation of 0.8 degrees at an altitude of 1200m+.
Additional information is available at: https://bit.ly/3jgIC8B
[ANS thanks Southgate Amateur Radio News for the above information]
ARISS Call for Proposals
New Proposal Window is February 15th, 2021 to March 31st, 2021 February 2, 2021 — The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.
The deadline to submit a proposal is March 31st, 2021. Proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and the proposal form can be found at www.ariss.org. An ARISS Introductory Webinar session will be held on February 25th, 2021 at 8 PM ET. The Eventbrite link to sign up is: https://ariss-proposal-webinar-spring-2021.eventbrite.com
Additional information may be found at https://www.ariss.org/
[ANS thanks David Jordan AA4KN ARISS PR for the above information]
AMSAT’s GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits,
and it all begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for
deployable solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control.
Come along for the ride. The journey will be worth it!
Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 4, 2021
The NORAD Cat ID for RadFxSat-2 has been updated in this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution as follows:
RadFxSat-2 – NORAD Cat ID 47311. Mark Hammond, N8MH, (AMSAT Director and Command Station) has identified RadFxSat-2 as OBJECT C, NORAD CAT ID 47311. OBJECT C was determined to be the “best fit” for RadFXSAt-2 and OBJECTS D and M were eliminated as contenders. RadFxSat-2/Fox1E has been designated AO-109 as reported above.
The following satellites have also been added to this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
SOMP 2b – NORAD Cat ID 47445.
IDEASSat – NORAD Cat ID 47458.
Thanks to Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, for these two satellite identifications.
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, 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
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2021-02-06 04:30 UTC
Sterling MS, Ashburn, VA, multi-point telebridge via ON4ISS. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Contact is go for: Tue 2021-02-09 14:44:48 UTC 66 deg
Watch for live stream at https://youtu.be/qVhBweqjCo4
Red Hill Lutheran, Tustin, CA, telebridge via NA7V . The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS . The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins KF5LJG. Contact is go for: Wed 2021-02-10 18:26:15 UTC 65 deg.
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.
[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 https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
N6DNM: There will be a quick run at CM88/89 on Sun 7th, and a good chance of an attempt at CM79 on around Feb 12-13 (if wx holds) . Details will follow.
CM93 Possibility: N6DNM Very long shot, but might want to put it on your calendar for May 15th, if you can figure out where it is and for #SOTA folks, that would be W6/SC-336, Santa Rosa Island, activated only once before.
JD1BQA activation of Ogasawara: Takio Hata, JH3QFL, plans to activate Ogasawara (AS-031) from May 1 to 7 as JD1BQA. QRV on 160, 80, 40, and 6m on FT8/FT4, and via the RS-44 satellite (CW). QSL via JH3QFL (d). (Reported in DXNL 2235 – February 3, 2021 DX Newsletter)
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com Updated 02/3/ 2021
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, and JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
AMSAT Ambassador and registered ARRL instructor Clint Bradford K6LCS has a couple Zoom presentations lined up to begin 2021. In the first week of February, an “abbreviated” presentation was given to a Southern CA ARES group. Later in the month, a “normal” show will be presented. There are up-to-five spots available for you to attend! Just send Clint an email message for details.
Would a 90-minute informative, personalized-to-your-club, FUN presentation on working the “easy” satellites would be appropriate for your club? Send Clint an email message, and let’s book a date! Contact: Clint Bradford K6LCS k6lcs at ham-sat dot info 909-999-SATS (7287)
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ After a successful launch in December, on 2 Feb. 2021, UVSQSat switched mode from 1200 BPSK(G3RUH) to 9600 BPSK(G3RUH). Frequencies for UVSQSat are telemetry on 437.02 MHz with callsign LATMOS-1 and the repeater: 145.905 MHz Uplink, 437.02 MHz Downlink More information on the UVSQSat mission may be found at: https://bit.ly/3oOPYRy (ANS thanks Christophe Mercier of AMSAT Francophone for the above information).
+ Two astronauts working outside the International Space Station on January 27 installed a European Space Agency data relay antenna and connected four of six cables to partially power a new ESA experiment platform. But the two cables they were unable to connect to the Bartolomeo platform will need to be connected later. Unable to resolve the cable trouble, they capped the two balky connectors and used tie-downs to hold all the cables in place. (ANS thanks SpaceFlight Now for the above information)
+ An update to the IC-705 Satellite Memory .CSV file has been posted at the AMSAT-SE website. Lars, SM0TGU, has fixed a bug in the PO-101 settings and has added 5 offsets for each of the FM birds. The 5 offset memory settings should make it easier to track the doppler shift of those satellites if an operator is in the field. The revised memory settings files are available at: https://www.amsat.se/2020/11/12/satellite-memory-file-for-ic-705/ (ANS thanks Lars Thunberg, SM0TGU of AMSAT-SE for the above information)
+ Twelve bottles of Bordeaux wine and dozens of vine shoots are back at home in southwest France after spending months on the International Space Station (ISS) for an unusual astrochemistry experiment. The red wine and 320 mature shoots known as canes arrived February 1 after their return to Earth via a Dragon capsule operated by SpaceX. They will be analysed at the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux to see how the stresses produced by zero gravity affect both grape growth and the finished product, which could spur new agricultural research. (ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information)
+ Sixty more SpaceX-owned Starlink internet satellites rocketed through a moonlit winter sky over Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 launcher early Thursday, while another Falcon 9 stood on a different launch pad a few miles away to loft another 60 Starlink payloads Friday. The first stage’s landing punctuated the fifth trip to space and back for this booster, and it broke a record for the fastest turnaround between flights of a SpaceX booster, besting the previous mark of 38 days set last month.(ANS thanks SpaceFlight Now for the above information)
+ Diplomas for the AMICALSAT satellite are being sent out. If you have not yet requested them, you can do so before 28/02/2021. The request for a diploma is done by sending an email to [email protected] indicating your callsign or the name given in the AMSAT-F database to send the data. (ANS thanks Christophe Mercier of AMSAT Francophone for the above information)
+ The first private Chinese company to reach orbit met with failure Monday (Feb. 1) during its second attempt to go to space. iSpace’s four-stage Hyperbola-1 rocket failed after liftoff while attempting to carry the cubesat-sized Fangzhou-2 (Ark-2) satellite into space. Media reports indicate the launch attempt happened around 0815z from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. (ANS thanks Space.com 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 info [at] amsat.org for additional student membership information.
73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ
kd4iz at frawg dot org