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:
- ARISS-USA Now a Non-profit Organization
- Contests On QO-100 Allowed In Time For Yuri Gagarin Contest
- Fun While It Lasted, Falcon 9 Telemetry Now Encrypted
- AMSAT SA Call For Papers
- NASA Invites Public to Take Flight With Ingenuity Mars Helicopter
- Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for April 8, 2021
- Busy month of crew rotations on tap at International Space Station
- ARISS News
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
ANS-101 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 101.01
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 April 11
ARISS-USA Now a Non-profit Organization
ARISS-USA, a Maryland not-for-profit corporation, is now recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501(c)(3) charitable, scientific, and educational organization. ARISS-USA is the US segment of the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) international working group. With this IRS determination, donations to ARISS-USA become tax-deductible in the US, retroactive to the ARISS-USA incorporation on May 21, 2020. This change in status allows ARISS-USA to solicit donations and grants.
As a new entity, ARISS-USA will continue to promote student involvement with the astronauts on the International Space Station via amateur radio. Working with educational organizations, ARISS provides exciting opportunities to inspire, engage and educate our next generation of space explorers through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities and content. ARISS-USA Executive Director, Frank Bauer, commented, “The educational scope and reach of what ARISS accomplishes has grown significantly since our beginnings in 1996. We are actively working to extend student’s reach even further. This, through the pursuit of potential student opportunities on human spaceflight missions beyond low Earth orbit, as part of our Amateur Radio Exploration (AREx) Program. First AREx destination: the Moon!”
ARISS-USA continues its collaborative work with ARISS International and US sponsors, partners, and interest groups. The ARISS-USA TEAM remains deeply indebted to its partners ARRL and AMSAT, who enabled the birth of ARISS, and to its steadfast sponsors, NASA Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab (INL).
Gifts from those wishing to support ARISS-USA goals are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and can be made by going to the ARISS website: http://www.ariss.org The ARISS-USA team thanks its sustaining donors for their continuing support!
(ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN, of ARISS PR 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
Donate today at
You won’t want to miss it!
Contests On QO-100 Allowed In Time For Yuri Gagarin Contest
AMSAT-DL announced, on April 4, the opening of the QO-100 NB satellite transponder to general contest operation in the upper mixed-mode range.
QO-100 is a Qatari satellite, launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 15, 2018. It operates at 26° East longitude along a geostationary orbit, which means that the satellite’s footprint covers Europe, Africa, and Asia, but excludes North America and most of South America.
This weekend (April 10-11) will see the Yuri Gagarin contest. The contest area on the QO-100 geostationary satellite NB transponder for both CW and SSB is:
Uplink area 2400.370 – 2400.490 MHz
Downlink area 10489.870 – 10489.990 MHz
Of course, the usual QO-100 NB transponder guidelines also apply here. Therefore, the bandwidth should still be limited to 2.7 kHz and the transmitting power should be reduced to the necessary level, i.e. only as much power as necessary should be used.
Read the AMSAT-DL announcement at https://amsat-dl.org/en/contests-on-qo-100-allowed/
The Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest 2021 is dedicated to the memory of Yuri Gagarin, who realized the first human flight to space, on April 12, 1961.
It runs from 2100 GMT on April 10 until 2100 GMT on April 11, 2021, and the categories include:
• SAT Single operator – Satellite QSOs
• SAT-GS Single operator – Geostationary Satellite QSOs
Contest rules are at http://gc.qst.ru/en/section/32
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK 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.
Fun While It Lasted, Falcon 9 Telemetry Now Encrypted
A few weeks back Hackaday reported that Reddit users [derekcz] and [Xerbot] had managed to receive the 2232.5 MHz telemetry downlink from a Falcon 9 upper stage and pull out some interesting plain-text strings. With further software fiddling, the vehicle’s video streams were decoded, resulting in some absolutely breathtaking shots of the rocket and its payload from low Earth orbit.
Unfortunately, it looks like those heady days are now over, as [derekcz] reports the downlink from the latest Falcon 9 mission was nothing but unintelligible noise. Since the hardware and software haven’t changed on his side, the only logical conclusion is that SpaceX wasn’t too happy about radio amateurs listening in on their rocket and decided to employ some form of encryption.
[ANS thanks Hackaday.com for the above information]
AMSAT SA Call For Papers
AMSAT SA has announced the date for the 2021 Space Symposium. In view of the continuing uncertainty about the Covid – 19 pandemic the conference will be a virtual event on the BlueJeans platform. The date is Saturday 10 July 2021 starting at 08:00 UTC. The theme of the symposium is “Unlocking Amateur Space Technology.” The symposium will focus on amateur satellites, weak signal communication, space weather and allied sciences.
SARL has issued a first call for paper proposals. Prospective authors are invited to submit proposals in the form of a brief description of the subject to be covered in their paper by no later than 15 May 2021. Submit proposals in word format to [email protected] Authors will be advised on 20 May of the acceptance of their paper. The final paper will be required by 30 June 2021.
[ANS thanks SARL and JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM 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!
NASA Invites Public to Take Flight With Ingenuity Mars Helicopter
NASA is targeting no earlier than Sunday, April 11, for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet. To mark a month of Ingenuity flights, the agency will host several events to bring people along for the ride.
A livestream confirming Ingenuity’s first flight is targeted to begin around 3:30 a.m. EDT (07:30z) Monday, April 12, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, and will livestream on multiple agency social media platforms, including the JPL YouTube, and Facebook channels.
Ingenuity arrived at Mars’ Jezero Crater Feb. 18, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration with a planned test flight duration of up to 31 days (30 Mars days, or sols). The rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.
The flight date may shift as engineers work on the deployments, preflight checks, and vehicle positioning of both Perseverance and Ingenuity. Timing for events will be updated as needed, and the latest schedule will be available on the helicopter’s Watch Online webpage: https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/#Watch-Online
[ANS thanks NASA 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 April 8, 2021
The following satellites have been added to this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
GuaraniSat-1 – NORAD Cat ID 47931 (per Celestrak)
KSU-CubeSat – NORAD Cat ID 47954 (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO)
DIY-1 – NORAD Cat ID 47963. (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO)
SMOG – NORAD Cat ID 47964. (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO)
The following satellites have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
TISAT – NORAD Cat ID 36799
JUGNU – NORAD Cat ID 37839
AO-71 – NORAD Cat ID 37854
HORYU-2 – NORAD Cat ID 38340
BEESAT-3 – NORAD Cat ID 39135
BEESAT-2 – NORAD Cat ID 39136
TRITON-1 – NORAD Cat ID 39427
DUCHIFAT-1 – NORAD Cat ID 40021
NANOSATCBR1 – NORAD Cat ID 40024
ANTELSAT – NORAD Cat ID 40034
VELOX-1 – NORAD Cat ID 40057
DAURIA DX 1 – NORAD Cat ID 40071
CHUBUSAT-1 – NORAD Cat ID 40300
QSAT-EOS – NORAD Cat ID 40301
GRIFEX – NORAD Cat ID 40379
DEORBITSAIL – NORAD Cat ID 40719
NUDT-PHONESAT – NORAD Cat ID 40900
LQSat – NORAD Cat ID 40958
OUFTI-1 – NORAD Cat ID 41458
Swayam – NORAD Cat ID 41607
AlSat 1N – NORAD Cat ID 41789
ScatSat – NORAD Cat ID 41790
Pegasus-1 – NORAD Cat ID 41846
UCLSat – NORAD Cat ID 42765
LituanicaSAT 2- NORAD Cat ID 42768
The above objects are inactive and have been removed. If you think a satellite is still active contact Ray Hoad, WA5QGD on AMSAT-BB.
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]
Busy month of crew rotations on tap at International Space Station
Seven astronauts and cosmonauts are gearing up for launches April 9 and April 22 to the International Space Station, replacing seven outgoing crew members set to land in Kazakhstan and off the coast of Florida on April 17 and April 28.
The back-to-back crew rotations will make for a busy month on the orbiting research complex, and multiple instances when ARISS operation will be suspended during crew operations. Preparations for the arrival of the fresh crew members are already underway on the space station.
The first step was relocation of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship to a new docking port on the space station April 5. NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, commander of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spaceship, was joined by crewmates Victor Glover, KI5BKC, Soichi Noguchi, KD5TVP, and Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, for the fully automated 45-minute relocation maneuver.
The Dragon astronauts, who launched Nov. 15 as part of SpaceX’s “Crew-1” mission, were aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft and suited up for re-entry, just in case the capsule had trouble linking up with the new docking port and needed to return to Earth.
Next was the launch of a Russian Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft with commander Oleg Novitskiy, cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, KG5GNP. The Soyuz crew launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 9 at 3:42 a.m. EDT (0742 GMT).
The crew on the space station will temporarily swell to 10 people until the outgoing Soyuz MS-17 crew departs the research lab one week later.
Undocking of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft with commander Sergey Ryzhikov, flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, is scheduled for 9:33 p.m. EDT on April 16 (0133z on April 17). The Soyuz capsule is scheduled to parachute to a landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 12:56 a.m. EDT (0456 GMT) on April 17. Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov, and Rubins launched Oct. 14 from Baikonur. Their return to Earth on April 17 will wrap up a 185-day mission.
With the Soyuz crew rotation complete, SpaceX and NASA will be cleared to launch the second operational Crew Dragon mission to the space station on April 22.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, pilot Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, and French-born European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, will fly on the Crew-2 mission.
Assuming the Crew-2 mission takes off April 22, Kimbrough and his crewmates will reach the space station for an automated docking at 5:29 a.m. EDT (0929 GMT) on April 23.
Their arrival will start a five-day handover with the Crew-1 astronauts, when the space station will briefly host 11 crew members.
The Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to board their Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft and undock from the space station April 28 at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT). The Crew Dragon capsule will fire its Draco thrusters to target a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida at 12:35 p.m. EDT (1635 GMT) the same day.
[ANS thanks Stephen Clark of Spacefilight Now 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.
Recent ARISS contacts:
The School of Information Technology & Mathematical Sciences, Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program 2021, Mawson Lakes, SA, Australia, conducted a telebridge via IK1SLD on Tuesday, April 6. Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, was the astronaut. The contact was successful.
Gagarin From Space performed an amateur radio session with NILAK DOSAAF Llc in Kaluga, Kaluga Regional schools, Kaluga, Russia, direct contact via RK3X on April 6. Cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov participated. The contact was successful.
Gagarin From Space conducted a radio amateur session with students of the St. Petersburg school, St. Petersburg, Russia, direct via R1AIT on April 7. The contact was successful.
Upcoming contacts: TBD
The latest information on the operation mode of the ARISS modules can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
[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
WY7AA: April 17th – May 2 EM86 vacation style FM and SSB. I will have a day trip to EM85, but I will plan that and advertise when I get there.
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.
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, reports these upcoming presentations scheduled for …
04/26 – Livonia, Michigan
05/18 – Puget Sound
05/26 – South New Jersey
06/01 – University of Arizona
06/09 – San Jose
06/15 – East Massachusetts
10/21 – Conejo Valley CA
… and dates for Roseland NJ, Austin TX, Maine, and NH to be firmed up!
Think a lively, entertaining, AND educational 75-minute presentation to YOUR club or organization on “Working the Easy Sateliites” would be appropriate for your club? Send me a message or call!
Clint Bradford K6LCS
AMSAT Ambassador, ARRL instructor
k6lcs AT work-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
+ LightCube, an educational mission by Arizona State University, Tempe, to allow a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to be easily operable by members of the general public, has been approved by NASA as one of the 12th CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) projects for 2022-2025. The LightCube CubeSat will provide a platform that increases the number of individuals who can participate in space activities. Specifically, anyone with appropriate amateur radio licensing within their jurisdiction and commercial radio equipment available for purchase for less than fifty dollars will be able to telecommand LightCube. The LightCube CubeSat will respond with a flash visible to the naked eye of the commander. In the process of operating LightCube, the user will inevitably learn important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts in areas such as telecommunications, spacecraft design, atmospheric and climate science, and orbital mechanics. (ANS thanks NASA, JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, Harry Bloomberg, W3YJ, and Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, for the above information.)
+ Jean Marc Momple, 3B8DU and an AMSAT Ambassador published an article in the Institution of Engineers Mauritius (IEM) Journal, March 2021, to promoted HAM radio satellite operation worldwide, as the paper was circulated in all affiliated Engineers association globally but the focus was on the regional operation. The link to obtain the document is https://bit.ly/3uHFFCv or go to https://www.iemauritius.com and register to download the March 21 edition of the Journal. (ANS thanks Jean Marc Momple, 3B8DU, for the above information.)
+ GOES-T, NOAA’s latest generation geosynchronous satellite, recently completed vibration, vacuum, and acoustic testing ahead of its December launch. GOES-T packs upgraded traditional weather observation instruments (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WQAwQ0SGkc for a video intro), including the 16 channel ABI imager (up from 5 channels on the previous generation) with 0.5km – 2km resolution (4x the previous gen). This generation also includes a Geostationary Lightning Mapper, the first lightning mapping system flown in geostationary orbit, which should increase lead time for severe storm warnings and decrease false positives. See https://www.goes-r.gov/spacesegment/glm.html for an overview of the system. (ANS thanks the Orbital Index for the above information.)
+ SpaceX launched 60 more of the company’s Starlink Internet communications satellites into orbit from Florida on Wednesday, April 7. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off as planned at 12:34 p.m. EDT (16:34z). SpaceX recovered the first-stage booster for the rocket by landing it on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. The satellites deployed to their intended orbit a little more than an hour after launch. (ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.)
+ A rather fascinating disassembly and analysis of the digital clock from a Soyuz spacecraft can be found at http://www.righto.com/2020/01/inside-digital-clock-from-soyuz.html The mid-1980s vintage clock was judged to be 8 to 10 years behind U.S. space technology of the time, with more that 100 integrated circuits on ten circuit boards. (ANS thanks the Orbital Index for the above information.)
+ Open Research Institute has posted several new YouTube videos updating their work. See https://www.openresearch.institute/ for links. (ANS thanks AMSAT Board Member Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, for the above information.)
+ AO-91 remains operational in COR or “repeater mode.” Reminder: Please use only in sunlight and do not use while in eclipse (which “generally” means, if it’s dark at your local QTH do not use!). Remember that the current status of most operational satellites can be found at https://www.amsat.org/status/ (ANS thanks AMSAT Board and Fox Command Team Member Mark Hammond, N8MH, 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, Mark Johns, KØJM
k0jm at amsat dot org