ANS-117 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 26th


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:

  • March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted
  • Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator
  • Let’s Take Some Pictures
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One
  • New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-117.01
ANS-117 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 117.01
DATE 2020 April 26
BID: $ANS-117.01

March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted

The March/April 2020 edition of Apogee View, a comprehensive update on AMSAT’s activities from AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, has been posted to the AMSAT website.

[ANS thanks AMSAT the above information]

Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator

Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has made the news once again for tracking down yet another “zombie” satellite. Scott was the subject of a report broadcast on National Public Radio on Friday, April 24.

This time, he managed to identify signals from LES-5, an experimental military UHF communications satellite built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and launched in 1967. Even though the satellite was supposed to shut down in 1972, it’s still going. As long as the solar panels are in the sun, the satellite’s radio continues to operate.

In 2018, Tilly found a signal from a NASA probe called IMAGE that the space agency had lost track of in 2005. With Tilley’s help, NASA was able to reestablish contact. He has rediscovered several other long-forgotten birds, including Transit 5B-5, a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy navigation satellite launched in 1965.

Scott announced his findings on LES-5 through his Twitter account, @coastal8049, on March 24. The full NPR story may be found at:

[ANS thanks for the above information]

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

Let’s Take Some Pictures

The command team has had a few requests for camera mode on AO-92 over the last few weeks, and it’s been a while, so let’s take some pictures next week.

Next Tuesday morning, April 28th, we’ll attempt to command the camera on at approximately 1440Z and 1612Z. We’ll also try the 1750Z pass. If we can’t command on the 1750Z pass, we’ll find a suitable pass later in the week for the west coast.

Take a look at for a guide on how to set up FoxTelem, and for near-live images as we go. Remember, the more stations submitting telemetry during the event, the better the chance of complete images!

[ANS thanks Andrew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations, for the above information]

Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

Last week’s AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletin (ANS-110.01) contained a news item entitled “Receiving SMOG-P and ATL-1 Nano Satellites With an RTL-SDR” from Zoltan Doczi, HA7DCD.

Please note that on December 19, 2019 AMSAT designated SMOG-P as Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and ATL-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106).

In the AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution, the TLEs for these two Hungarian satellites are shown as follows:
MO-105 is NORAD Cat ID 44832 (SMOG-P)
MO-106 is NORAD Cat ID 44830 (ATL-1)

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

The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One

Just a little history, Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI, was a very prolific operator and in his honor this certificate was created and the first certificate was issued to him on June 27, 1994. He has since become an SK and his local club has taken over his call sign. The award was originally the W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. The local club asked me not to use their call sign for the award. I changed the award to The Robert W. Barbee, Jr. W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. And here we are today, finally having issued over 100 certificates and over 30 of the 5,000 certificates.

This award is for making 1,000 contacts with any station any time. You can say hello to your friend on every satellite on every pass every day and count those contacts. That being said, any contact you log counts. The award has endorsements for making 1,000 more contacts up to 4,000. Another 1,000 contacts will earn a special W4AMI 5,000 certificate.

To submit for the award, please email me an extract from your log either in Microsoft Excel XLS(X) format or ADI(F) format. Either will work just fine. Then wait for me to get back to you notifying you to go online and make your payment. I need nothing from LoTW, confirmed contacts are not an issue, this award is for simply making a contact. See:

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, 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.

New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store

Thanks to an post on Twitter from Michael Styne, K2MTS, AMSAT is pleased to offer a new t-shirt on the AMSAT Zazzle Store. This t- shirt design is available in variants suitable for printing on either dark or lightly colored shirts.

The shirt features a representation of AMSAT-OSCAR 7 in orbit with the tagline “OSCAR – Adventure and Excitement in Space Age Communication” This image was used in advertisements for the 1978 ARRL book “Getting to Know OSCAR.” The ARRL has granted AMSAT permission to republish this classic image as a t-shirt.

Get yours today! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

ZW8, BRAZIL (Special Event). Operators Freddy/PY3YD, Joselito/PS8BR, Fernando/PS8CW, Raimundo/PS8DX, Jose/PS8ET, Milton/PS8HF, Nelson/PS8NF, Pirajah/PS8RF, Dalton/PS8TV and Andre/PT9AL are using the special event callsign ZW8THANKS as a tribute to health care professionals fighting COVID-19. Activity will be on all bands and modes including the satellites. QSL via direct, eQSL or LoTW. (ANS thanks the Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1461 for the above information)

Due to COVID-19, there are no other announced satellite operations at this moment. Any roving activity of which AMSAT becomes aware will be posted at:

Until then, stay safe and keep making contacts from home.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at)

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services 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


ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio.

Northern Virginia Schools Group, Woodbridge VA, Multi-point telebridge contact via AB1OC is scheduled for Thursday, April 30. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is go for 13:35:00 UTC at a maximum elevation of 62 degrees. Stations in the eastern U.S. should be able to listen in on this contact on 145.80 MHz FM. A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home.

The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions. ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff member in their own homes (even quarantined).

[ANS thanks ARISS 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.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule:

June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
September 26, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra Vista, AZ
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Diwata-2 (PO-101) has been active daily to provide emergency access during Covid-19 pandemic. Check For Daily activation schedule (ANS thanks DIWATA-2 Ground Team for the above information)

+ On this 50th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 13, the BBC has pro duced a documentary video series, “13 Minutes to the Moon,” along with associated web resources and podcasts. The documentary can be accessed worldwide at: (ANS thanks Peter Green, G0ABI, for the above information)

+ Happy 30th anniversary, Hubble! The Hubble Space Telescope was laun ched into LEO on April 24th, 1990 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-31 launch video). Featuring a 2.4 m mirror and optics that are smooth to 10 nanometers (but were in the wrong shape until corrected by the first of five servicing missions in 1993), Hubble takes images of the Universe with never-before-seen quality. The telescope may work into the 2040s, hopefully being joined by its more-advanced sib ling, the JWST, next year. Take a moment to browse some of Hubble’s most stunning snapshots of the Universe at: (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ Astronauts onboard the International Space Station have gotten a first good look at the controversial Starlink satellites. On April 13th, they photographed a train of 16 Starlinks cutting through Southern Lights over the Antarctic. Learn more about their unique photo and corresponding ground-based sightings on (ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ SpaceX launched 60 more spacecraft Wednesday to join the Starlink fleet. The successful launch Wednesday marked the 84th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since June 2010. That makes SpaceX’s Falcon 9 the most-flown orbital-class U.S. launcher currently in operation, exceeding the 83 missions performed by the Atlas 5 rocket built by rival United Launch Alliance. With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has delivered 422 Starlink satellites to space. The company is seeking regulatory approval to fly 4,400 of the satellites in the project’s first phase. SpaceX’s next Starlink launch after Wednesday could happen as soon as early May on another Falcon 9 rocket mission. That will be followed by SpaceX’s first launch with astronauts on-board — scheduled for May 27 — to begin a test flight of the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship to the International Space Station. (ANS thanks for the above information)

+ A series of unusually severe spring storms parading across the southeastern USA had residents taking shelter this week from hail and tor- nadoes. High above the maelstrom, sprites were dancing. Sprites are a form of electricity in powerful storm clouds. While regular light- ning lances down, sprites leap up. They can reach all the way to the edge of space 90 km or more above Earth’s surface. (ANS thanks Southgate ARC and 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 addi- tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.

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 Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership information.

73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,

This week’s ANS Editor,

Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ

ki7unj at amsat dot org