ANS-243 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for August 30th

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:

  • AMSAT Member David Minster, NA2AA, Elected ARRL CEO
  • Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU, joins Starliner mission to ISS
  • ANS Editors Wanted
  • CubeSat Challenge Seeks To Inspire, Prepare Students
  • Amateur License Fee Proposal From FCC
  • AO-92 (FOX-1D) Reverting to Safe Mode
  • GRBAlpha Frequency Coordination Completed
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-243.01
ANS-243 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 243.01
DATE 2020 August 30
BID: $ANS-243.01

AMSAT Member David Minster, NA2AA, Elected ARRL CEO

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected David Minster, NA2AA, of Wayne, New Jersey, as ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer, starting on September 28. Minster is currently Managing Partner at Talentrian Partners, a management consulting firm serving the consumer goods and luxury goods industries.

Minster began his career as a software engineer, moving into management at Unilever, as a Chief Information Officer and moved on to several other companies in the course of his career, as CIO, COO, and CEO.

Minster got his Novice license, WB2MAE, in 1977, when he was in his teens. He progressed from Advanced to Amateur Extra and, after a stint as NW2D, he settled on the vanity call sign NA2AA in the 1990s as a way to honor a mentor, N2AA, and the contest station that he used to frequent, K2GL, in Tuxedo Park, New York.

Minster’s ham radio pursuits have ranged far and wide over the years. His background includes National Traffic System training and participation in public service events, as well as contesting from home, club stations, and contest stations in the Caribbean — particularly on Bonaire, where he is a member of PJ4G. Primarily a CW operator, Minster collects unique and vintage bugs and keys.

Minster earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from The Ohio State University and has a special interest in satellites, digital communications, remote operation, and ham radio computing and software. He has written keyer software for the commercial market, and contest logging, packet, and satellite telemetry software for personal use.

In addition to being an ARRL member, Minster is a member of AMSAT, the Frankford Radio Club, the Straight Key Century Club, CWops, and the North American QRP CW Club.

“I spend every day of my life, one way or another, engaged in amateur radio. It is more than just a hobby for me; it is my community. It is where I live; where I have built lifelong friendships, and friendships that span the globe. Amateur radio allows me to dream and to experiment. I can’t wait to bring my energy and boundless enthusiasm in service to ARRL.”

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said, “We are excited to welcome David as our new CEO, and look forward to his progressive leadership. His experience in management and operations, plus his activities in amateur radio, will serve our organization and members well.”

Minster will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who was CEO in 2018, and who has been serving as ARRL’s Interim CEO since January 2020. Shelley had been ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since January 1992.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information]

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

Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU, Joins Starliner Mission to ISS

NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU, NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing?s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station. Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, and Josh Cassada, KI5CRH, for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the ISS. The spaceflight will be the first for Epps, who earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000 from the University of Maryland, College Park.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

ANS Editors Wanted

Are you the sort of ham who may not have the skills to put together a satellite, but who does a pretty good job of putting *WORDS* together?

The AMSAT News Service (ANS) prepares and distributes weekly news bulletins about the world of amateursatellites, and ANS is in need of additional rotating editors. Editors take turns putting together the weekly bulletins, one week each month, more or less. They also help one another out by seeking news items to pass along to the editor of the week, and proofreading.

Online training and mentoring is provided. Time commitment is usually 4-6 hours per month, once trained and up to speed.

This is a great way for wordsmiths to contribute to AMSAT and to serve your fellow amateurs. Contact k0jm [at] with questions or to volunteer.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor, 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.

CubeSat Challenge Seeks To Inspire, Prepare Students

The U.S. Department of Education has launched CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge to inspire students to build technical skills for careers in space and beyond. High school students from across the country are invited to design and build CubeSat prototypes, or satellites that aid in space research, bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom.

“This is such an exciting way to rethink education and get students engaged in hands-on learning in the growing aerospace and technology fields,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “I look forward to seeing the innovative prototypes students develop and hope this challenge inspires our next generation of American space explorers.”

Investors predict that space will be the next trillion-dollar industry, and as missions in space continue to expand, so do the career opportunities. This multi-phase challenge offers high school students across the United States the chance to build CubeSat prototypes while learning creative, collaborative, and technical skills for 21st century careers.

Schools interested in entering CTE Mission: CubeSat should form a team and submit a mission proposal by 5:59 p.m. ET, on Oct. 16, 2020 — no in-person collaboration or prior experience with CubeSats is required. The online submission form asks for school information, a team profile, a project proposal, and anticipated learning outcomes. Curated educational resources are available to students and teachers online in the CTE Mission: CubeSat resource hub. To learn more, schools can join a virtual information session on Sept. 1.

Up to five finalists will be selected to receive prizes and participate in Phase 2, which runs from January to May 2021. Finalists will have access to expert mentorship and additional virtual resources as they build CubeSat prototypes and plan flight events to launch their prototypes. The Department understands that due to current conditions, schools will need flexibility to safely collaborate when designing and building prototypes during the challenge. The Department looks forward to the creative solutions in the mission proposals it receives as challenge entries.

Each finalist will receive an equal share of the $25,000 cash prize pool, as well as satellite development, hardware, and software kits. Challenge sponsors include Arduino, Blue Origin, Chevron, EnduroSat, LEGO Education,, MIT Media Lab, and XinaBox.

“Developing a CubeSat prototype is an opportunity for students to learn competitive skills and explore a wide range of careers in space — or their own communities,” said Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Scott Stump. “Through CTE Mission: CubeSat, we aim to bring students new learning opportunities to build valuable technical skills for in-demand and rewarding careers.”

For details, see

[ANS thanks the U.S. Department of Education for the above information]

Amateur License Fee Proposal From FCC

The FCC has published a proposal to reinstate a $50 fee for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees. The The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270. The ARRL team in Newington and Washington D.C. are crafting a response to the NPRM. The ARRL is committed to opposing all fees for any aspect of the amateur radio service. Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. File comments by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. This docket is already open for accepting comments even though deadlines have not yet been set. For more information see

[ANS thanks Matt Holden, K0BBC, for the above information]

AO-92 (FOX-1D) Reverting to Safe Mode

AO-92 has been experiencing low battery voltage during many night time passes over the last several weeks. While the satellite is in eclipse voltage has been dropping low enough (3.6v IIRC) to cause an automatic shift to safe mode. It emerges from eclipse toward the end of night passes over North America and the transponder will then switch on, usually with a minute or two remaining in the pass. As we move to winter in the northern hemisphere, the end of the eclipse should shift over the pole and to the beginning of the descending part of the orbit, and this issue should change for at least the northern hemisphere ops.

[ANS thanks Andrew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations, and Nate White, N5LEX, 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

GRBAlpha Frequency Coordination Completed

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has approved frequency coordination for GRBAlpha, a 1U CubeSat built by students at the Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia, with contribution by students in Hungary and Japan. In addition to a gamma ray sensor, the satellite will have a digipeater functionality with 4k8 or 9k6 GFSK AX25 downlinks. A downlink on 437.025 MHz and an uplink on 145.905 MHz have been coordinated. Launch should take place in the third quarter of 2020 from Baikonur into a 600 kmm Sun-Synchronous Orbit. For more information see

[ANS thanks IARU 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.

Information and Technologies Branch, Department of Education-Queensland Government, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, telebridge via AB1OC The contact was successful: Mon 2020-08-24 09:32:57 UTC. The ISS callsign was NA1SS, and the astronaut was Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR

The KMO Kolska Wyspa, Koło, Poland, telebridge via VK6MJ. Is scheduled for Wednesday, 2020-09-02 12:58:11 UTC. The 75 degee maximum elevation pass will be heard across Australia. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR.

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts.

[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

Quick Hits:

Ron is heading out for the Kansas QSO Party, catch him on HF or DM96, 8/27 From 00:00 to 02:00, @AD0DX DM97,98, EM07,08, 8/29 from 15:00 to 20:00 @AD0DX

RJ is also heading out for the party… DN80 & DN90, 8/28 FM passes, @WY7AA DM99/EM09 AO92 8/29 03:55, @WY7AA

EL97, 8/29, @KK4YEL, details and passes to come.

FM15, FM25, FM14, FM04, 8/29 and 8/30 Holiday Style, @N4LAZ.

Bob Keating, N6REK, will be on vacation next week in the Eastern Sierra and plans to work AO-91, AO-92 and PO-101 from the DM07/08 gridline on a holiday schedule from Wednesday, Sept. 2 to Saturday, Sept. 5.

Major Roves:

@WA9JBQ is heading out to Idaho DN24,DN25,DN26 DN34, DN16, DN15, DN14 starting August 15th. Then moving into Montana for DN35,DN36, DN37, DN38 DN49 DN47. He will be out a total of 5-6 weeks Mostly FM some linear. Will post to twitter details.

[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, 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.

Clint Bradford K6LCS has booked his “Work the FM Voice Satellites With Minimal Equipment” presentation for the clubs.

09/02/2020 – Garden State ARA, New Jersey

09/14/2020 – North Agusta Belevedere Radio Club

10/27/2020 – Cherryland ARC / Traverse Bay ARC

TBD – Antelope Valley (CA) ARC

TBD – A private presentation for a Boy Scout troop in Danville, Penn.

These will be Zoom presentations. Participants are asked to update their copies of the Zoom application – by directly visiting

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

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ NASA will broadcast a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket full-scale booster test at 2:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 2, on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed by a media teleconference. The Flight Support Booster-1 test builds on three full-scale development test firings and two qualification test firings NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully completed with the five-segment solid rocket motor in preparation for the first three Artemis missions. (ANS thanks NASA JPL and Joanne Maenpaa, K9JKM, for the above information)

+ NASA JPL provides a web application, “Eyes on the Solar System”, to track the Mars 2020 mission. Fully interactive, Eyes on the Solar System. doesn’t just let you track Perseverance in real time as it travels to the Red Planet. Dozens of controls on pop-up menus allow you to customize not just what you see – from faraway to right “on board.” Give the Mars 2020 Perseverance spacecraft a spin at: (ANS thanks NASA JPL and Joanne Maenpaa, K9JKM, for the above information)

+ OSIRIS-REx just performed its last dress rehearsal before gathering a sample from asteroid Bennu in October. This dress rehearsal maneuver took the craft down to 40 m and resulted in high resolution images of the site. October’s sampling maneuver will use optical navigation to slowly bring the craft down, with minimal thruster firings to avoid contaminating the surface with hydrazine propellant. The craft will briefly touch down, dissipating momentum in the spring loaded Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) arm, and fire a burst of nitrogen to blow particles into its sample collection head. These samples will eventually make it back to Earth in fall of 2023. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ Masten Space Systems announced on August 26 that it has selected SpaceX to launch Masten Mission One (MM1). As part of MM1, Masten’s lunar lander will deliver nine NASA-sponsored science and technology demonstration experiments and several commercial payloads to the lunar south pole. Masten’s first mission to the Moon, MM1 is a collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Project Office. The Masten XL-1 lunar lander is scheduled to touch down on the lunar south pole in 2022, carrying a suite of NASA-sponsored scientific instruments and various payloads from commercial space customers. (ANS thanks for the above information)

+ In early August a cable snapped at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, causing substantial damage to one of the largest single dish radio telescopes in the world. In an episode of the National Public Radio podcast, Short Wave,” planetary scientist Edgard Rivera-Valentín explains what’s at stake until the damage can be repaired, and he unique role the telescope plays in both scientific research and popular culture. Listen to the 12-minute program at: (ANS thanks for the above information)

+ Malcolm “Mal” Preston, NP2L, an AMSAT life member and longtime sup porter, died last month at the age of 85. Mal retired in 1991 and moved to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he practiced accounting through 1997. An active volunteer, Mal served on the church vestry, was treasurer of St. John’s yacht and hiking clubs. He assumed many leadership roles in ham clubs and won many international champion ships as a member of the Contesting Consortium PJ2T. He was the Assistant Section Manager for the American Relay League in the USVI. (ANS thanks John Shew, N4QQ, and Joanne Maenpaa, K9JKM, for the above information)

+ NASA’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, Kathy Lueders, has named Robyn Gatens as acting director of the In ternational Space Station at NASA Headquarters. The appointment was effective Aug. 25. Sam Scimemi, the former director, has assumed new responsibilities as a special assistant for the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. In this role, Gatens will lead strategy, policy, integration, and stakeholder engagement for the space station program at the agency level, working closely with International Space Station Program Manager Joel Montalbano at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Gatens will provide technical advice for the program, as well as overseeing program execution and managing risks. Gatens has 35 years of experience at NASA in both the space station program and in development and management of the life support systems for human spaceflight missions.


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 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,

Mark D. Johns, K0JM

k0jm at amsat dot org