ANS-285 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for October 11th


The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America, 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: ans-editor at amsat dot org.

In this edition:

  • AMSAT 2020 Virtual Symposium Schedule Announced
  • UH Satellite Successfully Blasts into Space
  • ARISS to Celebrate 20 Years of Ham Radio on the ISS
  • IARU Region 2 Releases 2020 Band Plan Revision
  • Two More Astronauts Earn Amateur Radio Licenses
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-285.01
ANS-285 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 285.01
October 11, 2020
BID: $ANS-285.01

AMSAT 2020 Virtual Symposium Schedule Announced

The 2020 Virtual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 9:00AM CDT – 5:00PM CDT (UTC-5). Symposium presentations will be a combination of pre-recorded and live video segments along with question and answer sessions held via a Zoom meeting.

The Symposium will also  be made available for free live on AMSAT’s YouTube channel.

Registered attendees will receive a digital copy of the AMSAT Symposium Proceedings and will be entitled to join the Zoom meeting. Only registered attendees will be able to participate in the question and answer sessions. Registered attendees will also be entered into prize drawings. Registration is free and available only for AMSAT members. Registration will close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:00PM CDT.

Register today at

2020 Virtual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Schedule  – All times Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)

Time Topic
9:00am CDT Opening Remarks
9:15am CDT – 9:45am CDT AMSAT GOLF-TEE System Overview and Development Status – Eric Skoog, K1TVV
9:45am CDT – 10:15am CDT GOLF IHU Coordination – Burns Fisher, WB1FJ
10:15am CDT – 10:45am CDT GOLF Downlink Coordination – Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, and Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA
10:45am CDT – 11:15am CDT FUNcube Next – Phil Ashby, M6IPX, and Graham Shirville, G3VZV
11:15am CDT – 11:45am CDT LunART (Luna Amateur Radio Transponder) – Peter Guezlow, DB2OS
11:45am CDT – 12:15pm CDT CatSat HF Experiment Overview – Mike Parker, KT7D, and Chris Walker, K7CKW
12:15pm CDT – 12:45pm CDT Neutron-1 CubeSat – University of Hawaii
12:45pm CDT – 1:00pm CDT Break
1:00pm CDT – 2:00pm CDT AMSAT Education / CubeSat Simulator – Alan Johnston, KU2Y

  • Overview of CubeSat Simulator Project
  • Live or pre-recorded demonstrations of CubeSat Simulator
2:00pm CDT – 3:00pm CDT ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) / AREx (Amateur Radio Exploration) – Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

  • ARISS: 2020 Update
  • Next Generation Radio System – First Element Operations and Future System Plans
  • AREx/Lunar Gateway and Other Lunar Opportunities
3:00pm CDT – 4:00pm CDT AMSAT Engineering – Jerry Buxton, N0JY

  • Fox-1 Program Lessons Learned
  • GOLF Update
4:00pm CDT – 5:00pm CDT 2020 AMSAT Annual General Meeting

[ANS thanks the AMSAT office for the above information.]

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

UH Satellite Successfully Blasts into Space

Neutron-1 successfully launched as part of an International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday, October 2. The small satellite involved more than 100 University of Hawai’i students, faculty, staff and volunteers, and will measure neutrons in space and radiation coming from the Sun.

Neutron-1 was aboard the ELaNa 31, NG-14 rocket as part of a rideshare mission, which included other satellites, and will be in space for approximately one year. When astronauts set up the deployer pod for launch out of the ISS around mid-November, Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) will continue to be the primary driver for the Neutron-1 mission.

Neutron-1 carries an FM repeater: A downlink on 435.300 MHz and an uplink on 145.840 MHz have been coordinated.

UH students, faculty, staff and volunteers were able to view the rocket launch live on NASA TV and can be viewed on the HSFL website.

“I am thrilled. This is a great achievement of the University of Hawai’i’s Neutron-1 team of students, staff and faculty,” said Peter Englert, a Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) researcher and principal investigator for the Neutron-1 mission. “It demonstrates the quality of undergraduate education and research in space science and engineering at the university.”

“This mission development demonstrates that HSFL can deliver flight hardware and work collaboratively with other institutions regarding NASA planetary exploration,” said Lloyd French, HSFL researcher and project manager for the Neutron-1 mission. “Small spacecraft and cubesat architectures are the next generation of planetary robotic exploration, and HSFL is poised to take advantage of the opportunity.”

This is HSFL’s second completed spacecraft. In 2016, the first iteration of the Neutron-1 payload was lost due to a failed suborbital rocket that was launched from Wallops Flight Facility.

“Watching the NG-14 launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was an amazing opportunity to reflect how far we have come as a team, how many students were impacted by the project, and all of the lessons that were learned along the way,” said Amber Imai-Hong, an avionics engineer at HSFL and ground station coordinator for the Neutron-1 mission. “Watching a rocket ascend to space is always amazing, and to know that this leg of the journey is complete was a huge relief.”

The team is now gearing up for mission operations. HSFL will control Neutron-1 via the GlobalStar network, and partner with Amateur Radio operators to communicate with the satellite through HSFL’s Kaua’i Community College Ground Station to receive and send messages to the satellite when it is released from ISS in November.

The Neutron-1 project was funded by a NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development award, and the team conveys special thanks to the Air Force Research Lab for providing solar cells for the project.

[ANS thanks the University of Hawai’i News 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

ARISS to Celebrate 20 Years of Ham Radio on the ISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) will soon celebrate 20 years of continuous ham radio operations on the International Space Station (ISS). NASA is commemorating the milestone with a newly produced infographic highlighting the educational contacts via amateur radio between astronaut crew members aboard the ISS and students. Over its 20 years, ARISS has supported nearly 1,400 scheduled ham radio contacts with schools, student groups, and other organizations.

Planning for ARISS began in 1996 as a cooperative venture among national amateur radio and amateur satellite societies, with support from their respective space agencies. The ARISS ham radio gear actually arrived on the station before the Expedition 1 crew, headed by Commander Bill Shepherd, KD5GSL. The FCC issued ham radio call sign NA1SS for ISS operations. After Expedition 1 arrived on station, some initial tests with ARISS ham radio ground stations and individual hams confirmed the ham gear was working properly. The first ARISS school contact was made with students at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Illinois on December 21, 2000, with Shepherd at the helm of NA1SS on the ISS, and ARISS operations team mentor Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, guiding the operation on the ground.

NASA produced a video of students talking with astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, during an ARISS contact in May 2020.

Before and during scheduled ham radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space and related technologies, and radio communication using amateur radio. ARISS has inspired thousands of students, promoting exploration through educational experiences spanning science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.

ARISS relies on a large network of amateur radio operator volunteers, many associated with radio clubs in the communities where students and groups participating in the contact reside. ARISS volunteers support satellite ground stations, serve as technical mentors, and provide additional help in the areas of education, community outreach and public relations.

While student-to-astronaut radio contacts are a primary objective for ARISS, the capability has also inspired further experimentation for Amateur Radio in space and evaluation of new technologies. In September, ARISS announced that the initial element of its next-generation ham radio system had been installed in the ISS Columbus module. The new radio system replaces equipment originally certified for spaceflight in mid-2000. The onboard ham station also provides a contingency communications system for the ISS crew. Several astronauts have also enjoyed using NA1SS to make casual contacts with — and delighting — earthbound members of the ham radio community.

In the US, ARISS sponsors include ARRL, AMSAT, and NASA, the ISS National Lab-Space Station Explorers, and NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program. Global organizing partners include International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies as well as AMSAT organizations, and space agencies in Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, and elsewhere.

The next proposal window for US schools and educational organizations to host an amateur radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS opened on October 1 for contacts that would take place from July through December 2021.

Like many educators who have coordinated ARISS radio contacts for their students, teacher Rita Wright, KC9CDL, an ARRL member, described the first ARISS school contact as inspirational and having a lasting impact on their community. Five months after their contact, nearly 500 students greeted Bill Shepherd when he visited Luther Burbank School. Wright said it was “like tossing a pebble into a stream.”

“The ripple effects are still occurring, and I suspect will continue to occur for a long time,” she said. “We have a young staff, and witnessing these events has inspired some to look for other interdisciplinary projects. They are beginning their dream. Many of our students are looking forward to careers associated with the space industry.”

[ANS thanks the ARRL 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!

IARU Region 2 Releases 2020 Band Plan Revision

International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) — the Americas — has released the September 2020 revision of its Band Plan and made procedural changes to shorten the time to reflect future adjustments. The Band Plan includes a change approved at the October 2019 General Assembly to add an Amateur Satellite uplink subband, 21.125 to 21.450 MHz, on a non-exclusive basis. This matches similar changes in the Region 1 and Region 3 band plans.

A number of administrative changes have been made to the text, although the Band Plan itself has not been modified. These changes include:

  • Modifications to the wording of the Band Plan to ensure that national regulators understand it is a voluntary document, and that countries may depart from the plan based on national requirements.
  • Definitions additions: Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), primary service, secondary service, and several acronyms.
  • Inclusion of information detailing the primary and secondary users in each amateur radio allocation band.
  • Correction of minor typographical errors.

At its May 2020 meeting, the IARU R2 Executive Committee added text to the Standard Operating Procedures that provides a process for the Band Plan to be updated in a more timely manner. Prior to this change, Band Plan modifications could only be approved at a General Assembly, held once every 3 years. Under the new provision, the Band Planning Committee may circulate proposed changes to member-societies with the approval of the Executive Committee. “Should no more than one objection be received within a 60-day period, the change shall be deemed accepted and reported as such at the next conference,” the Band Planning Committee’s terms of references state.

The IARU R2 Band Planning Committee has a member from each of the seven areas in Region 2, and one of those members also serves as the committee’s chair. The current Committee Chair is Alphonse Penney, VO1NO/VA1AVR.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and George Gorsline, VE3YV, IARU Region 2 Secretary for the above information.]

Two More Astronauts Earn Amateur Radio Licenses

Although the lockdown of Johnson Space Center (JSC) postponed Amateur Radio training and licensing over the past seven months, NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, was able to work with all of the new astronaut-class graduates, as well as offer some refresher courses with already-licensed astronauts. Licensed astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) may operate the on-station ham radio equipment without restrictions.

Astronauts often participate in Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts with schools and groups on Earth.

NASA Astronaut Kayla Barron, who completed her introductory course in June and received basic ham radio operations training in late September, recently tested and received the call sign KI5LAL.

European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer passed his Amateur Radio exam on July 30, and he got his basic ham operations training in July. He now is KI5KFH.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, completed the refresher course earlier this year. Two other new astronauts are in the queue to take the Technician license exam.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and Rosalie White, K1STO 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.

Upcoming Satellite Operations

JQ78, October 7–12, 2020

JW7XK (or maybe LA7XK) will be active on RS-44 on as many passes as possible. His focus is to work NA and maybe JA, when/if it is possible. Link frequency 435.660 +/- Doppler.

JN15jo, October 19, 2020

Jerome, F4DXV, is planning to be on RS-44 beginning at 20:00 UTC specifically for North America. The footprint covers much of eastern NA. This is a difficult operation after dark and Jerome hopes that many will take advantage of the opportunity to work this very rare grid. RS-44 will bee around 1430km.

CN98/DN08, October 12, 2020

@AD0DX until Sunday. Holiday style.

DN17/DN18 Line, October 12, 2020

@AD0DX and @KI7JPC and maybe @KI7UXT.

DN13, DN23, DN22, October 16-19, 2020

@KI7UNJ, no pass list, follow him on Twitter.
October 16 on the DN13/23 Line.
October 17 in DN22.
October 18 in DN22.
October 19 on the DN13/23 line.

FN44/FN54, October 11-16, 2020

KQ2RP will be on FM birds from FN54 with occasional FN44/54 line. FN53 is possible. Logging as KQ2RP/1.

DK78/ DK79, October 12, 2020

@XE1HG will be holiday style on FM and maybe some linears.

EL Grids, October 10-14, 2020

October 10 in EL95 Key Largo.
October 11 in EL94 Key West.
October 12 in EL84 Dry Tortuga.
October 13 in EL94 Key West.
October 14 TBD.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information.]

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.  The next Zoom presentation is on October 27, 2020 for the Cherryland ARC/Traverse Bay ARC.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL 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


Completed Contacts

Gagarin From Space Radio Amateur Session With Students Of The International Aerospace School At Amgu Blagoveshchensk  Amur State University, Blagoveshchensk, Russia direct via RKØJ.
The ISS callsign was RSØISS.
The astronaut was Anatoli Ivanishin.

The contact was successful on September 28, 2020 at 08:48 UTC.

Upcoming Contacts

Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR.
Contact is go for: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 16:26:13 UTC.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N for the above information.]

Shorts from All Over

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 8, 2020

Update on decaying satellites:

  • The decay epoch predicted by Space-Track for EnduroSat One – Cat ID 43551 is 2020-10-15.
  • The decay epoch predicted by Space-Track for MO-106 – Cat ID 44830 is 2020-10-09. Decay has occurred or is eminent.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD for the above information.]

Next Rocket Lab Launch Window Starts October 20, 2020 UTC

‘In Focus’ is a rideshare mission to low Earth orbit for Planet and Spaceflight Inc.’s customer Canon Electronics. The mission will deploy a total of 10 satellites to precise and individual orbits from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The scheduled launch time is 21:14 UTC. Full details can be seen at

[ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC for the above information.]

British Columbia Radio Amateur Hears Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

According to a report, Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, in British Columbia, Canada, received a signal from the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), flying just 274 kilometers (about 170 miles) above the red planet’s surface. The signal was an X-band carrier containing no data or telemetry.

“Its purpose is to allow for Doppler tracking,” Tilley explained. “The rapid change in pitch of the signal is caused by the relative motion of the satellite and the observer.” He used a homemade satellite dish to hear the orbiter.

Tilley enjoys tracking down signals from “dead” satellites, zombie satellites, and spy satellites, but the MRO was a first for him. “MRO’s signal is weak, but it is one of the louder signals in Mars orbit,” he said. “The spacecraft has a large dish antenna it uses as a relay for other Mars missions. With the proximity of Mars these days, it was the perfect time to try.”

In 2018, Tilley saw the “signature” of the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE), a NASA spacecraft believed to have died in 2005. That discovery delighted space scientists.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

Rocket Lab CEO Warns of Space Junk

In 1978, NASA scientist Donald Kessler warned of a potential catastrophic, cascading chain reaction in outer space. Today known as “Kessler Syndrome,” the theory posited that space above Earth could one day become so crowded, so polluted with both active satellites and the detritus of space explorations past, that it could render future space endeavors more difficult, if not impossible.

Last week, the CEO of Rocket Lab, a launch startup, said the company is already beginning to experience the effect of growing congestion in outer space.  Read the complete story at:

[ANS thanks CNN 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 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 six post-secondary years in this status.

Contact Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student membership information.


This week’s ANS Editor,

Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org