ANS-010 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan. 10, 2021

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: ans-editor@amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

In this edition:

* Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 is Go for Launch
* Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS
* Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise
* AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705
* AMSAT Ambassador Activities
* AMSAT – Changes in Orbital Elements
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-010.01
ANS-010 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 010.01
From AMSAT HQ WASHINGTON, DC
DATE 2021 January 10
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-010.01

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is Go for Launch with RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E Cubesat

LauncherOne is scheduled for launch on Sunday, January 10 at 13:00 EST. The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 11 satellites including the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2 cubesat.
RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies:
Telemetry Downlink – 435.750 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink – 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink – 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz

See https://bit.ly/2XboF8H and https://bit.ly/3hLlDl3 for more information

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM AMSAT News Editor, the AMSAT-UK editorial team, and SpaceLaunchNow for the above information]


Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS

The SpaceX Dragon that arrived at the International Space Station on the company’s 21st resupply services mission for NASA is scheduled to depart on Monday, Jan. 11, loaded with 5,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 9 a.m. EST (1400z).

The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will execute the first undocking of a U.S. commercial cargo craft from the International Docking Adapter at 9:25 a.m. (1425z), with NASA astronaut Victor Glover, KI5BKC, monitoring aboard the station.

Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module, then initiate a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth’s atmosphere. Dragon is expected to make its parachute-assisted splashdown around 9 p.m. (0200z on Jan. 12) the first return of a cargo resupply spacecraft in the Atlantic Ocean. The deorbit burn and splashdown will not air on NASA TV.

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center Space Station Processing Facility, and back into the hands of the researchers. This shorter transportation time frame allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects. For splashdowns in the Pacific Ocean, quick-return science cargo is processed at SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas, and delivered to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Dragon launched Dec. 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station just over 24 hours later and achieving the first autonomous docking of a U.S. commercial cargo resupply spacecraft. Previous arriving cargo Dragon spacecraft were captured and attached to the space station by astronauts operating the station’s robotic Canadarm2. The spacecraft delivered more than 6,400 pounds of hardware, research investigations and crew supplies.

The upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission contains double the powered locker availability of previous capsules, allowing for a significant increase in the research that can be carried back to Earth.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise

A portable satellite station for the QO-100 geostationary satellite (Es’hail-2) was commissioned on the icebreaker FS “Polarstern” at 14:23 UTC on December 27, 2020, with an initial QSO between DP0POL/mm and DK3ZL. A very special experiment, originated from an idea of Felix DL5XL and Charly DK3ZL. AMSAT-DL spontaneously supported this project by providing a complete 6 Watt transverter radio station, as well as a 75 cm dish on a tripod.

Charly DK3ZL first tested this system extensively via QO-100 at his home for a few days before he personally brought it to Felix DL5XL in Bremerhaven for handover on December 6, 2020. On the same day, all the equipment was loaded onto the research vessel Polarstern, while the entire crew remained in quarantine for almost 2 weeks. On 20 December 2020, the Polarstern then set sail from Bremerhaven and embarked on the long voyage to Antarctica, non-stop.

In agreement with the responsible board engineer of Polarstern, Jörg DJ0HO, who is responsible for the callsign DP0POL on Polarstern, the station could be set up in front of a container on the upper deck, depending on the weather situation (see cover picture). Theresa DC1TH and Felix DL5XL are thus able to make radio calls in their spare time during the several-week trip to Antarctica. After the premiere there was an impressive “pile-up” of up to 40 kHz on the NB transponder on the following days.

Additional information may be found at: https://bit.ly/3bjx1Um

[ANS thanks Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, President AMSAT-DL for the above information]


AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705

Lars Thunberg, Webmaster for AMSAT-SM has posted a satellite memory set for the new IC-705 QRP radio from ICOM. Lars has provided two .CSV files which may be merged into your existing memory groups as a dedicated group. You will need to use the CS-705 software from ICOM to perform the merge. Please carefully read the instructions that Lars gives at:
https://bit.ly/3obNm0R

The .CSV files in the EU/Swedish format and the North American/US format are posted at the above URL.

PLEASE NOTE: Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ found this format was difficult to import into the RT Systems IC-705 Programmer, so it would be most efficient to use CS-705 to merge the memories into a new group, then to save the settings back into the RT Systems Programmer software. He will provide a import template for the RT SYstems software once it has been tested by others. Lars indicated that he will post this file as well when it is ready.

Lars also has provided a nice tutorial for users of the PstRotator Satellites Tracking Sofware at:
https://bit.ly/2LewbNt
Lars plans to update his memory settings file to add additional satellites in the future.

[ANS thanks Lars Thunberg, SM0TGU, Webmaster AMSAT-SM and Jack Spitznagel, Editor AMSAT News 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


 


AMSAT Ambassador Activities

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 will be given to a Southern CA ARES group, but later in the month, a “normal” show will be presented. Clint adds: “There are up-to-five spots available for you to attend! Just send me an email message (email address below) 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 me an email message, and let’s book a date!”

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS (k6lcs@ham-sat.info) 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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 7, 2021

The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

UBAKUSAT – NORAD Cat ID 43467 (Decayed on December 27, 2020 per Space-Track).

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


ARISS NEWS

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.

Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School, Higashioumi, Japan, direct via 8N3SG 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: Wed 2021-01-13 10:38:29 UTC, 26 degrees maximum elevation

[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

Quick Hits:
+Thursday 1/14/21 KF6JOQ “Planning to rove DM16 and maybe 16/15 line,Thursday 1/14/21. Will be FM and linear.”
+Watch for additional rove tweets from WL7T: @WL7T Is headed to Colorado for 3 weeks in January. “Will be in DM69 most of the time but might be able to be persuaded to go as far south as DM66. I am heading to Denver on Thursday (1/7) morning. I’ll be in DM79 for a few hours starting at 20z and will try working whatever I can as time permits. Will get to DM69 by Thursday evening and will get on the later passes as soon as I arrive.”

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

1/10/2021, from 1300Z-1700Z, N4DCW will be working satellite passes from West Virginia in EM88. Passes are listed at: https://t.co/YbgeMyu3Vv?amp=1
Michael asks: “Please, no blind calling (calling me before I have AOS). I will have *at least* 5-10 degree horizons in all directions. (It’s West Virginia!) Rest assured, when I can hear the satellite, I will let you know. :)”
Rove updates can be found on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/MWimages

[ANS thanks Michael Whitman, N4DCW posting to AMSAT-BB for the above information]

Major Roves:
There are no major roves scheduled as of 1/6/2021


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

None on the immediate schedule.

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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Reminders from Drew Glasbrenner about AO-92 and AO-91 – AMSAT-BB 1/6/2021: “Today I turned AO-92’s transmitter off after resetting the min-max readings. We’ve been watching the battery minimum voltage decline steadily over the last few days, and needed to give it a rest for a bit. Immediately afterwards, there was an AO-91 pass. I turned on the transmitter, and a few moments later reset the min-max readings. The command team will monitor telemetry and determine if we can leave it on for a while. Please remember to not transmit to either satellite while it is in eclipse. If you do not use software that indicates eclipse state, just avoid the evening passes. We are in the endgame for both satellites, and your cooperation will give us more operational time over the coming months.” (ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations for the above information)

+ Alba Orbital, the space broker that manages the launch of AMSAT-EA (AMSAT Spain) EASAT-2 and Hades satellites, has informed us of a delay in the scheduled one for January 14, 2021 with SpaceX. “This delay has nothing to do with our satellites, or with Alba Orbital itself. It is attributable to Momentus, which acts as an integrator with SpaceX.”
“The delay means the next try would probably go to March, coinciding with the Starlink mission and being located in an estimated orbit between 450 and 550 km with an inclination of 53 degrees.” “As for the satellites themselves, this should not be a major setback. AMSAT-EA does does not expect a significant drain on the batteries.” (ANS thanks Felix Paez, EA4GQS of AMSAT EA for the above information)

+ Roy Dean, K3RLD commented on LilacSat-2 operations: “Just a reminder for those who may not know, LilacSat-2 frequently turns on with a downlink about 12 kHz higher than it’s published value. It seems to “jump around” sometimes between the two frequencies. Here is a good illustration of the the recently completed 21:55z pass:”

https://network.satnogs.org/observations/3416149/

Roy continues: “It was just me and KC1OCA on this pass, but I don’t think Michael could hear me. The downlink was very strong, so I suspect he was using a radio with no waterfall – which would make it difficult to know that you are getting in. If anybody knows KC1OCA – please let him know that I have a recording of the pass if he would like (no email on qrz.com). Thanks!” (ANS thanks Roy Dean, K3RLD for the above information)

+ Rocket Lab announces “Another One Leaves The Crust” launch window: The mission will launch a single communication microsatellite for OHB Group that will enable specific frequencies to support future services from orbit. The launch will be Rocket Lab’s 18th Electron mission and was procured for OHB Group through OHB Cosmos International Launch Service GmbH, the launch service division of OHB Group. OHB Cosmos is responsible for launching the spacecraft built by the Group’s satellite manufacturers based in Germany, Sweden, and Czech Republic. The mission will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula (ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC of RocketLab for the above information)

+ Want to add a bit of space to your Google Calendar? CNET has launched the SPACE CALENDAR (all caps for dramatic cosmic effect), covering all the big rocket launches, mesmerizing meteor showers, epic eclipses and even an assortment of scientific milestones. The Google Calendar is constantly updating, and can be added to your existing Google app at https://bit.ly/38lfWHC For other calendars, such as Outlook, a static computer file of dates as they are presently scheduled can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3hQm6T2 (ANS thanks CNET.com for the above information)


/EX

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@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

ANS-003 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan. 3, 2021

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: ans-editor@amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

In this edition:

  • 2021 Promises To Be A “Big” Year in Space
  • Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution
  • New AMSAT Contact Information
  • FO-29 operation schedule for Jan. – Feb. 2021
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 1, 2021
  • New Mail System Archives Changes
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 31, 2020
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-003.01
ANS-003 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 003.01
From AMSAT HQ, WASHINGTON, DC
DATE 2021 January 3
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-003.01

2021 Promises To Be A “Big” Year in Space

2021 is looking to be at least as big a space year as 2020. To name just a few highlights:

* Three missions (and a helicopter!) arrive at Mars (Tianwen-1, Hope Probe, Perseverance),

* The James Webb Space Telescope launches in October (it just completed final sunshield testing),

* NASA’s DART, Lucy, and CLPS landers start launching, the Vera Rubin Observatory should see first light, Starliner OPT-2 will hopefully go smoothly, and China’s space station starts assembly.

* We also expect to see a number of firsts throughout the industry:

+ first orbital flights for Astra, Virgin Orbit (carrying 11 CubeSats scheduled to be deployed on this launch, including RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E), Firefly, and maaaaybe Starship, New Glenn, and Artemis I;
+ first orbital booster reuse from a non-SpaceX commercial space company (Rocket Lab);
+ the first fully private crewed mission to the ISS, launched by SpaceX and Axiom;

* And, the first two movies filmed in space, both to begin shooting on the ISS in the fall.

[ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution

Due in part to the e-mail system upgrades and ongoing changes in technology more generally, distribution of the AMSAT New Service (ANS) bulletins (the bulletins you are reading right now) have changed slightly in the new year.

Beginning with this release, ANS bulletins will no longer be sent with hard returns (CR/LF) inserted at 72 characters or fewer. Line length has traditionally been delineated for transmission on packet networks. However, few such networks remain operational, and most users receive the bulletins via a computer or mobile device.

For the time being, ANS bulletins will continue to be sent in plain text, and most users will notice no change. A few may have to turn on or adjust the “word wrap” feature in their email client, but for the vast majority, bulletins will display on their devices as they always have. The only difference most might notice is fewer hyphens breaking words in the various news stories.

This is a first step toward moving to an HTML format that will eventually allow bulletins to be sent with color and photo illustrations, much as bulletins from ARRL and other sources have been for some time. AMSAT News Service is moving slowly toward this change, so users may expect the plain text distribution to continue for some months yet.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor, for the above information]


New AMSAT Contact Information

AMSAT’s long-serving office manager, Martha Saragovitz, has retired! Martha’s last official day was December 31st. Because Martha is literally irreplaceable, AMSAT will be transitioning to a virtual office.

The best way to communicate AMSAT will be via email. If you have a question about AMSAT membership, please use the Contact Form on our Member Portal, launch.amsat.org, or email us directly at members@amsat.org. If you have a general question for AMSAT, please use the contact form on our main website, amsat.org, or email us directly at info@amsat.org. It is important that you include your name and call sign. You would be surprised how many inquiries we receive with just an email addressed that cannot be easily traced back to a member.

If you need to mail something to AMSAT during the month of January, please send it to AMSAT, PO Box 27, Washington DC 20044-0027. This is our permanent mailing address, and it requires a volunteer to travel. As such, we will only retrieve this mail once a week.

We will open a virtual office at some point in January. Our virtual office will include a telephone answering service and the ability to receive and electronically process mail. We will post our new, virtual telephone number and mailing address on the Member Portal and main website contact pages, as soon as this service is available.

We are excited about the opportunities these new communication challenges bring and understand there will be some hiccups along the way, but, ultimately, we are committed to providing you with an open and effective communications system. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT President, 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


FO-29 operation schedule for Jan. – Feb. 2021

Time in UTC
Jan. 2021
1st 01:40- 03:25-
3rd 01:35- 03:20-
9th 01:20- 03:05-
10th 02:10- 03:55-
11th 01:15- 03:00-
30th 01:20- 03:05-
31st 02:10- 03:55-

Feb. 2021
7th 02:45-
11th 02:35-
21st 02:10-
23rd 02:05-
27th 01:55- 03:40-
28th 02:45-

For more information, see https://www.jarl.org/Japanese/3_Fuji/fuji3-201907.htm

[ANS thanks Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU, for the above information]


AMSAT Awards Update

Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) has just finished processing the last awards for 2020. Here are those that have earned awards recently.

AMSAT Satellite Communicators Award for making their first satellite QSO

Stephen Small, KC1NBI
Michael Pelaez, K4KMP
Kevin Addison, KM4RYN
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA
Timothy Stinson, AI5BE
Lowell Davis, WA2ZQX

——

AMSAT Communications Achievement Award

Michael Pelaez, K4KMP, #630
Robert Sours, K9UO, #631
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA, #632

——

AMSAT Sexagesimal Satellite Communications Achievement Award

Robert Sours, K9UO, #189

——

AMSAT Century Award

Adrian Liggins, VA3NNA, #56

——

AMSAT South Africa Satellite Communications Achievement Award

Michael Pelaez, K4KMP, #US233
Robert Sours, K9UO, #US234
Edward Campagnuolo, KN4ZAA, #US235

——

AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award (1,000-4,000)

Greg Phillips, WI4T, #115
Bernd Scholer, DL6IAN, #116
Michael Mark, VE4MM, #117
Gerry Krebs, N0JE upgraded to 4000

——

AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award

Ronald Parsons, W5RKN, #36
Christy Hunter, KB6LTY, #37
Robert Sours, K9UO, #38

——

AMSAT Rover Award

Rover Call
===== ========
None this time

——

GridMaster Award

GridMaster Call
========== ========
#14 N0JE
#15 N8HM
#16 AA8CH
#17 KE4AL
#18 N3GS
#19 WC7V
#20 N9EAT
#21 KK4YEL
#22 K9UO
#23 K7TAB
#24 KE0PBR
#25 KI7UNJ
#26 WI4T

To see all the awards visit http://www.amsat.org and click on Services then Awards.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, for the above information]


VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 1, 2021

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period December 1, 2020 through January 1, 2021. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

There is a huge list this month. Perhaps due to the end of a Covid year.

CALLDecJan
WA4NVM15441557
WC7V12291232
N8RO10751080
N9EAT706784
WA5KBH766775
AA8CH718750
W5RKN732739
K9UO600631
WD9EWK(DM43)625630
KI7UNJ576602
KK4YEL504589
AA4QE408508
N7EGY457502
KE8FZT475500
N5BO401500
KJ4EU*404471
WA6DNRNew457
AC9E401451
N4DCW425450
HP2VX377406
VE6WK355404
WB7VUF370404
WA9JBQ375400
AK7DD326376
KS1G325360
KB9STR229353
KF6JOQ303353
N3CRT303351
K5TA202302
KX9X219302
W8LR225300
EA3CAZNew293
AB1OC261264
KX9X(EN50)175250
VU2LBW200246
VE4MMNew227
N8URE(FM19)New186
WD9EWK(DM22)150177
NA1ME150175
VE1VOX157170
WD9EWK(DM31)127156
EA2AA148153
N4QX149152
WD9EWK(DM54)101125
N2ZN103120
AA0MZ112116
N8URE(EL95)New113
DL6KBG101111
K7RQNNew109
DL7NXNew103
K4KMPNew102
W4ALFNew102
KP4MVNew100

For some reason KJ4EU *404 was not on the 01 Dec ARRL list

If you find errors or omissions. please contact W5RKN off-list at <mycall>@<mycall>.com and I’ll revise the announcement. This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned.

Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!

[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN for the above information]


New Mail System Archives Changes

AMSAT’s new mail system was introduced several weeks ago, but a number of users remain confused about its operation. If you are not receiving email from AMSAT-BB or other lists from which you have received posts in the past, you probably need to register your email address at https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ Please contact postmaster [at] amsat.org with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Likewise, if you are searching for archives of recent posts to AMSAT-BB, ANS (AMSAT News Service), the Keplerian Elements Mailing List (KEPS), you will now find those archives at https://mailman.amsat.org/hyperkitty/

Archives of message posts that date from prior to the first week of December 2020 are still maintained at https://www.amsat.org/pipermail/ for your continued reference. However, no new mail posts are archived at that location.

Any messages from December 7, 2020 and onward are on the new “HyperKitty” archive. Messages prior to that date remain in the old “PiperMail” archive.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor, 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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 31, 2020

The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from
this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

EQUISat – NORAD Cat ID 43552 (Decayed on December 26, 2020 per Space-Track).

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


ARISS NEWS

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.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be a telebridge contact via amateur radio and students will take turns asking their questions of Victor Glover, amateur radio call sign KI5BKC. John Sygo in Paardekraal, South Africa will use call sign ZS6JON to serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio ground station. English is the language that will be used for this contact. The Radio Club Argentino will assist the students with the contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for January 6, 2021 at 11:19 a.m. GALT (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island), which is 17:19 UTC. The contact will be live streamed and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/3XmNxHTtR6Q.

[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

****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately, and I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

@WL7T: Is headed to Colorado for 3 weeks in January. Will be in DM69 most of the time but might be able to be persuaded to go as far south as DM66.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, 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.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no events are currently scheduled.

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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ A great article about ARISS and ISS was recently published on the website, PHYS.ORG
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-earthlings-astronauts-chat-ham-radio.html
(ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, for the above information)

+ ON THIS DATE in 2004, the Mars rover Spirit made its landing on the Red Planet. In 1962, NASA publicly announced the Gemini program. And in 1920, biochemist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov was born.
(ANS thanks The Year in Space for the above information)

+ Of all the estimated 2700 CubeSats and other “nanosatellites” that have been created to date, less than 10% have had their own means of propulsion. This leaves them at the mercy of gravity and atmospheric drag, which can cause them to deorbit while they are still functional. In addition, they are unable to maneuver and adjust their orbit and get out of the way of other satellites and space debris. Thanks to Howe Industries and a breakthrough engine design (known as the ThermaSat) that utilizes steam to generate propulsion, all of that could change very soon. ThermaSat differs from conventional steam engines by relying on plain water and solar-electric power, and avoiding toxic, highly pressurized or even explosive liquids, such as hydrazine.
(ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)

+ The UK and EU announced a broad agreement Dec. 24 governing the UK’s relationship with the EU once the country formally withdraws from the European Union, a process known as Brexit. The agreement will allow the UK to remain in the Copernicus Earth observation program after it formally exits the EU. The situation is different with Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program, which is not covered by the Brexit deal. Those programs are “100% financed” by the EU. A third EU space program, is the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking program for space situational awareness. The UK government and private satellite operators based there will continue to have access to those services under the deal.
(ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information)

+ The uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Wednesday, Jan. 6, more than three months after delivering nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo to the orbiting outpost. Live coverage of the cargo spacecraft’s departure will begin at 1445z on NASA Television and the agency’s website, with release of Cygnus scheduled for 1510z.
(ANS thanks NASA and Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ Effective on June 29, 2021, amateur radio licensees and candidates must provide the FCC with an email address on all applications. If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as “defective.” The FCC has already begun strongly encouraging applicants to provide an email address. Once an email address is provided, the FCC will email a link to an official electronic copy of the license grant. Licensees can log into the ULS License Manager System with their FRN and password at any time and update anything in their FCC license record, including adding an email address. Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.
(ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

+ Today’s moment of Zen: your motions on this planet during your lifetime have shifted the center of masses of both our planet and our solar system by minuscule amounts, and this, in turn, has gravitationally altered the motions of every star within the distance that light traveled during your life. While undetectable, your life and choices shape the motion of the stars.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

 


/EX

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 AMSAT 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

 

ANS-355 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Dec. 20

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: ans-editor [at] amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • SSTV Event to Mark 20 Years of Ham Radio Operation in Space
  • Launch for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Delayed by Covid-19
  • AMSAT-NA Mailman Upgrades
  • Upcoming Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution
  • AMSAT CW Activity Day 2021
  • Amateur Satellite Operation From Wales During Covid-19 Restriction
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 17
  • Satellite Podcast Available
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-355.01
ANS-355 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 355.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 December 20
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-355.01

SSTV Event to Mark 20 Years of Ham Radio Operation in Space

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) will continue its year-long 20th anniversary celebration of continuous ham radio operation from the ISS this month, with a slow-scan television (SSTV) event over the holidays. The first ARISS school contact took place in December 2000, not long after the first ISS crew arrived on station a month earlier and had made test contacts. The commemorative late-December SSTV event will be held December 24 through December 31, although dates are subject to change. The frequency will be 145.800 MHz, using SSTV PD-120 mode. Over its 20 years, ARISS has supported nearly 1,400 scheduled ham radio contacts with schools, student groups, and other education organizations.

“ARISS would not be the complex and growing program of education, operations, and hardware were it not for ARRL, AMSAT, NASA, and the ISS National Lab (INL),” said Rosalie White, K1STO, ARISS-US Delegate representing ARRL. “For these past 20 years and for the years to come, when we grow into lunar ham radio opportunities and more, the ARISS team will continue to be grateful to ARRL and all our sponsors. We could not do it without you!”

The ARISS ham radio gear, for what would become NA1SS on board the station, arrived ahead of the Expedition 1 crew, headed by Bill Shep- herd, KD5GSL. Shepherd made the first ARISS school contact with students at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Illinois on December 21, 2000. NASA has marked the ARISS milestone with an infographic highlighting the educational contacts via amateur radio between astronaut crew members aboard the ISS and students.

ARISS will continue to sponsor various commemorative events through November 2021, including more of the very popular ARISS SSTV sessions. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of ham radio on the space station, ARISS took part in the ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) panel session, “20 Years of STEM Experiments on the ISS.” A video developed for the session describes the program, conveys some key lessons learned over the past 20 years, and describes the ARISS team’s vision for the future.

“Twenty years of continuous operations is a phenomenal accomplishment,” said ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, who’s been with the program from the start. “But what makes it even more extraordinary is that ARISS has achieved this through hundreds of volunteers who are passionate in paying it forward to our youth and ham radio community. On behalf of the ARISS International team, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to every volunteer who has made ARISS such an amazing success over the past 20 years. Your passion, drive, creativity, and spirit made it happen.”

In September, ARISS announced that the initial element of its next-generation Interoperable Radio System (IORS) had been installed in the ISS Columbus module, replacing outmoded and problematic station gear.

A helpful addition to the ARISS website is a “Current Status of ISS Stations,” which reports the present or coming operating mode of ARISS radios in the Columbus and Service modules. Click on General Contacts and then Current Status of ISS Stations on the drop-down menu of the ARISS website to access the reports.

(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 https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Launch for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Delayed by Covid-19

Virgin Orbit has announced that all launch operations have been put on hold due to a large number of staff either testing positive or requiring quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19. The launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission had been scheduled to open on December 19. When it is rescheduled, this launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat / Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology.

RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for amateur radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.

RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies:

Telemetry Downlink – 435.750 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink – 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink – 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]


AMSAT-NA Mailman Upgrades

AMSAT’s IT team has been working to upgrade the Mailman software that supports mailing lists (aka reflectors, listserv, BB, etc). This up- grade became necessary for several reasons, one of which was the re- lease of a new major revision of the Mailman software itself. The new version of Mailman has many improvements, including: an updated web UI, management of all list memberships with a single account, and a web UI for searching and browsing archives.

The upgrade requires existing mail list users to sign up for a “new” account, which will be used to manage their existing list subscriptions and preferences. This will also require everyone to validate their preferences, aliases (if any), etc. Most existing preferences from the previous version of Mailman did not migrate. Please see the procedures below. Please contact postmaster@amsat.org with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Procedures to Signup for New Mailman List Service

  1. Visit https://mailman.amsat.org
  2. Click “Signup” in the top right corner.
  3. Fill out the form. For username, it is recommended that you use your e-mail address.
  4. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in the e-mail, and then click the “Confirm” button.
  5. Login with your new AMSAT-NA Mailman account.
  6. Navigate to the User Profile/Settings area by clicking the drop- down at the top right, and selecting “Account.”
  7. Fill in your First Name, Last Name, time zone and click the “Update” button.
  8. If you have alternate e-mail addresses you use to subscribe to lists, they can be added using the “E-mail Addresses” tab.

Notable Changes from Previous Version of Mailman

  • A single account is used to manage your subscription and preferences (and list settings if you are a list owner). Delivery preferences, account updates, and subscription changes can all be made for any list you are a member of, with a single account.
  • All archives are now searchable in a web-based interface. See https://mailman.amsat.org/hyperkitty or click the Archives link at the top of the site.
  • All e-mails from the Mailman system are encrypted in transit.
  • The mail server itself has an updated SPAM detection infrastructure, and improved validation of inbound and outbound messages. This should result in more reliable SPAM detection, and also improved “whitelisting” of legitimate AMSAT-NA e-mails.

[ANS thanks Matthew Alberti, KM4EXS, AMSAT IT Team, for the above information]


Upcoming Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution

Due in part to the e-mail system upgrades and ongoing changes in technology more generally, distribution of the AMSAT New Service (ANS) bulletins (the bulletins you are reading right now) will change slightly in the new year.

Beginning January 1, 2021, ANS bulletins will no longer be sent with hard returns (CR/LF) inserted at 72 characters or fewer. Line length has traditionally been delineated for transmission on packet networks. However, few such networks remain operational, and most users receive the bulletins via a computer or mobile device.

For the time being, ANS bulletins will continue to be sent in plain text, and most users will notice no change. A few may have to turn on or adjust the “word wrap” feature in their email client, but for the vast majority, bulletins will display on their devices as they always have. The only difference most might notice is fewer hyphens breaking words in the various news stories.

This is a first step toward moving to an HTML format that will eventual- ly allow bulletins to be sent with color and photo illustrations, much as bulletins from ARRL and other sources have been for some time. AMSAT News Service is moving slowly toward this change, so users may expect the plain text distribution to continue for some months yet.

[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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


AMSAT CW Activity Day 2021

You are cordially invited to participate in CW Activity Day 2021, sponsored by AMSAT-NA for amateurs around the world. Operate CW through any amateur satellite on 1 January 2021 UTC.Straight keys and bugs are encouraged but not required. You need not send in a log, but are encouraged to post a brief report of your activity on the amsat-bb bulletin board, amsat-bb@amsat.org. You need not be an AMSAT member.

Protect your satellites!Please remember to use the minimum power needed to complete your QSOs.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, for the above information]


Amateur Satellite Operation From Wales During Covid-19 Restriction

Barry Amateur Radio Society (BARS), located in South Wales-UK, usually operates from its club station at his time of the year using our call signs and extend seasons greetings from Wales to other operators and families throughout the world.

Sadly due to the lock down and restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 virus we are unable to gain access to operate from our club station.

Fortunately we have had confirmed that our club members can operate using the call CC4BRS/A(A is alternative) from their own QTH and the rules being adhered to.

During the period Sunday, December 20 through Saturday, December 25, two of the club members plan to operate via radio amateur satellites. With the success and coverage of QO-100 this will be the prime operation and we hopefully can extend our greetings to many other operators.

Ken, GW1FKY, will operate using the allocated call GC4BRS/A from his QTH in South Wales – grid locator IO81em. Bernard, MW0GBW, will also operate the club call from his QTH – grid locator IO81jkbut not at the same time of course unless he can perhaps operate in digital mode. To keep things simple an exchange of confirmation of call sign – name – signal report and grid locator will make it easier in the event of multiple operators calling on the operating frequency. QSL Manager for the event is Glyn Jones ( GW0ANA )

[ANS thanks Ken Eaton, GW1FKY, 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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 17

The following satellites have decayed from orbit and have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

SiriusSat 1 – NORAD Cat ID 43595 (Decayed on December 9, 2020 per Space-Track).

SiriusSat 2 – NORAD Cat ID 43596 (Decayed on December 9, 2020 per Space-Track).

To subscribe to the weekly email distribution of fresh Keplerian Two-Line Elements (TLE) login at https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/

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


Satellite Podcast Available

AMSAT Board of Directors member Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, was the recent guest of Eric Guth on his “QSO Today” amateur radio podcast.

Michelle is a third generation amateur, beginning her ham radio journey in elementary school. Her interest in microwave circuit design and computers led her to a successful engineering career and now she is board member of AMSAT. Michelle is an advocate for open source applied to satellite design, fueling future generations of amateur spacecraft.

The podcast is available at https://qsotoday.com/podcasts/w5nyv

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, and QSO Today for the above information]


ARISS NEWS

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.

Oregon Charter Academy, Mill City, OR, telebridge via VK4KHZ (A telebridge contact means that the contact was audible near Australia and students connected to the Australian ground station via the inter- net). The ISS callsign was scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut was Shannon Walker, KD5DXB. The contact was successful: Tue 2020-12-15 19:00:49 UTC 32 degrees maximum elevation.

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. As always, ARISS tries to provide everyone with near-real-time updates. Watch for future COVID- 19 related announcements at https://www.ariss.org/

The latest information on ARISS operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men- tors 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

Upcoming Roves: ****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately****

@AD7DB: DM22 : Dec 17-20 Maybe DM13,23,32 Holiday Style on FM sats.

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 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, no events are currently scheduled.

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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have selected three astronauts to serve as crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2021. All three astronauts are licensed amateur radio operators. The trio will consist of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, KI5LIU, and Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC, who will serve as commander and pilot, respectively, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, who will serve as a mission specialist. A fourth crew member will be added at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners. (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ China has recovered precious lunar samples after a successful reentry and landing of the Chang’e-5 return capsule. The roughly 300-kilogram (660-pound) Chang’e-5 return capsule performed a ballistic skip re- entry at 12:33 p.m. Eastern (1733z) on Dec. 16, effectively bouncing off the atmosphere over the Arabian Sea. The capsule containing around 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of drilled and scooped lunar material landed in the grasslands of Siziwang Banner at 12:59 p.m. Recovery vehicles located the capsule shortly after. (ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information)

+ NASA has released the first iteration of its Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment and Collision Avoidance Best Practices Handbook to share information on best practices for coordinating in-orbit activity in a safe and responsible manner. The agency aims for these best practices to bolster stability, reduce current and future operational risks, and contribute to a sustainable space environment for future public and private sector activities. The best practices handbook is available for download at: https://go.nasa.gov/34f9ijM (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ Whenever Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction — that is, when they appear from earth to be very close together in the sky — it is referred to as a “Great Conjunction,” primarily because unlike conjunctions with the other bright planets, these two don’t get together very often. The last time these two planets appeared so close was on July 16, 1623, when they were only 5 arc minutes apart. We will get another 6-arc minute separation on March 15, 2080. If you’ve had a clear view to the southwest for the past few weeks you may have noticed them, two “stars,” one much brighter than the other, approaching each other night after night just after sunset. (ANS thanks Space.com for the above information)

+ Santa Claus will be performing a ceremonial fly-by of the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 24. The visit will honor the 20th anniversary of continuous life on the ISS, a milestone achieved in November. The official NORAD Santa Tracker at NoradSanta.org will allow users to track Santa’s journey all day on Dec. 24. New for this year, visitors will be able to see the ISS orbiting the planet in its precise real-time location by zooming out on the 3D Santa Tracker app. Other updates include additions to Santa’s traditional garb, including a face mask and space helmet. (ANS thanks N2YO.com for the above information)

+ NASA will not repair a faulty electronics unit on the Orion space- craft recently completed for the Artemis 1 mission after concluding there was sufficient redundancy in the overall system. In a Dec. 17 statement, NASA said it had decided to “use as is” one of eight power and data units (PDU) on the Orion spacecraft, which provide communications between the spacecraft’s computers and other components. One of two redundant channels in one of two communications cards in that PDU is not working. NASA said that the risks of damaging the spacecraft during the PDU repair outweighed any loss of data should the unit completely malfunction. (ANS thanks SpaceNews.com for the above information)


/EX

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

 

ANS-348 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Dec. 13th

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: ans-editor@amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • AMSAT-BB has migrated email server
  • Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Opens December 19th
  • Robots Dominate Space News This Week
  • SpaceX’s Starship SN8 soars on test launch with explosive landing
  • The Great Conjunction is coming on December 21, 2020
  • ARISS News * Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over
  • Tips for the New Operator Mobile Apps 2

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-348.01
ANS-348 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 348.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 December 13
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-348.01


AMSAT-BB has migrated email server

AMSAT’s IT team has been working to upgrade the Mailman software that supports mailing lists (aka reflectors, listserv, BB, etc). This upgrade became necessary for several reasons, one of which was the release of a new major revision of the Mailman software itself. The new version of Mailman has many improvements, including: an updated web UI, management of all list memberships with a single account, and a web UI for searching and browsing archives.

The upgrade requires existing mail list users to sign up for a “new” account, which will be used to manage their existing list subscriptions and preferences. This will also require everyone to validate their preferences, aliases (if any), etc. Most existing preferences from the previous version of Mailman did not migrate. Please see the procedures below. Please contact postmaster@amsat.org with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Procedures to to sign up for the new Mailman service were sent to all AMSAT-BB subscribers. Please read the PDF attached to the email. Matt, KM4EXS adds this reminder in a follow up email: Please use the “Sign Up” option, using the email address that you use for your subscriptions. That process will link the “new” account to all your existing subscriptions. You can then set your digest preferences as you like.

[ANS thanks Matt Alberti / KM4EXS / AMSAT-IT Volunteer for the above information]


Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Opens December 19th December 2, 2020

Virgin Orbit has announced that the launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission opens on December 19th. This launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat / Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology. RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for amateur radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at: https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.
Uplink LSB 145.860 MHz through 145.890 MHz
Downlink USB 435.760 MHz through 435.790 MHz
1.2kbps BPSK telemetry 435.750 MHz

Launches on ELaNa XX – Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Launch Demo 2.

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, Contributing Editor ANS News Service for the above information]


Robots Dominate Space News This Week

Two groundbreaking robotic sample return missions dominated much of the space news this week. A capsule holding grains of rock and dust sampled from asteroid Ryugu hit the Earth’s atmosphere at 11.6 km/s and safely parachuted into the Australian outback. Hayabusa2 launched on Dec. 3, 2014, took four years to reach Ryugu, then did a bunch of science (including shooting it with a tantalum bullet and dropping numerous deployables on the body—here’s a detailed PDF about the mission), before returning with ~100 mg of samples, having covered a total of 5.24 billion kilometers. The mission isn’t over for Hayabusa2 though—it’s now headed toward asteroid 1998KY26 for humanity’s first rendezvous with a fast rotating asteroid in 2031 and a flyby of 2001CC21 along the way.

After 19 hours of drilling and scooping samples, Chang’e 5’s ascent vehicle spring-launched and then blasted off, returning to lunar orbit carrying ~2 kg of regolith. It successfully rendezvoused with the return vehicle, transferred the sample, and the return vehicle has embarked on its multi-day return trip. These will be the first lunar samples returned since the 70s and the first sample return mission for China. The rendezvous of the ascent vehicle and the return segment used microwave radar that was accurate down to 0.1° and able to lock on to a circle with a 3.33 cm radius.

The cost to train deep neural networks is decreasing at 50x Moore’s Law, leading many to believe that machine learning, while very much in its infancy, will see many more space applications in the near future. Cutting edge applications, such as making autonomous decisions because throughput or speed-of-light delay prevent humans from doing so, have already been demonstrated, and more are on the horizon.

[ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information]


SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype soars on epic test launch, with explosive landing

SpaceX’s Starship spaceflight system just took a big step on its path to Mars. The latest Starship prototype, a shiny silver vehicle known as SN8, launched on an epic high-altitude test flight today (Dec. 9), taking off at 5:45 p.m. EST (2245 GMT) from SpaceX’s facility near the South Texas village of Boca Chica.

The goal was to soar about 7.8 miles (12.5 kilometers) into the sky, perform some complex aerial maneuvers — including a “belly flop” like the one the final Starship will perform when coming back to Earth on operational flights — and then land safely near the launch stand. The 165-foot-tall (50 meters) SN8 appeared to notch all of these big milestones, except for the final one: The vehicle hit its landing mark but came in too fast, exploding in a dramatic fireball 6 minutes and 42 seconds after liftoff. Additional information and video available
at: https://bit.ly/3n7KLV1

[ANS thanks Mike Wall of Space.com for the above information]


The Great Conjunction is coming on December 21, 2020

In their closest encounter since 1623, Jupiter and Saturn appear as a single star in the evening sky next month. All through the summer and into the fall, the two gas giants of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, have been calling attention to themselves in the southern evening sky. Jupiter of course, always appears brilliant and is usually one of the brightest nighttime objects, but in recent months it has stood out even more than usual because of the presence of bright Saturn trailing just off to its left (east). Appearing about one-twelfth as bright, Saturn has, in a way, served as Jupiter’s “lieutenant” in this year of 2020. This will be the first time since 1623 that this event will be seen. Additional information is on: https://bit.ly/3m4ot5j [ANS thanks Joe Rao of Space.com for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice. For details, please visit https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


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 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


ARISS NEWS for the week of 9 December, 2020

ARISS has posted a special anniversary message and a video celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the ARISS Web Page:
<http://www.ariss.org>.

An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) event is scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS) for late December. This will be a special SSTV event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ARISS. The event is scheduled to begin on December 24 and continue through December 31. Dates are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at
https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at
https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
Upcoming Contacts:

Oregon Charter Academy, Mill City, OR, telebridge via VK4KHZ (Shannon
Walker KD5DXB) Tue 2020-12-15 19:00:49 UTC 32 deg
——————————————————————–
The following schools have now been postponed/cancelled due to COVID-19:

Postponed: No new schools
Cancelled: RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamț, Romania, direct via YRØISS

Note, all times are approximate.  It is recommended that you do your own
orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed
time.

All dates and times listed follow International Standard ISO 8601 date
and time format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS
The complete schedule page has been updated as of 2020-12-08 16:00 UTC.
Here you will find a listing of all scheduled school contacts, and
questions, other ISS related websites, IRLP and Echolink websites, and
instructions for any contact that may be streamed live.
https://www.amsat.org/amsat/ariss/news/arissnews.rtf
https://www.amsat.org/amsat/ariss/news/arissnews.txt

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N and David Jordan AA4KN, of the ARISS operation team mentor group 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

Note from  KE0PBR ****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves hap-
pening lately, and I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

@N4DCW will be working passes from EM87 Dec 10-13. Click link to check
for details: https://bit.ly/36V2SYM

@KL7TN: DM67/68: If my plans still hold up, Dec 12-13 for DM67/68 is on
my radar.

@AD7DB: DM22 : Dec 17-20 Maybe DM13,23,32 Holiday Style on FM sats.

No Major Roves are listed.

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

<No update listed this week>

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6CLS for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

Happy birthday to OSCAR 1 -Age 59!
+ The first amateur satellite, simply named OSCAR (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio), was launched on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of the world’s first satellite of any kind, Sputnik I. The satellite had to be built in a very specific shape and weight, so it could be used in place of one of the weights necessary for balancing the payload in the rocket stage. OSCAR 1 was the first satellite to be ejected as a secondary payload (the primary payload was Discoverer 36) and to subsequently enter a separate orbit. Its orbit decayed quickly, yet despite orbiting for only 22 days, OSCAR 1 was an immediate success. More than 570 amateur radio opera tors in 28 countries forwarded observations to Project OSCAR (predecessor organization to AMSAT). (ANS thanks The Year in Space for the above information)

+ SpaceX won $885.5 million in broadband subsidies the FCC awarded pro viders Dec. 7 under its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase 1 auction. SpaceX’s share of the funding is one of the largest among the 180 winning bidders. The FCC will distribute the $9.2 billion in RDOF funding over the next 10 years to help the winning providers bring broadband service to some 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in rural parts of the United States. (ANS thanks SpaceNews.com for the above information)

+ SpaceX launched its upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft on Dec. 6. Based on Crew Dragon (basically stripped of seats, life support equipment, abort motors, and navigation interfaces), this was their 21st commercial ISS resupply mission. This version of Cargo Dragon is certified for five flights compared to its predecessor’s three, and it conducts automated docking instead of Canadarm-captured berthing. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ There may still be time to participate in the last part of the 2020 Open Source CubeSat Workshop. The workshop provides a forum for Cube Sat developers and CubeSat mission operators to meet and join forces on open source projects. The focus of this year’s workshop is on sharing of ideas and open collaboration, even when confined at home. The target audience is academia, research institutes, companies, and individuals. The event takes place 12 and 13 December, 13:00 17:00 UTC each day: https://events.libre.space/event/4/ (ANS thanks Libre Space Community for the above information)

+ Surprisingly clear videos of the Arecibo Observatory collapse are now available, one from a drone that was actively inspecting a cable dur ing the event and the other from a camera in the control room. A de tailed frame-by-frame analysis is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59WQIRvezzI (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ GEOMAGNETIC STORM December 10, 2020
A coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred heading for Earth early in the week., and geomagnetic storms were forecast to occur when it arrived on December 9th and 10th. NOAA forecasters downgraded their possible G3 warning. Unfortunately for Skywatchers, auroras that were could originally thought possible as far south as Illinois and Oregon were not seen farther south than the northern tier. On the other hand satellite surface charging issues and HF propagation have remained unaffected without the blackouts typical of these disturbances. An interesting discussion of the reasons for this “non-event” is on Dr. Tamitha Skov’s YouTube/Patreon channel at:  https://bit.ly/38113ce  (ANS thanks Spaceweather.com and Dr. Skov for the above information)

+ Next Rocket Lab launch delayed due to weather
Due to weather over the range this week at LC-1 RocketLab are now targeting no earlier than Monday, 14 December UTC for #TheOwlsNightBegins mission. Terry ads in a follow up note: “There is a solar eclipse on Monday that may affect the mission so the launch is delayed until Tuesday.”  See: https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1337329320876904450
Target lift-off: UTC | 09:00 –  10:59
(ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC for the above information)

+ Samples of asteroid Ryugu arrive in Japan after successful Hayabusa2 capsule landing on Dec. 5  Japanese scientists are thrilled to finally have asteroid samples  arrive Monday (Dec. 7) after a long flight from Australia — and a  much longer journey through the solar system.  An aerial shot of the Hayabusa2 return capsule and parachute after  its landing on a bush in the Woomera Prohibited Area, Australia.  Those rocks originate on a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu; the  Hayabusa2 spacecraft snagged them in 2019 before a yearlong journey  to deliver them to Earth in a small sample-return capsule. The capsule landed on Dec. 5 in the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia, creating a stunning fireball in the pre-dawn skies.
Japanese scientists on site successfully tracked down the capsule  and collected the precious cosmic delivery to begin the final leg of  its journey. See additional information and photos at:   https://bit.ly/379wPnV
(ANS thanks Meghan Bartels and Space.com for the above information)


Tips for the New Satellite Operator Mobile Apps 2

This is the third of a what I hope to be a monthly New Satellite Operators Corner. I will offer AMSAT New Operator tips and links to AMSAT resources for new operators and posts from various interest groups where useful info is published. This weeks tip comes from Rick, WA6NDR via TH-D74A@groups.io. I hope you find this as useful as I have. Jack, KD4IZ, Editor, AMSAT News Service. <Mini-Reviews of two apps: SpaceLaunchNow and Orbitrack (ANS thanks ___ for sharing this information)


/EX

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, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ

kd4iz at amsat dot org