Cutoff Dates for AMSAT Space Symposium Registration/Tour Signups Are Quickly Approaching!

symposium-finalWith the resumption of US Government activities, the upcoming tour of Johnson Space Center as part of 31st AMSAT Space Symposium is back on schedule.  JSC was closed to visitors during the recently concluded partial federal government shutdown and if the US Congress had not acted to pass a Continuing Resolution, the JSC Tour was threatened.  The tour is scheduled for Monday morning, 4 NOV 13 and we are once again accepting reservations for individuals to participate in the JSC tour. However, given the maximum number of participants that JSC can handle, there are only four slots that are currently open.  Anyone signing up for the tour once those slots are filled will be placed on a waiting list in the event an existing participant cancels.

AMSAT Space Symposium Committee member Nick Lance, KC5KBO of the Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club (W5RRR) is coordinating the tour.  He will be submitting the list tour participants to the JSC Public Affairs Office (PAO) by close of business on Tuesday, 22 OCT in order to allow time for the Center to perform a security check of those participating as well as prepare for the tour.  Consequently, the cutoff for joining the tour and paying the $30.00 fee for the bus to be used to take participants on the tour is Tuesday, 22 OCT by 1400 EDT (2000 UTC) and is now closed!  Individuals must call Martha Saragovitz at the AMSAT office (301-589-6062) and provide a credit card for payment as well as provide information that will be given to JSC, such as date of birth.  Foreign Nationals will be required to provide US Visa and their passport information along with date of birth and country of birth.  Consequently, given the limited number of spaces available and the need to provide the JSC PAO with the list of participants, contact Martha at the AMSAT Office ASAP starting Monday, 21 OCT after 1000 EDT when the office opens.

Nick notes that participants are being offered a unique tour of JSC, observing “The bus will depart the hotel at 0800 and tour locations include: Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Building 30 Mission Control, and Building 9 ISS mockup plus stopping at JSC Amateur Radio Club hamshack (W5RRR) and Space Center Houston which will also provide time for lunch.  The bus will return to the hotel around 1430.”

There is also a tour scheduled for Sunday to visit the USS Texas (BB-35). Details may be found on the AMSAT website here.  The cost of the tour is $20.00.

Meanwhile, online registration through the AMSAT Store for the AMSAT Space Symposium, the Saturday Evening Banquet, the Sunday Morning AMSAT Area Coordinators Breakfast, and the USS Texas tour ends at 1200 EDT (1600 UTC) 25 OCT (Friday).  As noted in last weekend’s ANS Bulletin, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the flight of Owen Garriott, W5LFL on STS-9 when amateur radio became first part of human space flight, a multi-media panel featuring Owen and other key individuals who initiated this amazing program will take place on Saturday evening as part of the banquet, moderated by AMSAT VP-Human Space Flight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO.  The presentation includes not only remarks by Owen and others in response to Frank’s questions, but video highlights of amateur radio participation in STS-9 and other Shuttle flights will be shown.

Walk-in registration at the Symposium takes place on Thursday evening, 31 OCT as well as during the Symposium itself.  Walk-in registration will be $10.00 higher than the online registration.  Banquet reservations, Sunday morning AC Breakfast, and USS Texas Tour registration MUST be done online which ends on 25 OCT 13. The AMSAT block of rooms at the Marriott Hobby Airport, Houston (site of the Symposium) expired on 16 OCT and are no longer available.

The “Proceedings of the 31st AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting” is at the printer. A total of 21 papers plus an appendix of Fox-1 technical information being placed in the public domain has resulted in a 417 page document.  The schedule of 23 speakers for the Symposium has been posted on the AMSAT website.  See

The AMSAT Board of Directors meeting takes place on Thursday, 31 OCT and Friday morning, 1 NOV with the agenda also posted here.

The AMSAT Annual Meeting takes place at 1545 CDT on Saturday afternoon following the conclusion of the presentation of papers.  Arrangements are being made to use the AMSAT Echolink connection to provide an opportunity for AMSAT members not attending the Space Symposium to participate in the Annual Meeting. Details on connecting to the AMSAT Echolink service will be provided prior to Symposium via ANS once arrangements are finalized.’

ANS thanks the AMSAT Space Symposium Committee for the above information