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[jamsat-news:781] * SpaceNews 23-Feb-98 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0223
* SpaceNews 23-Feb-98 *
MONDAY FEBRUARY 23, 1998
SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA. It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.
* VOYAGER 1 NEWS *
PASADENA, Calif. (Feb. 17) - More than 6.5 billion miles from home, a U.S.
spacecraft carrying the sounds of a human kiss and the best wishes from a
former president has become the most distant man-made object in the universe.
Voyager 1 - so far away after more than 20 years hurtling through space
that its signals take more than 9 1/2 hours to reach Earth - surpassed the
distance of the older Pioneer 10 spacecraft by midday Tuesday, 17-Feb-98.
"Now the baton is being passed," Edward Stone, director of NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory and Voyager project director, said in a statement.
Voyager 1 and the elderly Pioneer 10 are headed away from the sun in nearly
opposite directions. Both are powered by nuclear batteries that keep them
functioning in the freezing blackness of space.
On the edge of the solar system, Voyager 1 still returns data, although the
power of the signal reaching NASA antennas is 20 billion times weaker than
the power of a digital watch battery.
Voyager 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 05-Sep-77, carrying
scientific instruments for planetary exploration and a message to the
The latter is a 12-inch gold-plated phonograph record containing a variety of
sounds, 115 analog images, spoken greetings in 55 languages, printed messages
from former President Jimmy Carter and then-U.N. Secretary General Kurt
Waldheim and a selection of music.
The sounds include wind, rain, surf, a chimpanzee, a Saturn 5 rocket,
footsteps, a heartbeat, laughter, a mother's kiss and a blacksmith, among
The images range from the structure of DNA to a diagram of continental
drift and a violin with sheet music.
The record was assembled by a committee that was headed by the late
astronomer Carl Sagan.
Voyager 1 passed by Jupiter on 05-Mar-79 and Saturn on 12-Nov-80. Saturn's
big moon, Titan, bent the trajectory northward out of the plane of the
ecliptic, the plane in which all the planets except Pluto orbit the sun.
Pioneer 10 was launched on 02-Mar-72. Its mission officially ended on
31-Mar-97, but science data is occasionally sent to Earth in a training
program for flight controllers.
Barring breakdowns, Voyager I is expected to have enough electricity and
propellant to operate until about 2020. By then, the spacecraft will be
almost 14 billion miles from Earth.
[Press release via Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ]
* KF2WN SK *
It is with great sadness that the death of Mel Roman, KF2WN is reported.
Mel started out many years ago as an AMSAT-NA Area Coordinator. Although
he had to resign from that position due to poor health, he remained an
active AMSAT volunteer. Mel ran the AMSAT Bulletin Board in New Jersey
that carried AMSAT News Service bulletins, SpaceNews, and satellite
Keplerian data elements sets.
Mel died at the age of 54 on 21-Jan-98 from complications associated with
diabetes. His warm personality and willingness to help will be greatly
[Info via Martha Saragovitz]
* MIR NEWS *
Andy Thomas has been active recently from the Mir space station, making
two-way voice contacts as time permits. There has also been reports that
the Mir Personal Message System is back in operation, but this has not
yet been confirmed.
* PACSAT NEWS *
AMSAT-OSCAR-16 and LUSAT-OSCAR-19 continue to perform well in "Pacsat"
operation. ITAMSAT-OSCAR-26 is currently silent, and WEBERSAT-OSCAR-18
is only transmitting occasional MBLCTL packets on its downlink.
* RS-12 NEWS *
Rusty, NM1K, reports that Pedro, KP4SQ, has been active for the past several
weeks on RS-12 with good signals. Pedro's QSL manager is KD8IW.
* FEEDBACK/INPUT WELCOMED *
Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor (John,
KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
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INTERNET : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, LUSAT-OSCAR-19, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
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