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[jamsat-news:1205] * SpaceNews 17-Jan-00 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0117
* SpaceNews 17-Jan-00 *
MONDAY JANUARY 17, 2000
* JAWSAT LAUNCH SCRUBBED *
The launch of the SSI mission including Jawsat and other satellites
scheduled for 15-Jan-2000 was scrubbed several hours after the scheduled
launch time. No other information is available at this time.
* Y2K SOFTWARE PROBLEMS *
Ray Hoad reports that there a number of problems with several satellite
tracking programs in reading Keplerian orbital data having an reference
epoch in the year 2000. According to Ray, INSTANTTRACK will not update
its KEP data after 1/1/2000. This is a known problem and will be fixed
with the release of version 1.5. Check www.amsat.org web page for more
details. Go to www.ccr.jussieu.fr/physio/amsat-france/epatch-it.htm
to get a conversion program that filters the Keplerian data so that
INSTANTTRACK will read the data. This is the best work around until
the program is updated.
WISP32 had a problem reading the epoch day (WISP Win 3.1 is no longer
supported). Chris Jackson, author of the program, has fixed the problem
and the updated program can be downloaded from the www.amsat.org web
page in the downloads section.
WinOrbit did not read the Year 2000 keps correctly and produced checksum
errors. Ray has been told that the program author, Carl, has since fixed
this problem. Users are encouraged to download the latest version of the
NASA also had some problems of its own. The Keplerian elements issued for
this week are the first set since 12/30/1999 that do not have some of the
weather satellite keps dated beyond the present date (i.e. 1/13/2000 for
this week). It is now known why this was done. Ray has been substituting
pre-1/1/2000 weather satellites keps in the orbital data bulletins issued
by AMSAT because the post dated keps predicted incorrectly using NOVA
software. This week things seem to be back to normal and Ray has made
no substitutes for the weather satellites. All other satellites were
unaffected by this strange problem.
[Info via Ray Hoad, WA5QGD]
* MIR MAY GET NEW CREW *
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Mir space station, which has circled the earth
empty since August, may be sent another crew this year for an extended
flight, paid for by a U.S. firm, Mir's builders said last Monday.
Mir has been empty and partly shut down since August and is to be crashed
into the Pacific Ocean unless Russian officials can find funds to keep it
Sergei Gromov, spokesman for Russia's Energiya rocket builder, told Reuters
by telephone that a U.S. firm, Golden Apple, had promised to send $20 million
by March to continue the program.
Gromov said the builders planned to send a crew to Mir in March for a mission
lasting at least 45 days. He said the U.S. firm had already paid $7 million
of the $20 million promised, but gave no further details about the company.
"It is technically possible to continue the flight. We are waiting for two
authorities to confirm the decision. One is the Russian Space Agency, which
is holding a meeting Wednesday, and then the government itself must give
consent," Gromov said.
If the Mir program were to be ended, a crew would probably fly to the station
for a brief mission to shut it down before it was guided on a crash course
into the Pacific.
The Mir program has given Russia by far the world's most extensive experience
of long-term manned space flight, and the country is using that knowledge to
build the main living quarters of the new $60 billion International Space
But the new station has been repeatedly delayed and the United States wants
Russia to abandon Mir and focus its resources on the new orbiter.
Mir has stayed in orbit long past its original five-year lifespan and was
plagued by problems in the late 1990s. Russian space officials have been
reluctant to abandon the prize achievement of their space program.
Over the past year, various schemes have been floated to find commercial
funding or private donors to save Mir.
Last year a British entrepreneur, Peter Llewellyn, promised $100 million to
save Mir if he were allowed to ride on it, but he never paid up and was sent
home before completing a training course at Russia's Star City space base.
[Story by Robert Eksuzyan - Summitted by Roy Neal, K6DUE]
* FEEDBACK/INPUT WELCOMED *
Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor
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Department of Engineering and Technology
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