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[jamsat-news:542] * SpaceNews 19-May-97 *

* SpaceNews 19-May-97 *

BID: $SPC0519


			  MONDAY MAY 19, 1997

SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

* STS-84 NEWS *
Atlantis launched successfully on its journey to the Mir space station on
schedule at 03:07:48 central time (08:07:48 UTC) Thursday morning.  The
prime payload on the sixth Shuttle-Mir docking mission is astronaut Mike
Foale, who will take over for Jerry Linenger to extend the American mission
to the Mir for another four-and-a-half months.  Foale will spend more than
four months on the orbiting Russian facility.  He will return to Earth on
Space Shuttle Mission STS-86, scheduled for launch in late September.

Atlantis will again be carrying the Spacehab module in the payload bay of
the orbiter.  The double module configuration will house experiments to be
performed by Atlantis' crew along with logistics equipment to be transferred
to Mir.

The STS-84 mission is scheduled to last 9 days, 3 hours, 44 minutes.  Atlantis
is due to land back at Kennedy Space Center on May 24 at about 7:52 a.m. EDT
(11:52 UTC).

The STS-84 mission is part of the shuttle-Mir program, which is a precursor
to the International Space Station and consists of nine shuttle-Mir dockings
and seven long-duration flights of U.S. astronauts aboard the Russian space
station.  The U.S. astronauts will launch and land on a shuttle and serve as
Mir crew members while the Mir cosmonauts use their traditional Soyuz vehicle
for launch and landing.  This series of missions will expand U.S. research on
Mir by providing resupply materials for experiments to be performed aboard
the station as well as returning experiment samples and data to Earth.

The STS-84 mission and the work performed by Mike Foale during his time
on the Mir station will include investigations in the fields of advanced
technology, Earth sciences, fundamental biology, human life sciences,
International Space Station risk mitigation, microgravity sciences, and
space sciences.

STS-84 will involve the transfer of 7314 pounds of water and logistics to
and from the Mir.  During the docked phase, 1025 pounds of water, 844.9
pounds of U.S. science equipment, 2576.4 pounds of Russian logistics along
with 392.7 pounds of miscellaneous material will be transferred to Mir.
Returning to Earth aboard Atlantis will be 897.4 pounds of U.S. science
material, 1171.2 pounds of Russian logistics, 30 pounds of ESA material
and 376.4 pounds of miscellaneous material.

STS-84 is the 19th flight of Atlantis and the 84th mission flown since
the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981.

[Info via NASA]

The MIREX group will be conducting one school schedule during the STS-84 to
Mir mission.  STS-84 is not a SAREX mission.  The Shuttle will not be carrying
any Amateur Radio equipment on board the shuttle.  However, there will be one
school schedule with the  Hellenic American school in Lowell Mass while the
Shuttle is docked to the space station Mir.  The crew on Mir will be using
the Kenwood TM-733 transceiver on board Mir to talk to the children.  Shuttle
pilot Charles Precourt will be answering questions from a group of 15 children
during the 10 minute schedule.

This is only the second time a school schedule have ever been performed while 
the shuttle is docked to the Mir space station.  The first took place during
STS-71, when MIREX linked the Peter Noyles school in Sudbury Mass to Astronaut
Charlie Preocurt while on Mir.

A temporary 2-meter station was installed at the school this weekend and 
tested.  After the schedule, audio (.wav) files will be posted to the MIREX 
web page.

The STS-84/Mir combination should be visible during the early morning hours
over the United States.

[Info via Miles Mann]

During the period 16-Apr to 14-May, reliable signals have been received from
OSCAR-11's 145.826 MHz beacon.  The UHF beacon on 435.025 was also heard on
Wednesday April 30 at 15:40 UTC, when the satellite was being commanded by
ground control.  Binary WOD continued after the satellite had been switched
back to 145 MHz.

Mirek OK2AKQ has heard the Mode-S beacon.  Here is his very detailed

 Date:  27-Apr-97  Rev #:    70383     Eq. Freq.:  2401500 kHz
   UTC         LO    LA     AZ    EL   Range    Dopp |  MONITORING
 HH : MM               deg              km      Hz   |  RST    Freq.
 15 : 40        7    27    202     2    2758   49403 |  559  2401.549
 15 : 41        6    31    207     6    2403   47494 |   4
 15 : 42        5    35    214    10    2070   44366 |   3   2401.540
 15 : 43        4    38    223    15    1776   39261 |   7   2401.534
 15 : 44        3    42    237    19    1544   31033 |   5
 15 : 45        2    45    255    23    1405   18541 |   6
 15 : 46        1    49    275    23    1389    2203 |   5   2401.501
 15 : 47      359    53    294    20    1498  -14664 |   6   2401.475
 15 : 48      357    56    308    16    1710  -28235 |   7
 15 : 49      355    60    319    11    1990  -37406 |   7   2401.467
 15 : 50      353    63    326     7    2313  -43126 |   7   2401.463
 15 : 51      350    67    332     3    2662  -46616 |   4   2401.461

Mirek's equipment, which uses a 55 cm dish with a two turn helix and low
noise converter was described in detail in AMSAT-DL Journal (December 1993),
and in OSCAR News 104, December 1994.  It is interesting to compare this
report with a similar one dated 12 December 1995 (before the beacon partially
failed) when the signal levels ranged from S8 to S9 for similar ranges.
Thanks Mirek for all your reports.

OSCAR-11 telemetry has been nominal.  The battery voltage has recently
improved to around 13.9 volts, and the internal temperatures have continued
to fall due to solar eclipses.  The battery temperature is now 4 degrees C
or 18 degrees below the full sunlight condition.

Two WOD surveys have been transmitted of channels 0, 10, 20, 30 (-Y, +Y, -X,
+X solar array currents.  These show the eclipses, and pulsing of the array
currents as the satellite rotates.  If one listens to the downlink signal
during the WOD transmission, one can hear a sudden additional tone as lines
containing the constant block of numbers (eg. 0DF5175175175175F) representing
zero current are transmitted.

Three AMSAT bulletins by Richard G3RWL have been uploaded the the satellite.
Topics have included the UNAMSAT failure, RS-16 news, shuttle and MIR news.
Bulletins always include current Keplerian elements for OSCAR-11, and often
for satellites featured in the bulletin.

The operating schedule remains unchanged:

	ASCII status (210 seconds)
	ASCII bulletin  (60 seconds)
	BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
	ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
	ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
	ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
	BINARY ENG (30 seconds)

There have been several recent inquiries about suitable software for decoding
the ASCII telemetry received from OSCAR-11.  The recommended program is
TLM2.EXE by Craig Underwood of the University of Surrey.  The program is
fully described in the book "Decoding Telemetry from the Amateur Satellites",
by G. Gould Smith, WA4SXM, which is essential reading for telemetry
enthusiasts.  Both the program and book may be available from your local
AMSAT office.  In case of difficulties, contact the AMSAT-UK office,
e-mail: 100024.614@compuserve.com.

Listeners living in the UK may have an old BBC computer, which may be used
for decoding OSCAR-11 without the need for any external interfaces or
hardware.  The AMSAT-UK BBC library contains several suitable programs.
Details are available through Clive Wallis via e-mail at: g3cwv@amsat.org
(NOT the AMSAT-UK office!).

Clive Wallis has now put a simple OSCAR-11 telemetry decoding program on his
OSCAR-11 web site.  It is written in BBC BASIC, but the package includes a
small interpreter which enables the program to be run on any PC.  Being
written in BASIC, the program can easily be changed to suit individual
needs, and is recommended to those wishing to experiment.  Status decoding
is included, and data from several channels may be combined.   Examples of
this feature are the calculation of total magnetic field, angle, and BCR
efficiency.  Please note that a capture program such a CTERM will also be
required, which may also be downloaded from:

[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV (g3cwv@amsat.org)]

Fried Heyn, the ARRL Southwest Division Director reminds us that an AMSAT/ARRL
Workshop is planned for the Southwestern Division Convention on 12-14 September
1997 at the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, California between 1:00 PM
and 6:00 PM on Friday the 12th.  Anyone needing more information should contact
Rosalie White (WA1STO) at ARRL Headquarters.

* AO-27 NEWS *
The AMRAD-OSCAR-27 downlink frequency changed from 436.800 MHz to 436.792 MHz
on 01-Apr-97.  Further information on AO-27 may be found at:


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/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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