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[jamsat-news:676] * SpaceNews 03-Nov-97 *

* SpaceNews 03-Nov-97 *

BID: $SPC1103



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

Several news sources sources have reported that the second flight test of the
Ariane 5 launch vehicle (Ariane 502) was a success, and ESA has reported it 
as such.  These same reports have also stated that the upper stage payloads, 
the two MAQSATSS (B and H), have been separated and deployed into a 
geostationary transfer orbit as planned.  Early accounts noted that the 
launch was initiated at 1343 Universal Time today October 30, 1997.
from the European Space Agency's Kourou launch facility in French Guiana, 
South America.  

Ariane 502 carries three payloads.  Two are (MAQSATs B and H) which are 
instrumented payloads designed to simulate two large geostationary 
satellites as well as to measure the Ariane 5 flight environment.  
The payload also included a smaller satellite, called TEAMSAT.  TEAMSAT 
is an experimental scientific satellite.  No word has yet been received 
rgarding its successful deployment or operation.  No Amateur Radio 
satellites were aboard.

The AMSAT Phase 3D spacecraft, currently nearing completion, was to have
flown on this flight test of the Ariane 5 series.  However, in August, ESA
removed P3-D from the AR-502 manifest when it became clear that needed
structural modifications to the P3-D spaceframe would not be finished in
time to make the AR-502 launch and the Phase 3-D completion
schedules compatible.  The modifications came as a result of  ESA's
discovery that launch loads on the AR-502 flight might be significantly
higher than ESA had first anticipated. 

AMSAT officials believe that it still too early to know what the effect
Ariane 502's now apparent success will have on the subsequent Ariane
schedule, on the possible Phase 3D launch, or the vehicle on which it will
ultimately ride.  However, it was anticipated that a successful AR-502
flight would give ESA added flexibility in scheduling a subsequent launch
for Phase 3-D on a future Ariane flight. 

AMSAT-DL President Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC and AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan
W3XO, expressed their great joy and relief on hearing the news.  In a
joint statement they said, "After the failure of Ariane 501 in 1996, we
at AMSAT-DL and AMSAT-NA were, quite naturally, very distressed to hear
of that unfortunate occurrence."  "This subsequent success of the Ariane
502 flight puts ESA's  Ariane 5 program back on track and, even though
we were not aboard this time, is very good news for us."  

On behalf of the Amateur Radio satellite community, both AMSAT Presidents 
extend their sincere congratulations to ESA, Arianespace, CNES as well as
to the members of the TEAMSAT Project.  

[Info via Bill Tynan, W3XO, AMSAT-NA President]

The current Mir crew is still very busy working and experimenting in their
Lab in space, but they have had a few moments to chat with the public via
2-meter Amateur Radio.  A few times last week David Wolf was active on
145.985 FM simplex voice, and the packet PMS was also active for a day.
American Astronaut David Wolf who is currently living on board the Russian
Mir complex said he has been going to bed at midnight every day.  Judging
by the tone in his voice, he was enjoying every minute of his stay.

The Amateur Radio experiment (Personal Mail System, PMS) is a low priority
experiment.  The crew has been too busy with other experiments to devote
much time to the mail box.  However, David reported to Miles Mann, WF1F
that Paval did try to connect the Lap top to the packet radio TNC on
28-Oct-97, but was unable to get the terminal program properly configured.
David expects the crew will have a little more free time after this
weekend's space walk.  Anatoly and Paval will exit Mir early Monday
morning to perform the EVA.  One of the projects scheduled for this EVA
is the launching of the Sputnik Amateur Radio Satellite.  David reported
that he been testing the Sputnik satellite and has used the Kenwood TM-733
transceiver to listen for the Sputnik's beacon during a test.  There were
some conflicting reports about the satellite's beacon frequency, so Miles
Mann asked David if he remembered the exact frequency, but he was not sure.
Then Miles called the Chief of the Amateur Radio Cosmonaut Department in
Moscow and asked Sergej Samburov for a status update of the Sputnik.
Sergej stated the plan is to launch the Sputnik on Monday morning around
5:00 am Moscow time (02:00 UTC).  Sergej said the beacon frequency will
be 145.820 MHz FM.  Anatoly will perform the hand launching of Sputnik,
and Paval will take pictures from outside.  David Wolf will be inside
Mir, and he will also be taking pictures.

A special QSL card is available to anyone who copies the beacon from the
Sputnik satellite.  Envelopes should be well sealed and not include cash.
Send an SASE and an IRC coupon to the address below, and do not make any
visible notes on the outside of the envelope with Amateur Radio callsigns.
Note that Dave Larsen, N6CO, will not be handling SWL cards for Sputnik.
Please use the following address:

	Sergej Samburov
	PO Box 73
	Kaliningrad-10 City
	Moscow Area, 14070, Russia

In the meantime, the PMS 2-meter station can be expected to be off most of
the time.  The small 13k mail box was purged of most mail last week.  David
does not have time to issue personal responses to each station, but he does
have a list off all callsigns who sent him mail.  The tentative plan is to
send out a message addressed to "ALL" thanking everyone for their support
including the callsign list of those who sent messages to Dave.

The amount of time required by the crew to read, reply, and delete the daily
load of mail is approximately 30 to 60 minutes per day.  At the present
time, the crew's work load is just too heavy to support this type of time
investment towards non-essential projects.  It is hoped that everyone
understands this situation.

[Info via Miles Mann, WF1F / MIREX]

On 24-Oct-97 at 06:46 UTC, an Atlas-Centaur rocket was launched carrying
the Falcon Gold mission payload.  Falcon Gold is a satellite designed and
built by Air Force Academy cadets in conjunction with the University of
Colorado-Colorado Springs.

The US Air Force Academy is the first undergraduate institution to get a
live satellite in orbit, and Falcon Gold is the first presence of a GPS
receiver above the constellation.  Data is being made public as it comes
available, and post processing at USAFA facilities is in progress.

On Monday, a Navy ground station succeeded in downloading the first bursts
of data from the satellite.  After digging out of the Denver snow storm,
logging of spacecraft data took place using a 60' dish at the DSES
facilities northwest of Boulder, Colorado.

Amateur Radio listeners from around the world have expressed interest in
the satellite, and several satellite or moon-bounce stations are coming
on line.  Stations from the US, France, Astralia, and England have
contacted the USAFA for information, and the USAFA is waiting for the
first log from an overseas station.  Data format is standard AX.25 9600 bps.

For information is available via the Internet at the following URL:


[Info via Captain Brian J. Mork (mork@usa.net)]

The following Keplerian element set for November 1997 was computed by
HB9BNI and is provided for those wishing to track the moon this month
using satellite tracking software:

1 00000U 00000A   97287.82703585  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0004
2 00000  18.4218 003.0207 0479000 349.0988 009.6612 00.036600990    6

Satellite: Moon
Catalog number:     0
Epoch time:      97287.82703585
Element set:       0
Inclination:       18.4218 deg
RA of node:         3.0207 deg
Eccentricity:    0.0479000
Arg of perigee:   349.0988 deg
Mean anomaly:       9.6612 deg
Mean motion:    0.03660099 rev/day
Decay rate:     0.0000e+00 rev/day^2
Epoch rev:               0
Checksum:              229

[Info via Jean-Claude, FB1RCI]

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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