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[jamsat-news:821] * SpaceNews 04-May-98 *

* SpaceNews 04-May-98 *

BID: $SPC0504


                           MONDAY MAY 4, 1998

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

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery will be
five days late picking up the last NASA astronaut to live on Russia's
Mir space station, officials said last Tuesday.

U.S. space agency officials decided to delay the launch of Discovery
from 1998-May-28 to 1998-June-02 because launch preparations were
running late, Kennedy Space Center spokesman Joel Wells said.

"We had a very tight schedule and it was decided to allow some extra
time," he said.

The shuttle is to dock with Mir and pick up Andrew Thomas, NASA's last
astronaut of a planned series of them to live and work on the Russian
space outpost.  The Australian-born astronaut has been aboard the
orbiting outpost since January.

NASA officials at the Johnson Space Center in Houston said ground
controllers in Moscow had been informed of the new launch date but
they did not know if Thomas had received the news.

Discovery was being attached to its rocket boosters and a new light
weight fuel tank last Tuesday and was to be moved to the launch pad
last week.

The following is a quick summary of the 1998-Apr-27/28th Mir School
Day test.  The purpose of the test was to allow schools and students
an opportunity to make a successful packet radio exchange with Mir,
and to demonstrate the use of <UI> (unnumbered information frame)
bulletins for communicating MIREX information to all monitoring stations.
Other objectives were to demonstrate the use of Internet linked ground
stations to merge their data into a common internet feed, and to
demonstrate the use of ground station generated pseudo GPS positions
digipeated by the spacecraft to show its realtime position.

The Mir TNC was off for the day of the announced test (27th), but was
on for three early morning passes on the 28th.  A total of 27 schools
or other participating stations were successful during the day-after
test.  All stations reported their position and status and there were
several messages exchanged.  Most stations reported receiving the Mir
bulletins and the Mir position packets.  On the 29th, several more stations
were reported in the Western USA and South Africa.  The results are posted
on the Academy MIREX page at: http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/mirex.html
daily captured downlink files can be viewed.  This page scored 1300 hits
during the event, and a total of 2800 since the experiment was announced
on the first of April.  The test is now over.

The three Internet linked ground stations provided a continuous feed from
the USA, Madrid and Taiwan (telnet to APRServe at port
10001).  The live Web page at http://www.mirex.net was operational on
the 27th when there were no packets, but failed overnight.  It was
restored at the last minute on the 28th, but only caught a half dozen
live packets.  It remains live now.

Organizers wish to thank the MIREX team and Dr. Larsen, N6CO, for making
this test possible.

[Info via Bob Bruninga, WB4APR]

* RS-12 NEWS *
Rusty, NM1K, reports working FM/F5SSM, FM5JY, G4CUO, and WP4MSL via the
RS-12 satellite over the past week.

* RS-16 NEWS *
Leo, UA3CR, has reported through G7HIA, G3IOR, and W2RS that all attempts
to place RS-16's transponder on the air have failed.  Controllers will
continue to try to bring RS-16 on-line, but there is not much hope that
they will be successful.  RS-16 is only expected to remain in orbit for
about another year.

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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