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[jamsat-news:860] * SpaceNews 13-Jul-98 *

* SpaceNews 13-Jul-98 *

BID: $SPC0713


                          MONDAY JULY 13, 1998

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

MOSCOW, July 2 (Reuters) - Russia decided on Thursday to retire the Mir space
station next June, six months earlier than expected, in recognition of the
government's financial woes, top space officials said.

Russia's principal partner in space exploration, the U.S. space agency NASA,
welcomed the decision which will allow Moscow to focus its efforts on the new
International Space Station.

The decision to bring forward Mir's demise from December 1999 was made at a
meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, Space Agency Director
Yuri Koptev and Yury Semyonov, head of the Energiya rocket corporation which
owns Mir.

Nemstov "decided to continue work on the Mir station scheduled for 1998 and
by the middle of 1999, in June, we will lower the orbit and sink it into the
ocean in a controlled manner", Semyonov told Reuters.

"Of course I'm sorry about it but there is not enough money for two

Boris Ostroumov, the Russian Space Agency's deputy director, said safety was
also a factor in the early end to Mir, which had a near-fatal collision with
a cargo resupply ship a year ago.

"The station's guarantee was for three years and it has flown more than 12
years with very many repairs, breakdowns -- and something worse than a
breakdown could happen -- so we must think of safety above all," he said in
an interview.

"It's for the safety of both cosmonauts and people on Earth since we must
act while the station's navigation system is still working to facilitate a
controlled descent."

NASA has pressed Russia to bring down Mir to focus its limited resources on
the new space station, already a year behind schedule largely because of
Russian delays.

"NASA's not surprised that Russia has decided to conclude Mir operations
in an orderly manner", spokeswoman Kathleen Maliga said.

"During the recent meeting of heads of agencies Koptev told the international
partners that Russia has made the International Space Station its number one

Semyonov and other officials have recently stepped up pressure on the
government to come up with funding or face the possibility that the station
could literally come crashing down on their heads.

Under the Thursday agreement, the government promised 600 million roubles
(about $100 million) for Mir's final year.  But Semyonov said it was still
unclear whether Russia, which is undergoing a prolonged financial crisis,
could provide the cash.

"It would be good if the world community helped us by allocating these
monies", Semyonov said in an interview.  "All of those who flew on Mir --
America, France, Germany."

These countries have already paid millions of dollars for the right to fly
on Mir and so far have not volunteered more.

Ostroumov said the funds would allow the agency to direct Mir to an
unpopulated area of the Pacific Ocean within a month of the last crew's

People associated with the Mir programme were disappointed to see what
used to be a priority project sputter out because of limited funds.

"Of course I'm sorry but you have to be philosophical about this," said
Viktor Blagov, Mir's deputy flight director.  "I'd like to extend my own
life too but, excuse me, we only live as long as we are given."

The first module of the new International Space Station -- a combined effort
of the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan -- is expected to be
launched in November.

The first crew of two Russians and one American should go up in the late
spring of 1999, shortly before Mir's retirement.

Russian officials said a French and Slovak would be among the last cosmonauts
to visit Mir on short missions.

Mir is the longest-serving space station in aviation history and has been a
valuable laboratory to research the impact of long-duration missions on the
body and conduct other experiments.

[Story by Adam Tanner.  Received via Frank Bauer, KA3HDO]

TMSAT-1 and TECHSAT were successfully launched from Baikonur on Friday
1998-Jul-10 at 06:30 UTC following a 40 minute delay due to launch facility
problems.  TMSAT-1 has a downlink on 436.925 MHz, and TECHSAT has a downlink
on 435.325 MHz.  The beacon transmitters may be switched on and off at times
while the satellites are tested and prepared for general use.  Both are
amateur radio communication satellites carrying digital store-and-forward
transponders, and were launched along with a commercial RESURS satellite.

Over the weekend, telemetry showed that TMSAT-1 was operating normally, so
controllers loaded the flight software to the OBC186 and then started to
stabilize the attitude of the spacecraft.

Controllers caution NOT to uplink to TMSAT-1 (especially when it is over
Bangkok) as this will slow down the software loading.  Announcements will
be made as to when the satellite will be made available for general use.

The following keplerian orbital data are accurate for tracking both TMSAT-1
and TECHSAT.  (Note that the object number is not the final TMSAT object.)

1 25395U 98043B   98191.87373682 -.00000045  00000-0  00000+0 0    24
2 25395  98.7944 261.8948 0001516   6.1903 313.0257 14.22263117    96

[Info via Chris Jackson G7UPN / ZL2TPO]

Joe Steinmetz, KC6SZY, has created a Web page that describes and shows
images of a receiving set-up of his that has successfully received radio
signals from the Lunar Prospector in orbit around the moon.  The URL is:


[Info via Joe Steinmetz, KC6SZY]

On or about 1998-Jul-17, Ken, VY2RU, and Don, VE1AOE, will be going to
St. Paul Island (CY9)IOTA NA-094 until 1998-Jul-21.  The purpose of this
trip is to provide communications for 40 Boy Scouts, Venturers, Leaders
and several scientists.

This will not be a full blown DXpedition but plans are being made to operate
as much as possible on the 18th, 19th and 20th between required duties.
Participants will have equipment and antennas necessary to operate on the
HF Bands, 6M, 2M and amateur satellites (including AO-10).  Due to the
number of people, equipment and supplies, a generator large enough to
operate an HF amplifiers will not be taken along on the expedition.

Unfortunately, the location of the event will be on the North East side of
the Island which will limit the ability to work North America on 6M and 2M,
but efforts will be made to make as many contacts as possible.

The call hasn't been officially approved as of yet, but participants
have asked for CY9AOE and with QSLs going to VE1AOE.

[Info via 73 Don, VE1AOE]

Sorry for the lack of SpaceNews last week (1998-Jul-06).  Too many
things going on... too little time.  :-(

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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