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[jamsat-news:905] * SpaceNews 10-Aug-98 *

* SpaceNews 10-Aug-98 *

BID: $SPC0810


			  MONDAY AUGUST 10, 1998

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

The SAFEX team is interested in hearing from those who have had recent
contact with the SAFEX repeater module on Mir.  Joerg, DL3LUM asks that
reports be sent to either of the following e-mail addresses:


Saint-Hubert, August 5, 1998 -- The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced
today that Dynacon Enterprises Limited of Toronto has been selected as the
lead contractor to develop and build the world's smallest astronomical space
telescope, capable of measuring the ages of stars, and perhaps even unlocking
mysteries of the universe itself.

Other key partners include the University of British Columbia (UBC)
and the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).
The $4-million contract is subject to the successful completion of federal
contract procedures and negotiations.

The project -- called the Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars project,
or MOST -- will bring together teams from Canada and the United States to
design a low-cost, 50-kilogram satellite.  The satellite's telescope, no
bigger than a pie plate in diameter, will be secured to a suitcase-sized
platform.  The ability to use such a small satellite for a space telescope
is made possible by Dynacon's new, lightweight gyroscope technology that
corrects the wobbling motion of the satellite, and controls accurately
where the satellite is pointing.

Although relatively tiny in size, the satellite and its telescope will
be a powerful tool to help astronomers probe the internal structures of
stars to determine their ages.

The MOST telescope will be able to detect and characterize the rapid
oscillations in light intensity of stars -- a scientific feat not
currently possible with any other telescope on earth or in space,
including the Hubble Space Telescope.

As part of the MOST team, the University of British Columbia will design
and build a telescope of unprecedented photometric capabilities.  Dynacon
Enterprises, together with UTIAS, will design the microsatellite bus that
will provide the high-precision pointing capability needed for both this
and future CSA space science missions.  Other MOST partners include: the
Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech) of Toronto;
the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), which includes both
Canadian and US Chapters; AeroAstro Corporation of Herndon, Virginia;
the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC); and a team of consulting
scientists from across Canada and the United States, led by the Principal
Investigator, Prof. Jaymie Matthews of the Department of Physics and
Astronomy of the University of British Columbia.

The MOST project falls under the Small Payloads Program, sponsored by
the CSA's Space Science Branch.

The CSA is providing $4 million of the total cost. An additional $1.2
million is being provided from the Ontario Government Challenge Fund,
while the balance is being financed by the University of British Columbia
and the University of Toronto.

Traditionally, the development and implementation of satellite technology
and programs have been lengthy and expensive. With the Canada-led
microsatellite project, the cost of having a satellite in orbit would
be dramatically reduced.

"The goal of the CSA's Small Payloads Program is to provide low-cost,
frequent access to space for Canadian scientists, said Glen Campbell,
the CSA's Project Manager for MOST.  Lower cost means we can fly more
experiments, keeping Canada at the forefront of innovative technologies
that push the frontier of space research".

[Info via the Canadian Space Agency]

TMSAT's gravity gradient boom was deployed on Friday 1998-Aug-07 under an
automatic sequence on board the spacecraft.  This was commanded from the
Bangkok control station HS0AM.  Telemetry data from the deployment showed
that the 6.2 meter boom deployed perfectly with less than 1.5 degrees of
oscillation from vertical.  The satellite is now stabilised earth pointing
and spinning at a rate of 0.6 degrees per second for thermal stabilization.
The libration rate is currently 10 degrees and this is reducing as the
attitude control task controls the stabilization process.

Over the weekend, the attitude was improved, and testing of spacecraft
payloads commenced.

The satellite downlink is was still only being used over Bangkok and Europe
as of late last week.

[Info via Chris Jackson G7UPN / ZL2TPO]

The Fuji-OSCAR-29 satellite will remain in Mode JA as controllers
investigate the spacecraft's on-board computer bit errors.  The
command team is asking amateurs to monitor the FO-29's CW telemetry
and report when the telemetry value for channel 5 changes from 00.
Channel 5 is the fifth telemetry item sent after "HI HI" in the
telemetry sequence.  Reports should be directed to lab@jarl.or.jp.

FO-29 will be in constant sunlight through mid-August.  The operating
schedule may be changed in late August to cope with the rising temperatures
the constant sunlight is expected to have on the spacecraft.

[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]

Thanks to all who recently sent messages of appreciation to SpaceNews,


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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