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[jamsat-news:1127] * SpaceNews 26-Jul-99 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0726
* SpaceNews 26-Jul-99 *
MONDAY JULY 26, 1999
* STS-93 NEWS *
Chandra is currently orbiting the Earth in a highly elliptical orbit of
about 200 statute miles by 44,000 statute miles, thanks to the successful
firing of its two-stage Inertial Upper Stage booster an hour after it was
spring-ejected from Columbia's cargo bay cradle. Additional firings will
refine the x-ray observatory's orbit.
Columbia's large orbital maneuvering system engines and primary reaction
control system jets were fired on several occasions to provide data for
researchers in a pair of experiments designed to characterize jet thruster
plumes in the space environment.
Commander Eileen Collins (KD5EDS), Pilot Jeff Ashby and Mission Specialists
Cady Coleman (KC5ZTH), Steve Hawley and Michel Tognini (KD5EJZ) worked on
experiments involving everything from astronomy to biomedicine to plant
growth as the shuttle continued to orbit the Earth every 90 minutes in
With the major objective of their mission successfully completed, Columbia's
astronauts spent a busy night conducting a variety of secondary experiments
on both the flight deck and the middeck of the Shuttle.
SAREX, one of the middeck payloads, was successfully set up on schedule --
but not without a few glitches.
SAREX Operations Manager for AMSAT-NA, Will Marchant (KC6ROL), reported a
beautiful "horizon to horizon" ham radio contact between Columbia and Dick
Flagg (AH6NM) in Hawaii on Saturday at 1226 UTC. But before that, ...
On 7/23/99, Martin WB6YMI wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org:
>SAREX doesn't seem to be working.
>Cdr. Collins has attempted to make SAREX contacts on two passes
>that should have been easily heard at my location (So. California).
>In both cases she reported no contact to the ground controller
>briefly after the pass had finished [0431z & 0605z passes on
>July 23]. (I'm watching/listening via NASA TV.)
The 0434 UTC test pass with W5RRR, in Houston at the Johnson Space Center
Amateur Radio Club station, failed due to a faulty orbiter power outlet.
The problem was fixed less than an hour before the first school contact
that was scheduled for 1130 UTC. SAREX is running on orbiter power, with
two batteries saved for backup.
According to Will Marchant, "the Buzz Aldrin Elementary School [Reston,
Virginia USA] pass was *very* weak, and was classified a failure."
KD5EDS called Houston through NASA channels to say that she heard AMSAT
Telebridge Network ground station Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, South Africa
"loud and clear".
One of the crew members re-tuned the SAREX antenna and moved it into
another window, to Window 1 on the port side of the ship, and the
following Hawaii pass was perfect.
This was great work by the volunteer CSR staff in debugging multiple
problems! The Customer Support Room (CSR) is located at the Johnson
Space Center down the hall and around the corner from the Mission Control
Center (MCC). The CSR staff is being headed this mission by AMSAT members
Karen Nickel (WD5EEU) and husband John Nickel (WD5EEV). John and Karen
are being assisted by Gil Carman (WA5NOM) and several members of the JSCARC.
Two Zeltech representatives participated in the trouble shooting as well.
At bulletin press time they had been up nearly 30 hours straight,
working the problems and taking care of the other "routine" tasks.
All the issues got worked well so SAREX now has good signals.
Preflight planning called for the SAREX packet robot to be activated
during sleep periods and, if possible, during the few times over the
USA when a busy crew member couldn't break away and grab the radio
Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, posted on the TAPR APRS Special Interest Group
<email@example.com> and sarex@AMSAT.Org lists Friday that stations can
also either "run APRS or use your TNC to send UI packets via W5RRR-1.
[Stations without APRS software can] begin each line with ">" so APRS
stations will capture them. Do NOT attempt connections to any other
stations; it is very inefficient and inconsiderate. Communicate 
via UI packets only. While planning demos, don't overlook the UI
packets on MIR's downlink of 145.985 as well."
Bulletin updates are released periodically through the mission. You
may also check http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/~kc6rol/sts93.html for late
SAREX had a very good contact with Harbor View Elementary School
in Corona Del Mar, California through Gordon VK6IU in Australia.
Contact ended at 0051z July 25. In fact, the school invites all
hams to visit their web site via a link provided at:
They expect to have audio there soon to showcase!
No audio was heard from Columbia for the Awty International School
scheduled contact that ended at 0226z through VK6IU. Pat Kilroy,
WD8LAQ speculates that a poor orbiter attitude (roughly belly forward,
main engines earth-center pointing) prevented MS3 Michel Tognini from
being heard but we will find out for sure.
Coming up soon is a Columbia-Mir Amateur Radio link attempt between
the cosmonaut-astronaut on the space shuttle (MS3) and a fellow
French cosmonaut on Mir.
Starting Monday evening (EDT), Pat *may* be able to help arrange
for WA3NAN, the Goddard Amateur Radio Club station, to retransmit
the school contacts LIVE on the published space shuttle audio
retransmission frequencies. See the web site for news at:
Submitted by Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, for Will Marchant, KC6ROL, and
the SAREX Working Group.
* STS-93 ORBITAL DATA *
What follows is the current State Vector and Keplerian Elements for
STS-93. The vector data comes from NASA; the Keplerian Elements were
computed from the vector.
This file may be read by VEC2TLE version 9648 to update your Keplerian
Elements text file.
Vector format = 117
Satellite Name: STS-93
Catalog Number: 25866 99040A
Epoch Date/Time: 99206.50146412000
07/25/1999 12:02:06.499 UTC
EFG E: -10915988.000000 ft
F: 16299619.0000000 ft
G: 9689373.00000000 ft
Edot: -18230.430000000 ft/s
Fdot: -14894.450000000 ft/s
Gdot: 4439.47999999999 ft/s
ndot/2 (drag): 0.00020865677 rev/day^2
nddt/6: 1.81991E-09 rev/day^3
Bstar: 4.57924E-05 1/Earth Radii
Elset #: 12
Rev @ Epoch: 38.19032648730
Launch occurred: 1999-JUL-23 04:31:00.066 UTC
The following Keplerian elements were computed by VEC2TLE from this
vector, using a 0.5 drag multiplier:
1 25866U 99040A 99206.50146412 .00020866 18199-8 45792-4 0 123
2 25866 28.4649 181.3550 0021310 217.7432 210.7872 15.96426403 386
Catalog number: 25866
Epoch time: 99206.50146412
Element set: 12
Inclination: 28.4649 deg
RA of node: 181.3550 deg
Arg of perigee: 217.7432 deg
Mean anomaly: 210.7872 deg
Mean motion: 15.96426403 rev/day
Decay rate: 2.08657e-04 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 38
VEC2TLE may be downloaded from <http://www.mindspring.com/~n2wwd>.
[Info via Ken Ernandes, N2WWD]
* GARC SPECIAL EVENT *
During the mission of STS-96, the Goddard Amateur Radio Club (GARC) is
sponsoring a special event. Contacts must be 2-way, SSB or CW, simplex
only. Any current GARC member may add the suffix "/30" to their call to
commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. A Special
8"x11" certificate will be created for this special event. Send a 8"x11"
SASE or 2 units of first class postage (if you do not want your certificate
folded) to the station you have contacted or to:
Goddard Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 86
Greenbelt, MD 20768-0086
John, N3KHK, will be QRV on 2m, 6m, 10m, 15m, 40m, and 80m as much as
possible during the rest of the STS-96 mission. During the week he
will be on after 19:00 UTC, work permitting. Sunday after 17:00 UTC.
Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, suggests that at least for 80 through 10 meter
SSB, stations might start to look for John and others roughly
+/- 10 kHz from the published WA3NAN space shuttle retransmission
frequencies of 3.860, 7.185, 14.295, 21.395 and 28.650 MHz. Also,
perhaps brief voice announcements can be made when the retransmission
effort is also in progress or a note placed on
http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/www/garc-home-page.html to assist hams
in finding GARC members on the air. Once found, seeding your DX
packet cluster may add to the excitement too.
[Info via John Klim, N3KHK/30]
* PHASE 3D PHOTOS *
Dr. Tom Clark, W3IWI recently updated photos of the P3D spacecraft
currently at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, and has posted them
to the following URL:
In the photo 99072103.jpg, Lou & Stan showing off the "AMSAT Cadillac"
used to bring the spacecraft up from Orlando are visible. Tom suggests
looking closely to your right, just beside Stan's head, to see the new
way AMSAT has developed for funding the spacecraft. ;<}
The other 3 new pictures show two of the solar panels being installed
for the vibration tests -- the panels are still protected with the
red "Remove Before Flight" protective covers.
In re-making the home page for these photos, Tom may have changed
some of the file names, but the thumbnails you see on the home page
thumbnails match the file names. He also changed the home page
background to be white "paper" with black type in the hope that
the page can be printed out.
The photos are also available via anonymous FTP from:
Rick, WB2TNL, has also posted some recent Phase 3D photos to the
* PORTABLE AO-27 ANTENNA *
Know someone who would love to work AO-27 but just can't quite make it with
his or her HT? Jerry, K5OE, has had similar frustrations trying to work
the satellite while mobile with a dual-band mobile and dual-band mag mount
To ease his pain, Jerry developed 2 antennas specifically for AO-27 mobile
work and has the details posted at the links below. If you need (or would
like) a small handheld 70 cm antenna, take a look at Jerry's "Handi-Tenna",
which claims 10 dBi of gain on a 12" long boom (plus handle). Jerry also
has an "improved" uplink antenna to replace his mag mount. Take a look,
and better yet, pass on the info to somebody who might be struggling with
that (supposedly) "easy-sat."
70 cm handheld antenna: http://members.aol.com/k5oejerry/handi-tenna.htm
2 meter mobile vertical: http://members.aol.com/k5oejerry/vhf_vert.htm
If you heard Jerry on AO-27 last week, these are the antennas that he was
[Info via Jerry, K5OE]
* FEEDBACK/INPUT WELCOMED *
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/
PACKET : KD2BD @ N2SMV.NJ.USA.NA
INTERNET : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
<<=- SpaceNews: The first amateur newsletter read in space! -=>>
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Internet : firstname.lastname@example.org | Voice : +1.732.224.2948
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Video : 426.250 MHz/439.250 MHz | FAX : +1.732.224.2060
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