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[jamsat-news:1221] * SpaceNews 07-Feb-00 *

* SpaceNews 07-Feb-00 *

BID: $SPC0207



Ronald Ross, KE6JAB, arrived back home from Antarctica in the middle of
last week, just one month late.  He had a very successful time using the
UO-22 and KO-25 digital satellites, uploading daily reports and one or
two photos each night.

Ron used the Arrow dual band yagi throughout the trip, and because of
the smallness of his tent, he had to do all uploads "outside".  This
proved unpleasant in bad weather when the wind was blowing snow or
the temperature was just too cold.
See http://www.thistle.org/dml/photos/index.cgi?rr_120~1.jpg

Having enough power in the batteries was always a concern.  Ron relied
on solar panels for recharging everything.  Fortunately in the area of
his expedition, he was blessed with much sunlight for long periods.

One of the most useful devices was the PalmPilot and a satellite prediction
program called PocketSat.  Mike, KF4FDJ, demonstrated this to Ron at the
AMSAT Symposium in San Diego.  This saved Ron from powering up the laptop
until just before the pass.  It was referred to constantly.

Ron encountered no software problems using Wisp or anything else on the
laptop.  However, the laptop needed rebooting often when the temperature
dropped below -15F.  This was usually in the middle of an upload!

Another successful part of the trip was the testing of a small weather
station.  This was built by Holda, KF6VIC, a student of Professor Bob Twiggs
at Stanford University.  It used amongst other things a MIM module sending
telemetry in APRS format.  The station was placed high up on a nunatak, and
transmitted every 20 minutes towards our area in the mountains, up to 24
miles away. Ron copied the data using a TH-D7 HT, then retransmitted it
back to Holda on the Pacsats.
See http://www.thistle.org/dml/photos/index.cgi?WthrSta.jpg

Several Hams were key in helping to get Ron's messages and photos back
to his friends and family.  They were Ed, KE6IZN, Roy, W0SL, Jerry, K8SAT
and Kristi, N8WS.  Very big thanks go to all of them and to all the others
who sent Ron and and his partners messages on the birds.  They appreciated
reading all the messages while they huddled in their small tent.

More on the expedition can be read at http://www.thistle.org/dml/

[Info via Ronald, KE6JAB]

Many thanks to all who participated in the 28th annual, Y2K edition of
AMSAT-NA's Straight Key Night on OSCAR.  The activity level seemed down
a bit this year, as in much of Amateur Radio in general, but we all had

This year's Best Fist winners include AD1B, NM1K, W3STW, N4ZQ and K9CIS.


See you next year, hopefully on P3D.

73, Ray

Henry, ZS1AAZ, has provided the following operating schedule for SUNSAT
OSCAR-35.  All dates and times listed are in UTC:

Uplink:		436.291 MHz FM
Downlink:	145.825 MHz FM

4/5 February 2000

Australia		23:38 to 23:52
RSA			07:58 to 08:12
Europe			08:18 to 08:32
USA			14:57 to 15:11

5/6 February 2000

Japan			23:17 to 23:31
RSA			07:19 to 07:33
South America		14:02 to 14:16
USA			14:18 to 14:32

11/12 Feb

Australia		23:55 to 00:09
RSA			08:16 to 08:30
Europe			08:35 to 08:49
USA			15:12 to 15:26

12/13 Feb

Japan			23:33 to 23:47
RSA			07:36 to 07:50
South America		12:36 to 12:50
USA			14:35 to 14:49

[Info via Hans van de Groenendaal]

Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, reports that he has been using GrafTrak II and Silicon
Ephemeris software from Silicon Solutions since 1985.  Version 2.0 was
released in 1987; version 3.0 in 1989.  During this era, this set of MS-DOS
tracking, predicting and editing programs written by Richard Allen, W5SXD,
and Joseph Bijou, WB5CCJ, was a for-profit product and a subset of their
more significant satellite tracking system sold to commercial and
government users.

Richard Allen has announced the availability of version 4.01 which is Y2K
compatible.  This latest version, along with manuals in PDF format, is
available at http://www.rcallen.com/ and is FREE to all save for making a
voluntary donation to AMSAT.  The ARRL announced this free version as a
STRAY in QST, February, 2000, p.97.

* STS-99 NEWS *
Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-99 is currently targeted
for no earlier than February 11, 2000 at 18:28 UTC.  Mission STS-99 is a
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission that will map the topography of the Earth
in very great detail.  The orbit will be a 126 nautical mile circular orbit
with an orbital inclination of 57 degrees.  The mission duration is planned
for 11 days, 4 hours, and 8 minutes.

Status reports and other NASA publications are available on the World Wide
Web at the following URL:


Information about the countdown and mission can be accessed electronically
via the Internet at: http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/ and at

[Info via NASA]

Thanks to Bob Twiggs at Stanford University, and Jon Ogden, KE9NA, for
pointing out that MASAT was not flown on OPAL.  It was a picosat being
developed by hams in California that did not get completed, and Stensat
took its place.

There are three picosats from the Artemis team at Santa Clara called JAK,
Thelma, and Louise.  Then there is Stensat and the two picosats from 
Aerospace Corporation made for DARPA, for a total of six picosats.

Assi Friedman, KK7KX/4X1KX, reports that the ASUSat1 satellite has been
lost.  Telemetry received with the great help of the South-African SUNSAT
team indicates that the batteries on-board the satellite were not receiving
any charge from the solar array.  As a result, the satellite worked for
about 15 hours on battery power alone, and then went silent.  Controllers
have no further indication that will help them pinpoint the exact cause
of this failure.  The only thing controllers can say is that the problem
probably occurred between the solar array and the power board within the

The ASUSat1 team was disappointed, but yet very happy.  The satellite
provided interesting telemetry when it was alive, and the team is analyzing
that data at the present time.  Controllers were thrilled that the system
powered up and did what it was supposed to.  It is not every day you have
a box in space beeping at you.  :-)   In any case, the team is looking
forward to future missions!  If you know of any free launches, please
let Assi know!

Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, reports that the Keplerian bulletins issued by AMSAT-NA
now have four new satellites relating to the recent JAWSAT launch.  The
new satellites are ASUSAT-1, JAWSAT, OPAL, and OCS.  OCS has no amateur
transmitter, but it might be bright enough to be seen visually in the
night sky.  Be advised that the catalog numbers for these objects may
change over the next few weeks.  Since all objects (about seven) are
very close together now, there will be a period of sorting out what is
what.  This is normal and is not a big problem.   We will just have to
be vigilant for a while until the formation spreads out a little.

Thanks to all who recently sent messages of appreciation for 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/
MAIL:       John A. Magliacane, KD2BD
            Department of Engineering and Technology
            Brookdale Community College
            765 Newman Springs Road
            Lincroft, New Jersey 07738
INTERNET:   kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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