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[jamsat-news:1853] ANS-278 AMSAT Weekly Bulletin


ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the
activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an
active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

In this week's bulletin:
* PC Sat at 2 Years
* World Space Week
* AMSAT Awards
* SMART-1 Ion Engine Fired Successfully
* Boeing Launches New Galaxy
* Satellite TV Networks Sue North Carolina Over Unfair Sales Taxes

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.01
PC Sat at 2 Years

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.01 From AMSAT HQ

SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003
BID: $ANS-278.01

We declared mission success when PCsat lasted a week.

Today is the beginning of the 3rd year of operation.
PCsat just came over and is OPS NORMAL and remains available for all
users since her last recovery on 13 Sept...

I see 50 users in the last 2 days on http://pcsat.aprs.org

Bob Bruninga

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga for the above information.]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.02
World Space Week

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.02 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003

BID: $ANS-278.02

World Space Week, declared by the United Nations as an
international celebration of space held October 4-10 each
year, has a primary goal to excite children about science and

For further information on NASA's activities for this event, check out
their website: http://education.nasa.gov

For activities sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency view their
website at

Information on World Space Week can be found at the website

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige & Arthur Rowe for the above information.]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.03
AMSAT Awards

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.03 From AMSAT HQ

SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003
BID: $ANS-278.03

Congrats go this week to the following for earning their Oscar
Satellite Communications Achievement Award.

#387 KA4KYI Ron Nutter 04-Oct-2003

To see all the awards and a list of those earning the awards, visit

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige for the above information.]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.04
SMART-1 Ion Engine Fired Successfully

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.04 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003

BID: $ANS-278.04

SMART-1's revolutionary propulsion system was successfully fired at
12:25 UT on 30 September, 2003, in orbit around the Earth. Engineers at
ESOC, the European Space Agency's control centre in Darmstadt,
Germany, sent a command to begin the firing test, which lasted for one
hour. This was similar to a trial performed on Earth before SMART-1 was

This is the first time that Europe flies an electric primary propulsion
in space, and also the first European use of this particular type of
ion engine, called a 'Hall-effect' thruster.

The SEPP consists of a single ion engine fuelled by xenon gas and
powered by solar energy. The ion engine will accelerate SMART-1 very
gradually to cause the spacecraft to travel in a series of spiralling
orbits - each revolution slightly further away from the Earth - towards
the Moon. Once captured by the Moon's gravity, SMART-1 will move into
ever-closer orbits of the Moon.

As part of one of the overall mission objectives to test this new SEPP
technology, the data will now be analysed to see how much acceleration
was achieved and how smoothly the spacecraft travelled. If the ion
engine is performing to expectations, ESA engineers will regularly
power up the SEPP to send SMART-1 on its way.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.05
Boeing Launches New Galaxy

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.05 From AMSAT HQ

SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003
BID: $ANS-278.05

October 1, a successful launch orbited Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1, a Boeing
601HP satellite built by Boeing for PanAmSat Corporation, Wilton,
Conn., and JSAT Corporation of Japan. The satellite will provide
coverage over North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii from an
orbital slot between the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. west coast.

The 4,090 kg (8,998 lbs) satellite rocketed to geosynchronous transfer
orbit aboard a Zenit-3SL provided by Sea Launch Company, LLC. Lift-off
occurred at 9:03 p.m. PDT (4:03 a.m. GMT) from the Sea Launch Odyssey
Launch Platform positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The
spacecraft received its first signals at about 10:03 p.m. PDT at a
ground station at Fucino, Italy, confirming normal operation.

Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 with a final orbit slot at 127 degrees west
longitude is the 207th Boeing-built commercial communications satellite
 launched to date. Forty years ago this year, the Boeing-built Syncom
ushered in a revolution as the world's first geosynchronous
communications satellite.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-278.06
Satellite TV Networks Sue North Carolina Over Unfair Sales Taxes

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 278.06 From AMSAT HQ

SILVER SPRING, MD.  October 5, 2003
BID: $ANS-278.06

DirecTV, Inc. and EchoStar Satellite Corporation and its DISH Network,
the nation's largest providers of satellite TV services, have filed a
lawsuit against North Carolina as part of a nationwide campaign to
challenge unfair taxing policies that discriminate against satellite TV
providers while benefiting local cable TV firms.
The lawsuit, filed against the state's Department of Revenue and other
entities, challenges the constitutionality of North Carolina's taxing
policies under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution,
which prohibits state taxes that discriminate against interstate
commerce, or are not fairly related to the services provided to the

North Carolina has a 5 percent sales tax on satellite TV services, but
no sales tax on cable TV services. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the
Superior Court for Wake County in Raleigh, N.C.

DISH Network and DirecTV provide multi-channel video programming via
direct-to-home satellite television service, which is also known as
direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service, not only to subscribers in
North Carolina, but to viewers throughout the United States. However,
the local cable companies, which are the dominant providers of
multi-channel video programming in the state, are not similarly
subjected to the state's sales tax and, as such, are given an unfair
competitive edge through these discriminatory taxing policies, the
lawsuit states.

Following North Carolina's procedures, prior to going to court the
satellite providers requested a refund for their customers in the state
of approximately $30 million, a required first step in challenging the
discriminatory sales tax on satellite TV service. The State Department
of Revenue rejected the request; and the required 90-day waiting
period for filing a lawsuit after requesting a refund has expired.

Similar discriminatory taxing policies exist in Tennessee and Ohio,
which also were sued by EchoStar and DirecTV on August 19 and June 26, 

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]


ANS is released worldwide via the AMSAT ANS e-mail reflector and a live
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This week's ANS Editor:
Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA

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