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[jamsat-news:1923] ANS-158 AMSAT Weekly Bulletins



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.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:

In this edition:
*  President's Letter - May 2004
*  Echo Status Update
*  ARISS Status  31 May 2004
*  AMSAT Nomination deadline approaching
*  This Week's News in Brief

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-158.01
President's Letter - May 2004

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 158.01 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  June 6, 2004
BID: $ANS-158.01

I have just received some excellent news this morning from Jim White, WD0E
who has been testing and finally integrating ECHO before flight. After
explaining the details of installing the wiring harness and orientating the
magnetometer Jim comments "As far as I can tell we are on track and looking
good. Echo is going to be a very cool bird." A few minor items have to  be
completed as the spacecraft makes it way to the launch site, but I am
confident that it will be 100% by the time it gets to Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile at Dayton the Launch fund with its objective of $110,000 took a
jump upwards to slightly over $93,000 with the assistance of many donors and
one anonymous donor who matched every dollar with another one. Now we should
make  the final push to get to the $110,000 - can we do it?  What are the
consequences of not meeting our targets?  The answers are as follows, Yes we
can do it, and quite easily, if every member of AMSAT and everyone who works
the  satellites (including non members) is prepared to meet the target.  The
consequences of not doing so are simple. It means that we will be somewhat
delayed in meeting the reserves that are necessary to develop, design,
construct, integrate and test EAGLE. As we have had to borrow from our
reserves in order to launch ECHO, all of our funding for satellite projects
comes from your donations, membership dues run the organization, (ie Office,
Lab, expenses,  journal, postage etc so the faster we recover the Launch
expenses the sooner we  can work on EAGLE.

I will be attending the AMSAT-UK annual meeting and  colloquium at the
University of Surrey, if you can be there it is always a  worthwhile event
and this year the IARU satellite meeting will be at Surrey. In  addition I
am arranging an AMSAT-International meeting to take place on the  Friday
morning, the objective of this meeting is to try and provide a greater
degree of cooperation between the various AMSATs around the world, both in
communications to our members and to provide technical expertise as
necessary.  Hopefully this may provide more information to the worldwide
membership and we  may eventually be able to schedule a continuous flow of
satellites both LEO and  HEO. For details of the AMSAT-UK meeting see their
website (_www.uk.amsat.org_ (http://www.uk.amsat.org) )

Returning to thoughts on  Dayton, our AMSAT booth this year was excellent,
probably the best I have seen,  thanks to Art Feller W4ART, Barry Baines
WD4ASW, Martha and many others.   The AMSAT Forum was very well attended
with over 200 people in attendance, in  spite of the rather poor room we
were allocated with even worse access. (Look  for a change in this next
year.) Rick Hambly W2GPS, gave an excellent talk on  ECHO and brought us
right up to date. Gould Smith WA4SXM reviewed his new Book  (on ECHO which
gives details of the development, the specifications and  operation. (Book
available from the AMSAT Office), and Frank Bauer brought us  all up to date
on the Amateur Radio in ISS (ARISS). Together with the many  individuals who
spent time putting up the booth, and taking it down again, as  well as those
who operated the booth I would like to thank the speakers for a  job very
well done.

Finally, today is Friday May 28 2004, ECHO's   launch window starts in 32
days  ..... I am very optimistic that all will  proceed well let's hope so,
statistics for this launch vehicle and this launch  site are excellent, but
remember this is rocket  science!.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President,  AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-158.02
Echo Status Update

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 158.02 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  June 6, 2004
BID: $ANS-158.02

Echo is making excellent progress and is expected to be ready to ship to the
launch site during the second week of June.

Testing of all the functions of Echo after installation of the flight
harness has been completed and the S-band  transmitter power output has been
verified as 2.45 Watts.  Downlinks at data rates up to 38k4 on both 70cm and
S-band have been confirmed to work fine.  The wideband receiver (SQRX) which
can tune from HF through L-band has also been tested.

The programmable magnetic torque rod has been preset so that the proper end
of the satellite will stabilize down after launch. It can be changed once on
orbit if needed.  Takes about a minute to fully re-polarize the rod by
command from the ground.

The development team reports that all the hardware has been quite solid.
Due to the delay we've had the chance to put quite a bit more time on all of
it without any problems.

Currently the planned launch period is four weeks beginning June 28, 2004.
Once in orbit the command and Ops teams will be working together to assure
everything is working ok and get it into it's initial 'normal' modes as
quickly as possible given the necessary caution.  After that it will be open
to the Users.

[ANS thanks Jim, WD0E for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-158.03
ARISS Status  31 May 2004

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 158.03 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  June 6, 2004
BID: $ANS-158.03

1.  Erie Planetarium Contact Successful

The first ARISS contact of Expedition 9 took place on Tuesday, May 25 at
18:01 UTC. The contact was performed via the telebridge station, VK5ZAI, in
Australia. During his very first amateur radio contact, Mike Fincke, KE5AIT,
answered 18 questions asked by the students who gathered at the Erie
Planetarium in Erie, Pennsylvania. The contact was very successful and the
children applauded and thanked Mike for his time. The ARRL ran a web story
on the event entitled, "ARISS School Group Contact a First for Astronaut,
Expedition 9." An audio link is provided within the article. See:


2. Upcoming School Contact

Walton Central High School in Walton, New York has also been scheduled for
an ARISS contact with Mike Fincke, KE5AIT. The contact will take place on
Wednesday, June 2 at 17:57 UTC. It will be performed via the telebridge
station, NN1SS at GSFC.

3. Expedition 8 Crew Debriefing

The Expedition 8 crew was interviewed by Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, from the
ARISS Russian team on Wednesday, May 12. Expedition 8 commander Mike Foale,
KB5UAC, returned to the U.S. on May 24, and is scheduled for a crew
debriefing with the ISS Ham Technical Team (USA) on Friday, June 4 at 2:15
p.m. ET. The half hour session will allow the team to ask for
recommendations to improve school contacts, to ask technical questions
concerning the radio systems and to determine computer availability on the

[ANS thanks Carol for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-158.04
AMSAT Nomination deadline approaching

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 158.04 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  June 6, 2004
BID: $ANS-158.04

You still have time to mail your nomination to the AMSAT office for the
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. Nominations must arrive at the AMSAT office
(850 Sligo Ave #600, Silver Spring, MD 20910) no later than June 15th.
Please note that nominations cannot be sent via email.

Member Societies or 5 current AMSAT members may make nominations of fellow
members to serve a two-year term. Three seats on the seven member board must
be filled.  Those whose terms are expiring are:  Tom Clark, W3IWI, Lou
McFadin, W5DID and Bruce Paige, KK5DO.

[ANS thanks Martha for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-158.05
This Week's News in Brief

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 158.05 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD.  June 6, 2004
BID: $ANS-158.05

**  NASA mission controllers must make some key decisions as the twin Mars
exploration rovers sit poised at critical junctures in their operational
lives. Controllers have begun calling the rovers' current status "bonus
time," because Spirit and Opportunity have surpassed their expected mission
lengths by more than a month. Now, however, the question is whether to
gamble on that success and send the rovers into more challenging -- and
perhaps more hazardous - situations. --SpaceDaily

**  China will send at least two astronauts into outer space in the fall
next year, and they will stay there for at least one week, reported
Thursday's The Beijing News, citing Yang Jiachi, academician of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS).   --SpaceDaily

**     The FCC has extended the deadline to file reply comments in its
broadband over power line (BPL) proceeding, ET Docket 04-37, from Tuesday,
June 1, to Tuesday, June 22. --ARRL


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining donors to
AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.

AMSAT has developed an on-line volunteer survey, designed to
identify the interests and skills of those who may be available to directly
help in efforts to develop the amateur satellite program. The survey is
designed to be completed and returned on-line, and takes only a few minutes
to fill out.  To request the survey, simply send an e-mail request
to:volunteer at AMSAT.org

This weeks ANS Editor,
Lee McLamb, KU4OS, ku4os at AMSAT.org

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