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[jamsat-news:2917] ANS-023 AMSAT News Service 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:

* ARISSat-1 Loaded Aboard Progress-41P for Launch on January 28
* AO-51 Power Management Update
* NanoSail-D Feared Lost Now Active - Amateur Radio Reports Requested
* Marshall Amateur Radio Club Confirms NanoSail-D Beacon Active
* January AMSAT India Newsletter - CubeSat Transponder Announced
* ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli Speaks with Italian Youth via ARISS
* Last Call: OSCAR SKN Best Fist Nominations Are Due
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* Next Winners From PayPal Widget Announced
* HI0RCD Special Events Station Plans AO-51 Operation
* Donation to AMSAT via Required Minimum Distribution Option

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.01
ARISSat-1 Loaded Aboard Progress-41P for Launch on January 28

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.01
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.01

The ARISSat-1 space craft is mounted in the Progress vehicle at 
Baikonur and the hatch sealed. Progress 41P is scheduled to lift 
off next Friday, 28 January 2011. Due to the launch of STS-133, 
the EVA to deploy ARISSat-1 has been moved up to 16 February 2011.

The NASA Phase 3 Safety Review for ARISSat-1 was held Thursday morn-
ing, 19 Jan 2011 in Houston. There were three items that did not have 
complete paperwork; Energia and the US teams are working to clear 
this up by early next week.

A NASA press release describes the plans for ARISSat-1 in an article 
about planned Russian EVAs from the ISS:
http://tinyurl.com/6kceotn (nasa.gov)

Bob, N4HY reports that NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/ntv) has run a
program featuring ARISSat-1. Watch for repeat playback.

[ANS thanks ARISSat-1 Project Manager Gould Smith, WA4SXM, and NASA 
 for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.02
AO-51 Power Management Update

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.02
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.02

AO-51 Control Operator, Mark Hammond, N8MH reported this week, "The
satellite continues to be in good operating condition thanks to good 
power management." 

The Control Team continues to make adjustments and refinements in the 
specific settings. While AO-51 is in the sun its downlink power output 
remains strong at around 1.3 W output. The transmitters are OFF while 
in eclipse. 

The current schedule is planned to continue through the end of Feb-
ruary 2011, when the satellite will return to full sunlight again. 
The current AO-51 operating mode is:

Single FM Repeater:
Uplink:   145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

The AO-51 Command Team requests that users continue to post their
observations of AO-51's operating condition on the Live OSCAR Satel-
lite Status Page: http://oscar.dcarr.org/index.php.

Keep up to date with the latest Command Team and Operations Group
AO-51 News at: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/CTNews.php

[ANS thanks Mark, N8MH, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.03
NanoSail-D Feared Lost Now Active - Amateur Radio Reports Requested

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.03
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.03

[Editor note: The NanoSail-D satellite launched with the NASA 
FASTSAT mission from Kodiak. It had appeared to not have been 
ejected and subsequently not activated. This week NASA said that 
telemetry from FASTSAT now indicated that NanoSail-D was now 
active and issued the following press release.]


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the
NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and
Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontan-
eously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center 
analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection of NanoSail-D also 
has been confirmed by ground-based satellite tracking assets.

Amateur ham operators are asked to listen for the signal to verify
NanoSail-D is operating. This information should be sent to the
NanoSail-D dashboard at: http://nanosaild.engr.scu.edu/dashboard.htm.
The NanoSail-D beacon signal can be found at 437.270 MHz.

The NanoSail-D science team is hopeful the nanosatellite is healthy  
and can complete its solar sail mission. After ejection, a timer with-
in NanoSail-D begins a three-day countdown as the satellite orbits the
Earth. Once the timer reaches zero, four booms will quickly deploy and
the NanoSail-D sail will start to unfold to a 100-square-foot polymer
sail. Within five seconds the sail fully unfurls.

"This is great news for our team. We're anxious to hear the beacon  
which tells us that NanoSail-D is healthy and operating as planned", 
said Dean Alhorn, NanoSail-D principal investigator and aerospace 
engineer at the Marshall Center. "The science team is hopeful to see 
that NanoSail-D is operational and will be able to unfurl its solar 

On December 6, 2010, NASA triggered the planned ejection of NanoSail-D  
from FASTSAT. At that time, the team confirmed that the door success-
fully opened and data indicated a successful ejection. Upon further  
analysis, no evidence of NanoSail-D was identified in low-Earth orbit, 
leading the team to believe NanoSail-D remained inside FASTSAT.

The FASTSAT mission has continued to operate as planned with the five
other scientific experiments operating nominally.

"We knew that the door opened and it was possible that NanoSail-D  
could eject on its own," said Mark Boudreaux, FASTSAT project manager 
at the Marshall Center. "What a pleasant surprise this morning when 
our flight operations team confirmed that NanoSail-D is now a free 

If the deployment is successful, NanoSail-D will stay in low-Earth  
orbit between 70 and 120 days, depending on atmospheric conditions.  
NanoSail-D is designed to demonstrate deployment of a compact solar 
sail boom system that could lead to further development of this 
alternative solar sail propulsion technology and FASTSAT's ability 
to eject a nano-satellite from a micro-satellite - while avoiding 
re-contact with the FASTSAT satellite bus.

Follow the NanoSail-D mission operation on Twitter at:

For additional information on the timeline of the NanoSail-D  
deployment visit:

To learn more about FASTSAT and the NanoSail-D missions visit:

NanoSail-D is predicted to be visible once the sail is unfurled. 
The site at http://www.heavens-above.com has a link for the pre-
dicted viewing times and sky coordinates to find NanoSail-D at
your location.

[ANS thanks Dave Taylor, W8AAS and the NASA Marshall Space Flight
 Center for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.04
Marshall Amateur Radio Club Confirms NanoSail-D Beacon Active

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.04
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.04

The Marshall Amateur Radio Club, WA4NZD late Wednesday afternoon,
January 19, 2011, confirmed ejection of the NanoSail-D sub-satel-
lite. This loaf-of-bread sized spacecraft was carried to orbit late 
last year on an Air Force rocket as part of NASA's FastSat project. 
This is the first successful deployment of a satellite, launched 
from a satellite already in orbit! The only communication from the 
NanoSail-D vehicle is via ham radio with 1200 baud FM AX25 beacon 

The WA4NZD team of N4PMF and WB5RMG, was listening on 437.275 MHz FM 
with the NanoSail-D Principal Investigator Dean Alhorn at the club 
station when the beacon was heard and susbequently decoded onto the 
screen. Please visit http://wa4nzd.wordpress.com for pictures and 
more links to the NanoSail-D project. They are asking for telemetry 
reception reports from all over the world to help fill in gaps. The 
battery is expected to last for only three days.

The NanoSail-D mission page contains the latest tracking data and
a link to report received packet telemetry data: 

Details on the format of the packet data downlink are presented in
a PDF document at: http://tinyurl.com/6497q84 (scu.edu).

An example of received packets from NanoSail-D:
Fm KE7EGC To UNDEF Via TELEM <UI pid=F0 Len=64 >[22:55:45]
NanoSailD.org 8C0F0000A21400000004008A890200004939C37ACFC0000000

UniverseToday.com also carried a story: http://tinyurl.com/4etefaa
In another story on UniverseToday the NanoSail-D data capture video
by Henk, PA3GUO is featured at:

John, VE8EV wrote from Inuvik, Canada to provide a link describing
his successful telemetry capture to confirm the deployment of the 
NanoSail-D solar sail: 
This page describes a novel approach to decoding telemetry by using
an Excel spreadsheet.

AMSAT's Keeper of the Keps, Ray Hoad, WA5QGD says the KEPs for 
NANOSAIL-D are now being updated with the label NANOSALD.

[ANS thanks Alan Sieg, WB5RMG and the Marshall Amateur Radio Club, 
 WA4NZD; John, VE8EV, and UniverseToday.com for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.05
January AMSAT India Newsletter - CubeSat Transponder Announced

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.05
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.05

This week AMSAT India Secretary Nitin, VU3TYG announced that the 
AMSAT India January 2011 news letter is available for download. 
The PDF of the newsletter is at: 

This month's newsletter includes an announcement by AMSAT India 
Technical Director Pop, VU2POP, regarding the latest developments 
with their CubeSat transponder. Pop wrote, "I have immense pleasure 
in announcing that the initial design of the transponder has been 
completed and the components have been procured."

Features of the AMSAT India CubeSat transponder include:

+ 435.250 MHz uplink and downlink, half-duplex UHF narrow-band FM 
+ FSK/MSK baseband for 1200-9600 baud operation.
+ Supports AX.25 or user-defined frame formats supported
+ Transmitter output power 1 Watt
+ Super heterodyne receiver with Packet reception sensitivity to 
  -120 dBm at 1200 bps
+ On-board measurement of TXO and PA temperatures, battery voltage,
  and RSSI and RF-error on receiver
+ Downlink of configurable content (text and measurements)
+ Autonomous audio Morse beacon when idle
+ Compatible with the Cube sat Kit "PC104" form factor with the first
  set of PCBs ordered for the engineering model

Pop concluded, "Thanks to my team for their great focus in spite of 
their busy schedule and Ganesan (KJ6LRR) for his efforts in this baby 
step which we have taken in this domain. Look out for more updates in 
our future News letters."

The full list of specifications and an engineering CAD drawing of the
CubeSat transponder PCB can be found in the AMSAT India January
newsletter link. The newsletter archives can be obtained on-line at:

[ANS thanks AMSAT India for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.06
ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli Speaks with Italian Youth via ARISS

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.06
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.06

On Saturday, January 15, students attending the Istituto Comprensivo 
Via Toscana 2 in Civitavecchia, Italy took part in an Amateur Radio 
on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with ESA astronaut 
Paolo Nespoli, IZŲJPA. 

Nespoli answered 12 questions during the first ISS pass. On the 
following pass, he completed the students' questions and exchanged 
greetings with Italian Space Agency President Enrico Saggese. Nespoli 
also talked about the importance of school contacts as well as the 
10th anniversary of ARISS contacts in both Italian and English. The 
event was attended by 300 people and was covered by national tele-
vision and other media.

[ANS thanks Carol Jackson, KB3LKI and the January 17, 2011 ARISS 
 Status Report for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.07
Last Call: OSCAR SKN Best Fist Nominations Are Due

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.07
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.07

Ray, W2RS thanks all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night 
on OSCAR 2011. Please remember to nominate someone you worked for 
'Best Fist.' Your nominee need not have the best fist of those you 
heard, just of those you worked.  Nominations should be sent to 
w2rs@amsat.org. A list of those nominated will be published in ANS 
in early February, and in a forthcoming issue of The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.08
Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.08
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.08

+ Congratulations to Tom, KA6SIP for earning ARRL VUCC #208, and
  to Jim, K0BAM for earning ARRL VUCC #209.

+ The February Scientific American magazine has an article about 
  Cubesats entitled "Citizen Satellites" on pages 48-53 by Alex 
  Soojung-Kim Pang and Bob Twiggs. Many of you know Bob Twiggs as 
  KE6QMD, a long-time AMSAT supporter who is widely known as having 
  been "father" of the Cubesat concept when he was at Stanford Uni-
  versity. Bob is now a Professor at Moorehead State Univ in Kentucky.

+ AMSAT Manger, Martha says you can own a piece of AMSAT history. She 
  has the following software available for a minimum donation of $5.00:
   <> Atari W3IWI (1985) 5 1/4 disk
   <> AMSAT AMS-81 (1986) for Sinclair computers - Cassette
   <> W3IWI Basic Orbits for I-99 (1985) - Cassette
   <> UoSat 1 & 2 Telemetry Capture Editing and Decoding program 
      for IBM - 5 1/4 disk
   <> W3IWI Orbit Prediction Program for TRS-80 Color Computer - Cassette
   <> AMSAT 2064 Tracking Program (1984) - Cassette
   <> ORBITS II for IBM (1993) - 3 1/2 disk
   <> N4HY QuikTrak  for IBM - 3 1/2 disk

  If you are interested send your order to:  
  AMSAT, 850 Sligo Ave, #600, Silver Spring MD 20910

+ AMSAT-UK has introduced a new online shop for satellite ground 
  station hardware and software: http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-UK-Shop

+ The AMSAT-UK FUNcube Amateur Radio satellite project is now on 
  Facebook and Twitter. Go to http://www.facebook.com just lookup 
  FUNcube. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FUNcubeUK  You can join 
  the FUNcube Yahoo Group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube/
  FUNcube website: http://www.FUNcube.org.uk/
  FUNcube SDR Dongle: http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/

+ Print Your 10th Anniversary International Space Station Calendar:
  NASA’s International Space Station calendar is now available in both 
  large and small file sizes to print at home, or with the help of a 
  professional printer. To print it out on your home printer, download 
  the 6.8 Mb file. To print it out in full resolution, take the link 
  to the 74 Mb file to your preferred printer and specify the paper 
  quality and printing instructions. The link to these files is on
  NASA's web at: 

+ For hams who experiment with space communications the latest VK3UM 
  EME Calculator update (Ver 7.08) is now available. Download direct 
  from http://www.vk3um.com

+ Space Adventures expects to resume tourist visits to the space sta-
  tion starting in 2013. The company does not discuss costs, but a seat 
  on a Soyuz is believed to run between $30 million and $40 million. 
  Full story at: http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1101/12soyuz/

+ Science in the shack! Participate in real space research from your 
  shack. The January 10, 2011 edition of the One Minute Astronomer 
  describes an astronomy project which may be of interest to many 
  scientifically oriented amateur radio operators. You are invited to 
  become a Planet Hunter to aid in the search for exoplanets:
  Additionally, the http://www.zooniverse.org/ site has several other
  opportunities for amateur scientists to participate in research.

+ Tom, K8CX, has posted his collection of DX Sound Bites at:

+ To celebrate the January 3, 2011 7th Anniversary on Mars for the
  Spirit and Opportunity rovers Glen Nagle created a downloadable
  poster. The poster includes scenes from both Spirit's and Oppor-
  tunity's adventures. Download your copy from:
  http://tinyurl.com/2aua69c (UniverseToday.com)

+ The latest information, photos, and videos of Vietnam's planned
  F-1 Cubesat are posted on-line at:

+ John, VE3YUL reports that UO-11 was heard in darkness with a strong
  signal received on his handheld radio at 21:12 local on January 20, 
  2011 on the 145.825 MHz downlink.

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.09
Next Winners From PayPal Widget Announced

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.09
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.09

AMSAT-NA VP Operations, Drew KO4MA said this week, "We've randomly 
selected the next group of prize winners from those that have donated 
via the Paypal widget. For every $250 dollars raised we randomly pick 
a donor to receive a prize from the AMSAT prize closet: 

$1750-$2000    Robert Benton    W7VB
$2000-$2250    Kevin Schuchmann WA6FWF
$2250-$2500    Nigel Gunn       W8IFF

Thank you to all that have donated to pay for the construction of 
ARISSat-1 and the beginning of the AMSAT-Fox project. ARISSat-1 is 
featured in this month's QST, and AMSAT-Fox is described by the VP 
Engineering in the current issue of the AMSAT Journal."

If you have an amateur radio website or blog, you too can help AMSAT 
raise the money required to pay for construction of these two satel-
lites by adding the widget code to your site. You can even add it to 
your QRZ.com entry. Contact Drew at KO4MA@amsat.org for details. You
can see the widget at http://www.amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Drew, KO4MA for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-023.10
HI0RCD Special Events Station Plans AO-51 Operation

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.10
January 23, 2011
BID: $ANS-023.10

The Radio Club Dominicano invites satellite operators to look for 
their special event station HI0RCD via AO-51 as they commemorate 
"The Month of the Patria" beginning on January 26, 2011 and ending
on February 27, 2011 at 23:59 UTC.

January 26 marks the birthday of Juan Pablo Duarte, the Father of 
the Patria. February 27 marks the 167th anniversary of Dominican

A special QSL card will be available via the bureau. In addition to
the planned AO-51 operation HI0RCD plans to also operate on 160, 80,
40, 20, 17, 15, and 10 meters using SSB, CW, and digital modes.

Luis, HI8LAM has also posted information of the special event station
on his blog at: http://www.hi8lam.blogspot.com/

[ANS thanks Luis, HI8LAM for the above information]


AMSAT News Service Bulletin - 023.11
Donation to AMSAT via Required Minimum Distribution Option

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.11
January 23, 2011
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 023.11

[Editor Note: This bulletin header has been modified so that its
content will not be automatically forwarded via packet bulletins.
It contains a fundraising message which may not be allowed in some
jurisdictions and discusses income tax provisions applicable to
the United States. This message will appear in the e-mail release 
of the ANS-023 bulletins only.]
We're all getting older and many of us have reached the age of 70-1/2 
when of us U.S. taxpayers must begin withdrawing funds from our IRAs. 
It's called Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). Of course, the amount 
withdrawn is counted as income and hence U.S. income Tax is due on that 
amount plus whatever other income the person has.

In the past several years, there has been a provision in the IRS Tax 
Code which allowed U.S. taxpayers to contribute a portion of the RMD 
to a charity and NOT have that portion be counted as taxable income.

That provision was due to expire for Tax Year 2010 but at the last 
minute, the new tax legislation passed by Congress and signed by the 
President included a provision reinstating it.

Normally, such charitable donations had to be made from the institution 
holding the IRA funds to the charity without passing through the hands 
of the RMD recipient. But, since the new tax legislation was not signed 
into law until December 17th, a special provision was included for the 
2010 Tax Year only, allowing these contributions to be made directly 
by the person receiving them to the charity as long as they are made 
by January 31, 2011.

Thus, according to this provision, those of us who have already rece-
ived RMDs for 2010 have until that end of this month to make much need-
ed contributions to AMSAT and NOT have that amount counted as income 
in calculating the federal income tax due for the 2010 Tax Year.

Note that AMSAT is NOT a tax consultant and is NOT empowered to furnish 
tax advice. The information presented here was obtained from news re-
leases from several other reliable charities and is, to the best of our 
knowledge, reliable. Nevertheless, it is always best to consult your 
own tax advisor.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Board of Directors for the above information]


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. And with that
please keep in mind, the ham who decided to take up outdoor activities 
for the new year. He started by trying to play catch and wondered why 
the baseball was getting bigger ... then it hit him. Next he tried 
throwing a boomerang. He couldn't quite remember how it worked, but 
then it came back to him. Next up was hurdle jumping but he always had 
a fear of hurdles, but got over it. Finally, he tried rowing but being 
an indecisive person he couldn't choose either oar.

This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA