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[jamsat-news:3149] ANS-055 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:

* STRaND-1 Launch Information
* AMSAT and Virginia Tech Sign Collaboration Agreement
* Upcoming ARISS Contacts
* AMSAT-DC Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations
* US Airforce Upgrades SpaceTrack Website For Keplarian Orbital Data
* Mission to Mars Announcement Expected

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-055.01 ANS-055 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 055.01
February 24, 2013
BID: $ANS-055.01

STRaND-1 Launch Information

For those following the STRaND-1 launch on Twitter, the official launch hashtag
of STRaND-1 spacecraft is #S1Launch. Post lunch we #STRaND1 hashtag will be

Launch time is 12:25 GMT 25th Feb 2013 and has been cleared by the Launch
Authorization Board (LAB) for PSLV - C20

Live video launch feeds for Monday's PSLV launch will be available at
http://www.webcast.gov.in/live/  and  http://ibnlive.in.com/livetv/


STRaND-1 telemetry format http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12875

STRaND-1 information http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12196

[ANS thanks Trever, M5AKA, for the above information]


AMSAT and Virginia Tech Sign Collaboration Agreement

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ("Virginia Tech") and Radio
Amateur Satellite Corp. ("AMSAT") signed a Collaboration Agreement on February
4, 2013 that establishes a relationship for future projects in the development
of space hardware, software, algorithms, documentation of same and an agreement
to protect each other by protecting ITAR-covered materials and identifying same
for the other. The agreement was signed by AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW
and Virginia Tech Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration
John Rudd.

The Agreement establishes a relationship that will allow both organizations to
work together on future space mission opportunities as may arise.  VT
established the Center for Space Science and Engineering (Space@VT) in 2007 and
with completion of the new Center for Space Science and Engineering Research
Facility in 2012, has facilities for development of space hardware and cubesat
development.  Programmatic and technical coordination and direction will be
coordinated between Dr. Robert W. McGwier ,PhD of Virginia Tech and Anthony
Monteiro, AA2TX  AMSAT's VP-Engineering.

"Establishment of a formal relationship between VT and AMSAT provides the
foundation for potential future satellite program opportunities for AMSAT as
well as enhances prospects for AMSAT support of STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics) education outreach" notes AMSAT President Barry
Baines, WD4ASW.  "Space@VT recognizes the success that AMSAT brings to building
successful spacecraft and with the development of Fox-1, to bring reliable
hardware in support of scientific payloads as well as enhance prospects for
student projects to successfully fly in space.  AMSAT benefits from a partner
that will help provide justification for funding of spacecraft that supports
amateur radio in space," he added.

Virginia Tech Professor Bob McGwier, N4HY is looking forward to working with
AMSAT on future projects. Bob remarked, "Being able to combine the student
space science and engineering programs of Virginia Tech with AMSAT's long
history of innovative technical development in spacecraft is a win-win for both
parties. I look forward to working with AMSAT on projects that mutually benefit
space science, student engineering programs, and the amateur radio community."

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, for the above information]


Upcoming ARISS Contacts

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants
at Soleado Elementary School, Ranchos Palos Verdes, CA on 25 Feb. The event is
scheduled to begin at approximately 19:53 UTC. The duration of the contact is
approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be direct between NA1SS
and KE6JPM. The contact should be audible over California and portions of the
western U.S. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz
downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Soleado Elementary School's mission is to educate each and every one of its
students to their fullest potential while cultivating a lifelong love of
learning. Named for its beautiful location in the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes,
our school is proud of its rich cultural background, academic achievement, and
involvement in extra-curricular activities. Our mascot, a rosy-cheeked sun, is
an exceptionally fitting characterization of our school, which wraps our
students in the arms of a caring and supportive community that nurtures
development of the whole child.

Founded in 1968, even Soleado's physical design embodies community and
cooperation, with each core educational building housing five classrooms with
one wall "open" to a shared "big room" in the center. The open classroom
environment facilitates daily teacher collaboration and student interaction
within and among grade levels, while "big rooms" allow for large group
activities and foster a positive feeling of family among our students and staff.
In addition to our strong sense of community and our open classroom model,
another distinguishing characteristic of our school is its cultural and
linguistic diversity. With 420 "Soleado Suns" this year in grades DK through 5,
our student body encompasses families who come directly from 30 different
countries speaking 21 languages.

Other upcoming contacts:

 *  4th Dimotiko Scholeio Chaidariou, Chaidari (near Athens), Greece,
      direct via J41ISS
      Thu, 28Feb2013, 09:42 UTC

*   Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy, Avon, CT,
      direct via W1TMS
      Thu, 28Feb2013 15:53 UTC

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur
Radio by talking directly with crew members on-board the International Space
Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio
and crew members on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology,
and learning. Further information on the ARISS program is available on the
website http://www.ariss.org/ (graciously hosted by the Radio Amateurs of

[ANS thanks David, AA4KN, for the above information]


AMSAT-DC Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations

REGISTER NOW for the AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013. Those who wish to attend
the "Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations" on Saturday, March 23, must
call Martha in advance at AMSAT headquarters at 301-589-6062 to receive a
workshop registration number. Your unique registration number is your ticket to
get in, starting NET 9:00 A.M. EST. There will be no registration at the door.

The suggested donation for advanced registration and admission for non-members
is $25. Registration for each AMSAT member who participates in the event and
registers in advance is free. "The $25 USD donations collected by Martha will
go directly to a worthy cause," says AMSAT Area Coordinator Pat Kilroy, "namely,
to the AMSAT Fox Project."

In lieu of the $25 suggested donation by non-members, one may apply for AMSAT
membership with Martha at the standard rate and then receive a workshop
registration number for free.

The door to the Visitor Center auditorium at the NASA Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Maryland (ZIP Code 20771) will open for station set ups no
earlier than 9:00 A.M.  The program will officially begin at ten and run nearly
all day continuously, easily to 4:00 P.M. or beyond.  Participants are welcome
to bring their own brown bag lunch.  Drinks and condiments will be donated by
fellow AMSAT members.

The workshop program will be informal, with participants given the floor to show
their wares and explain their operation. That is, one teaching one another the
best practices, tools and techniques of successful satellite contacts. "Our
program will be an experiment unto itself to gauge interest and to plan future
AMSAT workshops. Feedback is always welcome," says Pat.

All participants are encouraged to bring their wares to assemble, show
and explain.

To volunteer or ask questions contact Pat Kilroy, N8PK, at n8pk@amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, N8PK, for the above information]


US Airforce Upgrades SpaceTrack Website For Keplarian Orbital Data

The following is the latest from Vandenburg:


We are pleased to announce the upgrade of www.Space-Track.org to add the
look and functionality that matches what is now on
https://beta.space-track.org.  The bulk file downloads from our current
Space-Track site will continue to be available to scripters for a limited
time after the upgrade using established URLs.

This upgrade will vastly improve how the Space-Track User community
interacts with orbital element sets, the satellite catalog and conjunction
data.  With a robust Representational State Transfer (REST-ful)
Application Programming Interface (API), scripters will be able to get the
latest data available, customized for their purposes.

Here are just a few of the new features that will become part of the
upgraded www.Space-Track.org:
-  A streamlined and intuitive user interface that is easier to navigate
   and allows simple searches
-  A robust help and documentation section - "Favorites" lists to identify
   logical groupings of catalog objects that Users can monitor via the web
   interface or with the site's API

If you have production scripts that currently use beta.space-track.org, we
recommend that you change your scripts to point at www.Space-Track.org on
or after 20 February 2013.

If you have scripts that screen-scrape or download text/zip files from the
current yellow-colored legacy www.Space-Track.org, they will continue to
perform correctly for a few months, but we recommend that you quickly
transition your scripts to take advantage of the new API.  Documentation
is available under "Help" to assist you, as well as the API query builder
tool on the upgraded site.

We have also started sharing information about Space-Track's new features
on tumblr, facebook and twitter, so please engage us on your favorite
social media platform.

Our sites are http://space-track.tumblr.com,
http://www.facebook.com/SpaceTrack and http://www.twitter.com/SpaceTrackOrg

We understand that any significant upgrade has the potential to cause
frustration for our user community and we apologize if this creates any
adjustment problems for you.  For help or clarification, please email us
at admin@space-track.org.

Thank you,
The www.Space-Track.org Team

[ANS thanks the Space-Track Team for the above information]


Mission to Mars Announcement Expected

Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by the first private space traveler, Dennis
Tito, has announced they intend to make a major announcement next Wednesday,
February 27th concerning a 501 day mission to Mars.

The press release said the news conference next week would be "detailing its
plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic
journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018. This "Mission
for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next
great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to
believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while
inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
education and motivation."

With the stated goal of "accelerating America's human exploration of space" one
can surmise that the mission is a human mission to Mars.

The other people who will take part in the news conference include:

- Taber MacCallum, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of
Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in
Biosphere 2

- Dr. Jonathan Clark, associate professor of Neurology and Space Medicine at
Baylor College of Medicine and space medicine advisor for the National Space
Biomedical Research Institute

- Jane Poynter, president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development
Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2

This kind of expertise in closed ecological life support systems lends credence
to a human mission to Mars.

[ANS thanks SpaceRef 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 addi- tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.

Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership
at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students
enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership

This week's ANS Editor,
Lee McLamb, KU4OS
ku4os at amsat dot org

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA