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ISS Mir Status Jan 9, 2001

January 9, 2001

By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

News memo move:
I everyone, for the past few months I have been posting most of the
important Mir/ISS updates on the amsat-bb@amsat.org mailing list.  I
will be moving most of these memos over to the sarex@amsat.org mailing
list, since it 1s more in-line with Manned space flight operations.  If
you are not currently on the SAREX list, you can find the needed
information on the Amsat web page below.


The ISS crew have been making a few very random voice contacts on
2-meters.  The 2-meter packet system is expected to be activated this
weekend.  The ISS packet system uses standard terrestrial AX.25 1200
Baud FM packet.  If your radio can support normal 2-meter FM packet,
then you have all of the equipment you need for ISS packet.

See the memo from Frank Bauer, Amsat VP Manned space flight.
January 6, 2001

I have gotten word that we should expect the ISS crew to turn on the
packet system sometime this weekend.  (Keep your fingers crossed)

When that happens, expect to hear a periodic beacon every 2 minutes. 
You are also permitted to send unformatted informational (UI) packets to
the ISS.  In other words, it should be operational for APRS beacons. 
Please do not use the Packet Mailbox System at this time.  The crew will
not have the computer hooked up to read your messages at this juncture.

I have included some information regarding the packet system below.

1)  ISS Packet Callsign:  RZ3DZR

2)  Frequencies:  Uplink:      145.99
                               Downlink: 145.80

3)  Please be courteous and do not transmit on the packet uplink until
for have heard the packet beacon.

4)  If you copy the packet system, please let us know and save your
information for a future QSL card.

The ISS crew has completed two pre arranged Amateur Radio school
schedules. The first was on December 21 with a school in Burbank Ill and
the second was on January 5 with Armstrong School, Hampton, VA.



Space Walk training for new Amateur Radio antennas:
The ISS crews for next years missions (E3 and E5) have begun training to
install the next set of Antennas to be shared by the Amateur Radio
station for ISS.  The crew will simulate weightless in a large water
tank with a mockup of the Service module in the tank.  Two practice
sessions have already taken place.  The ISS Space walk planners are
trying to fine-tune the steps required to install the new amateur radio
antenna process. The crew will practice routing coax cables and
installing up to three new antennas to the out side of the service
module.  The space walk is tentatively planned for the summer of 2001. 
The new antennas will add the ability to run multiple Amateur Radio
experiments simultaneously (possible Packet, Voice and SSTV all at the
same time)

Family Chat:
The ISS crew members have been using the Amateur Radio station to talk
to some of their family members and friends.  When they have these
family chats, the crew will usually use a channel different than the
posted PUBLIC channels (all frequencies used are in accordance with
local and international radio laws).  A few people have stumbled across
the ISS crew talking to their friends on these discrete Amateur Radio
channels, and have then posted the frequencies on the Internet.  I would
like to ask the public to please try to keep this information to your
self and not post the information on the internet or your web page. 
Lets give the crews some privacy and let them discover the benefits of
Amateur Radio, without seeing all of their activities PUBHISED.  When
ISS is on a discrete frequency, they often use what is called an
Odd-Split channel.  This means the Transmit and receive frequencies are
different.  The odd split method, prevents other stations from calling
ISS, unless they have been issued the correct Uplink channel for that
specific day.

This view of privacy is my own personal opinion and does not reflect
that of any government, company, club , etc.

Mir Retirement date set for the last week of February:
Mir's retirement date has been set for the last week of February 2001,
some time between 26-28.  
Mir will celebrate its 15 birthday on February 20, 2001.  There was a
lot of activity to try to extend Mir for a few more years, however the
full funding never materialized.  Mir will be retired by remote control
and will land in the south pacific.  A manned Mir back up crew is
standing by on earth, ready to fly to Mir if there are needed for any
emergency repairs, etc.


Mir QSL Cards:
The Russian QSL manager RV3DR says he has mailed out most of the new Mir
QSL cards to the Russians address and has begin working on QSL cards to
other countries.
Dave Larsen has also just completed a large batch of Mir QSL cards from
his backlog.


Copyright 2001 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
freely distributed via the following means - Email (including
listservers), Usenet, and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for
profit including, but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other
commercial outlets without prior written consent from the author. 
Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space
Station Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed,
without prior permission.

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