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ANS-335 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:

* AO-51 Software Reload in Progress
* ARISS Commemorative Event 25th Anniversary of Ham Radio in Space
* SKN on OSCAR 2009
* GENSO Groundstation Development Opportunity For Students
* Call For Articles - Brief Author's Guide to the AMSAT Journal
* ARISS Status Report for the Week of November 24, 2008

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.01
AO-51 Software Reload in Progress

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.01
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.01

AO-51 was reported as "not heard" starting Wednesday, November 26
by stations around the world.  The satellite's ground stations
determined that AO-51 required a software reload.  AMSAT Vice
President of Operations, Drew KO4MA reported, "It looks like we'll 
be reloading AO-51 for Thanksgiving. Gould WA4SXM started the process 
this evening, and I expected it'll be Saturday or later before it's 
back open for general use."

Gould, WA4SXM reported on Saturday, November 29, "AO-51 reload was 
mostly successful and the main V/U repeater became operational on 
Friday.  The SQRX receiver task didn't reload and cause a the crash 
in the software. We are in the process of reloading the SW and hope 
to have it operational the first of the week. Thanks to Kevin, WA6FWF 
for all his work during the Thanksgiving holiday working on the soft-
ware upload to AO51."

The latest status for AO-51 remains as not operational with a soft-
ware reload in progress. Drew, KO4MA said, "Meanwhile, the 9600 
baud downlink (only) on 435.150 is running at very high power, so 
it might be a good time to try your 9600 baud receive setups. Please 
do not attempt any uplinks until the repeater is back on. Once the 
satellite is recovered the Operations Team will test to deter-
mine the appropriate operating mode." 

The full AO-51 schedule and Command Team News can be found on-line
at: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/ControlTeam.php.  The AMSAT
main web page will also provide a quick status update when the infor-
mation changes.  Operating mode requests can be sent via e-mail to
ao51-modes@amsat.org .

[ANS thanks The AO-51 Command Team for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.02
ARISS Commemorative Event 25th Anniversary of Ham Radio in Space

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.02
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.02

AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs and ARISS Inter-
national Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO announced, "Twenty-five 
years ago this week, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, made history by being
the first amateur radio operator to talk to hams from space. 
Owen's historic flight on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission 
was launched on ovember 28 and landed on December 8, 1983.  Owen's 
ham radio adventure on STS-9 ushered in a host of outstanding out-
reach activities that continue today with the ARISS program."  

Frank continued, "Many will recall that first set of contacts and 
downlinks with Owen.  Those first contacts allowed each of us to 
share the excitement of space exploration through Owen's first-hand 
eyewitness accounts.  Owen's ham radio legacy enabled space travelers 
that have flown on the Space Shuttle, the Space Station Mir and now 
the International Space Station to share their journey of exploration."
"Owen's son Richard, W5KWQ just a month ago carried the torch further 
to become the first 2nd generation amateur rdaio operator to talk to 
hams from space.  What other hobby, except amateur radio, could or 
would open the communications lines of space travelers beyond that 
of the space agencies or international heads of state?"

To celebrate our 25 years of amateur radio operations from space, the 
ARISS team has planned a set of special event opportunities during 
the month of December and part of January.  A special certificate is 
being developed for those who communicate with the ISS, either 2-way 
direct (with the ISS crew,the digipeater, or cross band repeater), 
or 1-way reception of SSTV or voice downlink.  Several events will 
be described here with several "surprises" planned over the month-long 
celebration.  The surprises will be announced once we are prepositioned 
to accomplish them.

Specifically, the following is being planned in the near-term:

+ December 1-5 - in addition to school contacts and APRS digi 
  operations, we plan to configure the radio system for cross 
  band repeater operations.  This will utilize the standard U/V 
  operations in low power mode.

+ December 7-12 we will run a test of 9600 baud packet operations 
  on the simplex frequency 145.825 MHz.

+ Given that PCSAT should be in full sun starting December 9, Dec
  ember 14-19 we will switch to 1200 baud packet on 145.825 to 
  support double hop opportunities.

+ And at times, especially during the weekends, you might see some 
  SSTV operations if the crew is available.

We will provide more updates in the near future.  We would like 
to remind everyone that ISS flight requirements related to EVA and 
vehicle activity may require the radio to be off for some portion 
of this schedule. And school contacts and general QSO opportunities 
by the crew will also preempt this schedule for short periods of 
time.  (But remember that if you hearthese, you still qualify for 
a commemorative certificate).

Frank concluded, "In the meantime, enjoy the ARISS ops on ISS!  And 
congratulations to Owen Garriott, W5LFL, on the 25th anniversary of 
his historic flight!!"

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.03
SKN on OSCAR 2009

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.03
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.03

Ray Soifer, W2RS this week extended the annual cordial invitation to 
all radio amateurs worldwide to participate in AMSAT s Straight Key 
Night (SKN) on OSCAR 2009.

Participating in SKN on OSCAR 2009 is easy. No rules, no scoring and 
no need to send in a log. Just operate CW through any OSCAR between 
0000 and 2400 UTC on 1 January 2009, using a straight hand key.

In keeping with the friendly nature of this event, all participants 
are encouraged to nominate someone they worked for "Best Fist." Your 
nominee need not have the best fist of those you heard, just of those 
you worked. Please send your nomination to w2rs@amsat.org. A list of 
those nominated will appear in ANS and The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.04
GENSO Groundstation Development Opportunity For Students

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.04
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.04

GENSO Project Software Engineering Mentor, Dave, G4GPZ writing on 
behalf of the ESA Education Office invites students to apply to take 
part in the development of the system.

The Groundstation Educational Network for Spacecraft Operations 
(GENSO) is a system is aimed at CubeSat operators and Amateur Sat-
ellite users to enable more effective use of the devices by pro-
viding better wordwide opportunities for telemetry recovery.

More details can be found at http://www.genso.org and

The project is being sponsored by member agencies of ISEB.

AMSAT-UK is participating in the project by providing equipment 
recommemdations, setting up reference ground stations, software for 
predictions and hardware driver.

[ANS thanks Dave, G4DPZ and ESA for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.05
Call For Articles - Brief Author's Guide to the AMSAT Journal

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.05
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.05

You are invited to share your amateur radio in space ideas and
experiences with fellow satellite operators.  The AMSAT Journal,
a bi-monthly publication of AMSAT-North America, brings you the
latest information in satellite mission planning, satellite-
related hardware design and construction, satellite-related soft-
ware design and implementation, and amateur radio earth station

There are plenty of opportunities for you to share your ideas and
experience across all levels.  Did you homebrew a successful
antenna?  Which setup did you use for your first satellite con-
tacts?  A brief write-up and photos are appreciated by everyone!

Do you have ideas about future amateur radio space missions?  Can
you describe unique aspects of a particular orbit and the equip-
ment needed to make it work?  Simply type out your ideas on your
computer and send them in.  Let the AMSAT Journal editorial team 
do the clean up and formatting for you.

Its easy to send your article to the AMSAT Journal e-mail box via
journal@amsat.org.  There is no need to do any special formatting
on your submission because the final layout format is driven by
the magazine's typesetting software.  All you need to include is:

+ Your text in MS-Word or plain text format
+ Graphics saved in separate files (jpg, gif, tiff)

(Actually, an MS-Word file with embedded graphics is the most diffi-
cult format to typeset.)

If you have any questions, or need some help feel free to contact
the editors at the AMSAT Journal at journal@amsat.org.  One of us
will get back to you as soon as we can. To assist with your planning
the submission deadline for articles is the 15th of each odd numbered

Ed Long, WA4SWJ Editor-in-Chief
Tim Lilley, N3TL Assistant Editor
Bill Hook, W3QBC Assistant Editor
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM Assistant Editor

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Journal for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-335.06
ARISS Status Report for the Week of November 24, 2008

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 335.06
November 30, 2008
BID: $ANS-335.06

1. Upcoming School Contacts

The Wairarapa Home School Association in Carterton, Wairarapa, 
New Zealand had an ARISS contact on Wednesday, November 26 via 
telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia.  Students learned about 
space exploration and the International Space Station to prepare 
for the contact. Age appropriate studies, exercises, and activ-
ities have been undertaken by all those who will be involved in 
the event which will include some of the parents.

An ARISS contact has been scheduled with St. Anthony's College in 
Shillong, India on Monday, December 1 at 08:04 UTC. Telebridge 
station WH6PN will facilitate the contact.

An ARISS contact has been approved for Alexandroupolis School of 
Special Education and 11th Alexandroupolis Primary School in Alex-
androupolis, Greece. The contact will take place on Monday, December 1.
Astronomy and amateur radio lectures have been given in preparation 
for the event.  Special attention has been given to the role of 
humanity and science and to the every day life of an astronaut. The 
ISS courses have been based on ESA's education tool "ISS Education 

Quispamsis Elementary and Middle Schools in Quispamsis, New Bruns-
wick, Canada have been scheduled for an ARISS contact on Thursday, 
December 4 at 18:02 UTC. Math, Social Studies, and Literacy Skills 
have been emphasized through the participation of students in this 
project.  Subjects of amateur radio, space, satellites and the ISS 
have been integrated into the science curriculum.  Quispamsis Ele-
mentary School (QES) and the Loyalist City Amateur Radio Club (LCARC) 
have participated in AMSAT-Echo-51 Satellite contacts for the past 
two years. The Quispamsis Middle School has an enrichment program.  
Two years of students who participated in the satellite contacts at 
QES are also involved with this program.  The amateur radio instal-
lation has been used to complement the enrichment program, and to 
demonstrate amateur radio to girl guides and scout troops. Children 
have created posters for placement in the school to publicize the 
event and local and national media coverage is anticipated.

2. First ARISS School Contact in New Zealand Successful

The first ARISS contact with a school in New Zealand took place on 
Thursday, November 20.  Students from St. Teresa's School in Wairarapa 
connected with the ISS via the telebridge station VK4KHZ in Australia.  
Astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT answered all questions from the 21 
students as an audience of 130 watched.  The audio was fed into the 
EchoLink AMSAT (101 377) and JK1ZRW (277 208) servers and received 7 
connections from stations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US  
There was extensive media coverage which included TVNZ, The Dominion 
Post, The Wellington Daily News and The Wairarapa Times Age. The con-
tact was first reported on the late news on TV One at 10.30 pm on 
Thursday evening. It was repeated on 4 different occasions during the 
Early Morning and Midday news on TV One and a 3-4 minute slot was given 
in the Friday 6 pm evening news. The New Zealand Education Gazette 
editor also asked for details regarding the contact, as it is being 
written up for the December issue.

The Dominion Post article has been posted on-line. 
See: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4767581a6479.html 

To view The Wairarapa Times Age story, go to: 

TVNZ One News coverage may be found here: 

3. ARISS Celebrates International Education Week

Students from Poolesville, Maryland, Raleigh, North Carolina and Quito, 
Ecuador participated in a joint ARISS contact on Friday, November 14 as
part of International Education Week (IEW).
The students, as well as family members and other guests, reconvened 
on Tuesday, November 18. Poolesville High School students visited the 
U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. where approximately 
150 students participated, and the North Carolina and Ecuador schools 
tied in via videoconference for another IEW session. Former astronaut 
Don Thomas gave a presentation on International Exploration, from the 
past to the present, and ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer gave an overview 
of amateur radio and the ARISS contact using video of the students 
from the contact event.  They joined GSFC Earth Observation expert 
Robert Cahalan in the expert panel session.  Amateur radio operators 
from Hawaii, Italy, China, England, Spain, and Canada participated 
through a teleconference, giving talks about amateur radio and the 
culture of their countries. Students participated in the sessions 
and asked questions in English, but also in foreign languages such 
as Spanish and German.

4. ARISS International Team Meeting Held

The monthly ARISS International Team teleconference was held on Tuesday, 
November 18.  Agenda items discussed included the next ARISS face to 
face meeting, SuitSat-2 status and on-orbit hardware. The minutes have 
been posted to the ARISS Web site.  
See: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arisstel2008-11-18.htm

[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI 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.  With that please
keep in mind that the preferred brand of coffee served aboard the Titanic 
was Sanka, of course.

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

Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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