AMSAT NEWS SERVICE ANS-055
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 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. February 24, 2013 To All RADIO AMATEURS 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 used.
Launch time is 12:25 GMT 25th Feb 2013 and has been cleared by the Launch Authorization Board (LAB) for PSLV - C20
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 ([email protected]) 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. "[email protected] 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 Canada).
[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 [email protected]
[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.
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 [email protected]
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 information.
73, This week's ANS Editor, Lee McLamb, KU4OS ku4os at amsat dot org