AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space
including 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
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org
publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org
In this edition:
* Planning Satellite Operations During the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium
* Plan Ahead for New Years AMSAT CW Activity Day on the Satellites
* Chinese Space Station Visible
* Measuring Sky Angles With Your Hand
* Falcon 9 Static Fire Anomaly Update
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-269.01
ANS-269 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 269.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE September 25, 2016
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Planning Satellite Operations During the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium
If you are attending the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium at Sea, Carnival
Cruise Line policy allows amateur radio operation as specified in its
corporate policy. Please review the FAQs Restricted Items List.
For details see:
So if you are planning to attend the Symposium and wish to bring radios
to operate, please remember that the Carnival Liberty is registered in
Panama. US licensed amateur operators wishing to operate at sea must
obtain an International Amateur Radio Permit (IARP) from the ARRL. A good
rule to apply is a minimum of 30-45 days in advance.
Details are available at the following site:
To file the permit you will need to provide the following:
1. Completed and Signed IARP Application Form for US Amateur Radio Operators
2. Photocopy of the applicant's US FCC Amateur license
3. Photocopy of the applicant's legal photo-ID
4. A 1.5x1.5 inch color or black/white Passport size photo of the Applicant
5. Application Fee payable to "ARRL VEC" by check, money order, or
Submit applications and supporting documents to:
ARRL - VEC Department
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111 USA
Questions can be directed to:
(860)594-0300 (weekdays 8AM to 5PM ET)
Of all the application items, #4 seems to be the most difficult to obtain.
AMSAT Vice President, Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY provided the
Did you know that you can use the U.S Department of State website
to crop your own photo to use with the application?
Look on the right side of the page under "Already Have a Photo?"
It lets you pick a photo you have on your PC, and save it back to your
PC. You can then print it to send with the application.
(Of course, you'll have to figure out how to get it 1.5 x 1.5 inches, I
A reminder that you would need a Reciprocal Permit issued by The Republic of
Mexico to operate in Mexico and operating from Mexican Islands is strictly
Obtaining can be a time consuming and expensive procedure for the one day
in port, see
See you on-board or on the air!
(ANS thanks Joe Spier, K6WAO, AMSAT Vice President, Educational Relations
for the above information)
Plan Ahead for New Years AMSAT CW Activity Day on the Satellites
Thanks to all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night 2016, held in
memory of Ben Stevenson, W2BXA. For 25 years, AMSAT has sponsored SKN on
OSCAR, and it's been my pleasure to conduct this event.
While Morse as a license qualification has gone the way of the spark
am pleased to see that amateur CW activity is as popular as ever. Straight
keys and "bugs", however, have found a niche primarily with the boat anchor
crowd, and AMSAT's insistence on their use in OSCAR SKN has held down
participation. Similar considerations have led ARRL to broaden its annual HF
event to include all forms of CW, even computer-generated. The idea is to
encourage everyone to enjoy CW operation, no matter how they choose to do
it. We agree 100%.
So, in with the new: AMSAT CW Activity Day.
As with the old SKN, it will be a fun event, not a contest, and will run for
24 hours on January 1, 2017 (UTC). All forms of CW are welcome. Since it is
not a contest, there is no required exchange. A QSO is a QSO. Working the
same station on more than one satellite is permitted.
Instead of submitting Best Fist nominations, all participants are asked to
post their results, including "Soapbox" comments, to AMSAT-BB. Please
include the satellites you used, and the number of CW QSOs you had on each.
While it is not necessary to post your full log, you may do so if you wish.
CU on CW!
[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, for the above information]
Chinese Space Station Visible
Two weeks ago, on Sept. 15th, China launched a new space station to
Tiangong-2. The 10-meter long spacecraft is only a fraction the size of
but there is room inside for two tiakonauts (Chinese astronauts) and
science experiments. And in dark skies, it can be seen with the naked
Sept. 20th, Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario, Canada, video-recorded the
Tiangong-2 passing by the bright star Zeta Ophiuchi:
"At the time the space station was passing the star, its magnitude was
estimates Fetter."It got into the 4th magnitude range just before it
into Earth's shadow. So it is a naked-eye object, albeit barely."
Tiangong-2 is the second of three prototype space stations China plans
as the country builds toward a Mir-class outpost in the next decade.
Tiangong-2's predecessor, Tiangong-1, is still in orbit and expected to
in Earth's atmosphere sometime in 2017.
Next month, China will launch a crew of two to inhabit the new space
approximately 30 days. While on board, they will test Tiangong-2's life
system, and possibly conduct experiments in brain-machine interfacing,
clock navigation, and quantum communications.
Ready to see for yourself? Tiangong-2 flyby predictions are available from
Heavens Above. "Use the Satellite Database and search for object '41765'
'OBJECT A,'" advises Fetter. "That's how to find it."
[ANS thanks Spaceweather.com
for the above information]
Measuring Sky Angles With Your Hand
Have you ever worked portable and wondered just how close you were
antenna in reference to the necessary altitude and azimuth to be on
You can use your hands to measure degrees of the sky. There is a method
in astronomy for measuring sky angles. Here’s how they describe it on
"Your hands and fingers are a remarkably accurate (and convenient) measuring
tool. When you hold your hand at arm’s length, you can estimate angles like
Stretch your thumb and little finger as far from each other as you
span from tip to tip is about 25 degrees
Do the same with your index finger and little finger. The span is
Clench your fist at arms length, and hold it with the back of your hand
facing you. The width is 10 degrees
Hold your three middle fingers together; they span about 5 degrees
The width of your little finger at arm’s length is 1 degree."
[ANS thanks oneminuteastronomer.com
and make zone.com
for the above
Falcon 9 Static Fire Anomaly Update
Three weeks ago, SpaceX experienced an anomaly at our Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This resulted in the loss of one of our
Falcon 9 rockets and its payload.
The Accident Investigation Team (AIT), composed of SpaceX, the FAA,
U.S. Air Force, and industry experts, are currently scouring through
approximately 3,000 channels of engineering data along with video, audio and
imagery. The timeline of the event is extremely short – from first signs
anomaly to loss of data is about 93 milliseconds or less than 1/10th of a
second. The majority of debris from the incident has been recovered,
photographed, labeled and catalogued, and is now in a hangar for
use during the investigation.
At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and
suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the
liquid oxygen tank took place. All plausible causes are being tracked in an
extensive fault tree and carefully investigated. Through the fault tree
review process, we have exonerated any connection with last year’s CRS-7
The teams have continued inspections of LC-40 and the surrounding
While substantial areas of the pad systems were affected, the Falcon Support
Building adjacent to the pad was unaffected, and per standard procedure was
unoccupied at the time of the anomaly. The new liquid oxygen farm – e.g. the
tanks and plumbing that hold our super-chilled liquid oxygen – was
and remains in good working order. The RP-1 (kerosene) fuel farm was also
largely unaffected. The pad’s control systems are also in relatively good
SpaceX’s other facilities, from the Payload Processing Facility at the
the pad and hangar at LC-39A, are located several miles from LC-40 and were
unaffected as well. Work continues at Pad 39A in preparation for bringing it
online in November. The teams have been in contact with Cape Canaveral and
Kennedy Space Center partners and neighbors and have found no evidence
leaving the immediate area of LC-40.
At SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, manufacturing and production is
continuing in a methodical manner, with teams continuing to build engines,
tanks, and other systems as they are exonerated from the investigation.
will work to resume our manifest as quickly as responsible once the
cause of the
anomaly has been identified by the Accident Investigation Team. Pending the
results of the investigation, return to flight is anticipated as early
[ANS thanks SpaceX for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Bruce Paige, KK5DO, reported that Randy, WI7P (ex N7SFI) has been
uploading many of his old logs to LoTW. As a result, if you are a LoTW user
you might find credit for many of his grid operations. Randy was one of the
first ones to work satellites from a grid other than his home grid with more
than 100 grids. One time he was maritime mobile, kayaking on a river. He
also operated from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Park City Utah.
+ Damon, WA4FHN, and the Starcommgroup satellite operators club congratulate
Fernando Ramirez-Ferrer, NP4JV for earning the Got Grids Award #17. Please
go to http://www.starcommgroup.org
for more about the Starcommgroup's free
awards to satellite operators
+ The KO4BB manual repository includes a fairly large list of downloadable
test equipment and ham radio manuals. See:
+ Ckayton Coleman, W5PFG, will operate from the Blackstone River Valley
Historical Park (NPOTA HP49) on Monday, September 26 in grid FN42.
All times given are in UTC
SO-50 20:36 - 20:48
XW-2F 21:46 - 21:53
XW-2C 21:53 - 21:59
SO-50 22:19 - 22:28 (possibly)
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
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