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:
* ARISS School Proposal Window for the United States is now Open
* Amateur Radios on ISS to be off in support of upcoming spacewalks
* SSTV Activity from the ISS is scheduled February 22-23 - Update
* Astronaut Ham Renews License, Plus Four New Astronaut Hams
* John Grunsfeld, KC5ZTF, named to Astronaut Hall of Fame
* JPL Plans 2401 MHz Lunar Ranging Experiment March 3
* New Educational Materials Available at NASA.gov
* Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-053.01
ANS-053 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 053.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE February 22,
To All RADIO AMATEURS
ARISS School Proposal Window for the United States is now Open
February 17, 2015 - ARISS is now accepting proposals for U.S. schools
wishing to schedule contacts between their students and the
International Space Station for the next cycle. Details on
submitting proposals can be found below in the attached ARRL News
Message to US Educators
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Call for Proposals
Proposal Window February 15 - April 15, 2015
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program
is seeking formal and informal education institutions and
organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur
Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates
that the contact would be held between *January 1, 2016 and June 30,
2016*. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact
contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS
is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of
participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed
The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2015.
Proposal information and documents can be found at
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate
in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are
approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students and educators
to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.
An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via
Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space
station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford
education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from
astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn
about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an
opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless
technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human
spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the
ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate
changes in contact dates and times.
Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space
agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe sponsor this educational
opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to
enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students
around the world via Amateur Radio. In the US, the program is managed
by AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and ARRL (American
Radio Relay League) in partnership with NASA.
Interested parties can find more information about the program at
For proposal information and more details such as expectations,
proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of
Information Sessions go to www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact
Please direct any questions to ariss(a)arrl.org.
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
Amateur radios on ISS to be off in support of upcoming spacewalks
Astronauts Wilmore, Virts and Cristoforetti will be performing three
spacewalks over the next few weeks and will impact some of the
amateur radio operations on the International Space Station (ISS).
Spacewalks have been scheduled for February 21, 24 and March 1 and
will have the amateur radios turned off to assure the safety of the
crewmembers working outside of the ISS. The first spacewalk is now
set to begin Saturday at 7:10 a.m. EST with NASA TV live coverage
starting at 6 a.m. The second and third spacewalks are planned for
Feb. 25 and March 1, both beginning at 7:10 a.m.
The announcement can be reviewed:
The series of spacewalks will prepare cables and communications gear
for new docking ports that will allow future crews launched from
Florida on U.S. commercial spacecraft to dock to the space station.
The spacewalks will be the 185th, 186th and 187th in support of space
station assembly and maintenance.
There is always a possibility that the schedule for the EVAs could
change. The amateur radios will be turned off to accommodate any
adjustments to the EVA schedule.
[ANS thanks NASA, Kenneth - N5VHO for the above information]
SSTV Activity from the ISS is scheduled February 22-23 - Update
Continuous SSTV transmission was planned from Saturday 21 February
at about 10.00 UTC till Monday 23 February 21.30 UTC.
Due to onboard activities, the transmission is differed.
It will *possibly* take place beginning Sunday February 22 after
10:00 UTC and end Monday February 23 at the crew's sleep time.
It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent on 145.800 MHz
FM, using the SSTV mode PD180, with 3 minutes off periods between
One of the photos will show the commemorative diploma created by
PZK, the national Polish Amateur Radio society, on the occasion of
the 80th anniversary of the birth of first cosmonaut J.A.Gagarine.
More about this diploma in due time.
The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in
the Russian Service Module.
The pictures to be downlinked will be Series 1 images allowing the
world-wide community of hams and schools to receive previously sent
pictures, but replacing one with new additional image added specially
for this event.
The transmit frequency will be 145.800 MHz.
Received images can be uploaded to the ARISS Image gallery found at
The ARISS team is developing plans for transmitting new images to
space enthusiasts around the world in upcoming months.
*Editor's note: Adjustments to the the proposed EVAs mentioned in
the previous story could have an impact on the above schedule.
[ANS thanks Gaston, ON4WF, for the above information]
Astronaut Ham Renews License, Plus Four New Astronaut Hams
Michael Fincke, KE5AIT recently renewed his Amateur Radio license
through February 18, 2025. Fincke served on Expedition 9 (April 18 to
October 23, 2004), Expedition 18 (October 12, 2008 to April 8, 2009),
and STS-134 (May 16 to June 1, 2011). He currently holds the American
record for the most time in space, 381.6 days.
Fincke's biography can be viewed at:
Four astronauts recently passed their Technician Class license exams.
Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG
Jack Fischer, KG5FYH
David Saint-Jacques, KG5FYI
Kathleen Rubins, PHD., KG5FYJ
Pesquet was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. He joined ESA
in September 2009 and completed basic training in November 2010. He
will be leaving our planet for six months November 2016 as a flight
engineer for Expeditions 50 and 51, returning in May 2017.
Pesquet's biography can be viewed at:
Fischer was selected in July 2009 as a member of the 20th NASA
astronaut class. He completed astronaut candidate training in July
Fischer's biography can be viewed at:
Saint-Jacques was selected in May 2009 by the Canadian Space Agency
(CSA) and has moved to Houston to be one of 14 members of the 20th
NASA astronaut class.
Saint-Jacques' biography can be viewed at:
Dr. Rubins was selected in July 2009 as 1 of 14 members of NASA
Astronaut Group 20. She has been selected as flight engineer-2 for
ISS Expedition 48/49 launching on Soyuz TMA-20M in May 2016
Dr. Rubins' biography can be viewed at:
[ANS thanks Kenneth N5VHO, NASA, ESA and CSA for the above
John Grunsfeld, KC5ZTF, named to Astronaut Hall of Fame
Astronaut and Amateur Radio operator John Grunsfeld, KC5ZTF, will be
installed into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in May of 2015, along with
Rhea Seddon, Steven Lindsey, and Kent Rominger. They join the likes
of previous inductees including Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, and
John Young in a ceremony on May 30 at Kennedy Space Center's Visitor
Each year the selection process is managed by the Foundation, and
inductees are selected from a pool of nominations, with the finalists
selected by a panel of Hall of Fame astronauts, NASA leaders, flight
directors, historians and journalists.
According to Collect Space, "To be eligible, astronauts must be U.S
citizens and have made their first spaceflight at least 17 years
prior to their induction year. In addition, nominees need to be a
NASA-trained commander, pilot or mission specialist who orbited the
Earth at least once."
The 2015 inductees are the 14th class, and combined the group has
flown a total of 18 shuttle missions over 26 years. With the addition
of this year's inductees, the total number of astronauts admitted to
the Hall of Fame will be 91.
John Grunsfeld, KC5ZTF, current NASA associate administrator for
science, is a veteran of five spaceflights, and logged over 58 days
in space with 60 hours of EVA time spread over eight different
First flying in 1995 as part of STS-67, a dedicated astronomy
mission, Grunsfeld served as a mission specialist. Launching from
Kennedy Space Center aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-67 was
the second on three flights for the Astro 2 observatory -- an
ultraviolet telescope. During this record-setting 16-day mission,
the crew conducted 'round the clock observations of faint
astronomical objects as well as the polarization of UV light from
His second flight, STS-81 was the fifth shuttle flight to dock with
the Mir space station. Launching aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis,
Grunsfeld served as a flight engineer during this ten day mission.
His next three flights, STS-103, STS-109, STS-125 would be servicing
missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Over the course of
these three mission, and several spacewalks, Grunsfeld helped upgrade
and install new cameras, such as the wide-field camera on the
telescope, ensuring it would be functional for years to come. His
final flight was also the final flight to Hubble.
During his last spacewalk, Grunsfeld said this about the mission,
"We've been on a tremendous adventure, and been a part of a
challenging mission. Hubble isn't just another satellite, it's
humanity's quest for knowledge."
When asked about his experience as an astronaut and what it felt
like to be nominated, Grunsfeld said, "The biggest honor is to be an
astronaut. It is such a tremendous privilege to be able to represent
humankind in our efforts to explore space."
[ANS thanks Spaceflight Insider for the above information]
JPL Plans 2401 MHz Lunar Ranging Experiment March 3
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) will transmit a narrow band signal at
about 2041 MHz illuminating a spot on the moon (probably centered on
Tycho) about 1000km in diameter early in the morning of 3 March
between about 0630 to 0900 UTC.
JPL will be transmitting about 20kW from a 34 m aperture. They are
planning to have three distinct transmission modes, two will be a CW
carrier, and a third mode including a PN ranging code on the signal,
probably changing every 45 minutes.
The signal should be easy to detect with even a small receive
antenna (at least the narrow band signal).
If you have a wideband recorder, the ranging code should be easy to
recover with post processing. Standard ranging code as defined in 810-
As with all PN ranging done by the Deep Space Network, the PN code
rate is coherent to the transmit carrier, probably 1.9931640625 MHz
(or half that) in this case.
The current status of the NASA Deep Space Network is displayed
[ANS thanks Jim Lux via amateur-DSN(a)yahoogroups.com for the above
New Educational Materials Available at NASA.gov
Are you looking for a lesson plan that combines mathematics and
space science? Do you need a set of images of objects in our solar
system? Or maybe you're hunting for hands-on engineering projects to
challenge your students. NASA Education has you covered!
The following items are now available for downloading.
NASA Education Brochure -- All Educators
NASA Education has a vision to advance science, technology,
engineering and mathematics education using NASA's unique
capabilities. This brochure explains the four initiatives for
achieving that vision. Learn how you can get involved.
Space Math VIII Educator Guide - Grades 5-12
Students apply problem-solving, algebra, geometry or trigonometry
skills to a selection of 49 real-world problems involving Earth and
space science. Each word problem includes background information. One-
page teachers' answer keys accompany the one-page assignments.
Space Math IX Educator Guide -- Grades 5-12
This collection of activities is intended for students looking for
additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science
The subjects of the problems include spacecraft, rovers and
meteorites. Mathematical topics include algebra, geometry and
calculus. Each word problem has background information. One-page
teachers' answer keys accompany the one-page assignments.
Our Solar System Lithograph Set -- All Grade Levels
This lithograph set features images of the planets, sun, asteroids,
comets, meteors and meteorites, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, and
moons of the solar system. General information, significant dates,
interesting facts and brief descriptions of the images are included.
NASA's BEST Next Generation Activity Guide - Technology Demonstration
Missions - Grades 5-8
This activity guide includes nine hands-on engineering projects
focusing on the engineering design process and real-world science,
technology and mathematics.
Year of the Solar System -- Real World Math -- Grades 6-12
This collection of activities allows students to use mathematical
concepts from fractions to calculus as they learn about asteroids,
comets, planets, craters, planetary rings and many more space science
Looking for more?
NASA's new Educational Resource Search Tool can help you find lesson
plans, posters, educator guides and other materials to supplement
your science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum.
Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and
To check out the new search tool and begin your educational resource
hunt, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education/materials/
[ANS thanks NASA Education Express Message -- Feb. 19, 2015 for the
Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!
At the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium AMSAT Vice President - Engineering
Jerry Buxton announced the plan for the next generation of AMSAT
satellites. "The door is open for everyone, to submit their ideas.
AMSAT Engineering has a long term strategy and this is the first
The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals
* Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications
* Enhance international goodwill
* Grow and sustain a skilled pool of amateur radio satellite engineers
* Establish and maintain partnerships with educational institutions
* Develop a means to use hardware common to all opportunities
With respect to the last goal Jerry said "Within the bounds of the
type of satellite it takes to achieve any of the various orbit
opportunities, let's consider in those plans the possibility of
developing a platform that can suit any and all orbits. Perhaps a
modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we did in Fox-1, which gives
great flexibility in building and flying different sizes and
configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware
Submissions should be thorough and contain the following
information. The purpose of the proposal is not just in suggesting
an idea; being an all-volunteer team AMSAT needs your help in
carrying out the idea.
Implementation - CubeSat platform
Cost - volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units
Launch - how does it get to orbit
Strategy - how it fits into AMSAT's Engineering long term strategy
As mentioned above the idea should be based on the CubeSat platform.
This is the standard through which we will look for launches in the
In considering your proposal, Jerry encourages you to contact him,
(n0jy(a)amsat.org using Subject: Design the Next AMSAT Satelleite), for
more details on the criteria.
A guidebook to the criteria is now available for download at
In particular, if you plan to include a university as a partner to
provide experiments or other support and you are not representing
that university, please contact Jerry for assistance in working with
our existing partners or establishing a new partnership.
"Being amateur radio operators, it is easy for us to fall into a
particular trap because of our history of communicating with other
amateurs throughout the world" says Jerry. "Specifically, most people
who are not already involved in the world of satellite technology are
unaware of or simply overlook the provisions of the current ITAR and
soon to be EAR export rules particularly with regard to deemed
exports which requires governmental permission to discuss satellite
projects with foreign nationals."
While all amateurs are invited to submit ideas, U.S. amateurs must
take particular care of they choose to become involved in a
collaboration which includes individuals from other countries. It is
permissible to receive ideas and proposals from outside the U.S., but
it is not permitted for U.S. Persons to export or share design ideas
with other countries unless they have taken the proper steps to
insure compliance with ITAR and deemed export rules.
Additionally, those wishing to work on proposals should use care in
presenting themselves in their contacts. While the goal is for AMSAT
to build and launch the satellite, it is not an AMSAT project until
it is accepted by the AMSAT Board of Directors. It is acceptable to
represent yourself as members of a project team that plans to submit
a proposal to AMSAT for a future satellite project, as the AMSAT name
is well known.
"It is not our intention that ideas be submitted to AMSAT-NA which
would be more appropriately handled by an AMSAT organization in a
country where AMSAT is established. AMSAT-NA is seeking ideas from
amateurs in North America and will certainly consider ideas from
amateurs in countries which do not have an established AMSAT
organization or relationships with an existing AMSAT organization."
The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2015. After the submission
date the ideas will be screened for completeness and then reviewed by
a board consisting of the AMSAT Engineering Team, AMSAT Senior
Officer and Board of Directors representatives, and aerospace
industry members. The review board may modify or consolidate ideas
and will consider which meet the criteria to become a project based
on feasibility, cost, and the ability to bring value to the amateur
satellite community. The review process is expected to be completed
in September 2015.
For those ideas selected to become a project which satisfy the
requirements for an ELaNa launch, the idea authors will be asked to
work with the AMSAT Engineering Team on an ELaNa proposal.
The Engineering Team will then work on the details of execution for
the selected project(s) and present a proposal to the AMSAT Board of
Directors in October 2015 for final approval to begin work. Once
approved, any ELaNa proposals will be submitted in November 2015 and
the project(s) will move forward.
Now is the time for YOU to begin working on the next AMSAT satellite!
[ANS thanks AMSAT Engineering for the above information]
+ A Successful contact was made between Scuola Secondaria di Primo
Grado "Bachelet", Cernusco sul naviglio, Italy and Astronaut Samantha
Cristoforetti IZØUDF using callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2015-02-
05 10:37 UTC and lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was
telebridged via W6SRJ. ARISS Mentor was IZ2GOJ.
+ A Successful contact was made between Scuola Media Locatelli-
Oriani, Milano, Italy and Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZØUDF
using callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2015-02-05 10:37 UTC and
lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was telebridged via
W6SRJ. ARISS Mentor was IZ2GOJ.
+ A Successful contact was made between W.T. Sampson (DoD school),
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZØUDF
using callsign IR0ISS. The contact began 2015-02-11 15:58 UTC and
lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was telebridged via
IK1SLD. ARISS Mentor was AA4KN.
+ A Successful contact was made between Council Rock High School-
South, Holland, PA and Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZØUDF using
Callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2015-02-19 18:18:27 UTC and lasted
about nine and a half minutes. Contact was direct via K3DN.
ARISS Mentor was KB9UPS.
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
An ARISS contact is planned with Riversink Elementary School,
Crawfordville, FL. The contact will be direct via K4WAK The ISS
callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The scheduled astronaut
is Samantha Cristoforetti IZØUDF
Contact is scheduled for: Wed 2015-02-25 16:09:15 UTC
The contact should be audible over the eastern U.S and adjacent
areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz
downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.
Riversink Elementary School is a K-5 public school operating within
the Wakulla County School District. It is a Title I school located
in rural Crawfordville, Florida. Riversink first opened its doors in
August of 2008. Teachers at Riversink believe that every student
will reach his or her highest potential in a positive learning
environment that encourages students to be respectful, responsible,
and ready to learn. Students at Riversink are highly successful due,
in part, to the collaborative efforts of the faculty and staff, along
with strong parental support. The student body is made up of 470
students. The school has 37 teachers. Riversink's mission is to
facilitate the development of all students to their fullest potential
by providing research-based instructional strategies and promoting a
love of learning and community pride in a safe, positive
A team of science and technology students and their teachers from
Council Rock South High School, Richboro, PA will be speaking
directly with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) as
it flies over the Philadelphia area. A group of experienced
operators from the Warminster Amateur Radio Club will be at the
school to assist the teachers and students as they use Ham Radio
technology to make the contact.
The school will be using a recently donated radio system and
antennas to participate in the ARISS program (Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station) in which students talk directly with the
astronauts and ask questions about living in space while the
astronauts are actually there.
Science teachers Jerry Fetter and Jeff Warmkessel have been with
NASA's NEAT program (Network of Educator-Astronaut Teachers) since
2004 and got the idea of applying to the ARISS program when Fetter's
Astronomy classes were talking about living in space. "They kept
asking questions which only astronauts would know how to answers",
said Fetter. "I remember thinking how great it would be if we could
just ask them directly. To be able to ask the astronauts while they
fly overhead is beyond my wildest plans!"
Students in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
programs at Council Rock South High School have spent time
considering which questions are important enough to ask an astronaut
in the short amount of time available (approximately 12 minutes) as
the ISS's flight path crosses over the area.
Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time
1. Dominic (5): When you come back to Earth after being on the ISS,
are you able to walk or does it take time to get used to it?
2. Kyle (4): Are there laws in space?
3. Amelia (3): Other than floating, how is living in space
different than living on the earth?
4. Brooks (2): How far have you traveled around the earth?
5. Makayla (1): How do you get to be an astronaut?
6. Jabari (K): What can you do in your free time on the space
7. Addison (K): How do you sleep in space?
8. Hannah (1): How long does it take to get to the ISS?
9. Chace (2): How do you power the ISS?
10. Payton (3): Has the space station ever been hit or almost hit by
11. Jasmine (4): What happens if you get sick in space?
12. Harley (5): When you sweat on the space station, does it stick
to your body or does it float away?
13. Dominic (5): What has been the most memorable moment you've had
as an astronaut?
14. Kyle (4): What time zone do you use in space?
15. Amelia (3): What kind of work are you doing on the space station?
16. Brooks (2): What is it like to exercise on the space station?
17. Makayla (1): How do you eat in space?
18. Jabari (K) How does the space station move?
19. Addison (K): What do you miss the most about being on Earth?
20. Hannah (1): What belongings can you take with you to the space
21. Chace (2): What kinds of experiments are you working on?
22. Payton (3): When you grow plants in space, how do you water them?
23. Jasmine (4): How do you communicate with your family?
24. Harley (5): How does it feel to be the first Italian woman in
[ANS thanks ARISS, Charlie AJ9N and David AA4KN for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Hams in Space
Since the earliest days of the Space Shuttle, many astronauts have
become licensed radio amateurs to communicate to stations on earth
while traveling in space and on the International Space Station.
For a list of astronauts who hold or have held an amateur radio
+ The January/February 2015 AMSAT Journal has been mailed. Look for
your copy if you haven't already received it.
+ Dayton will host the 2015 AMSAT Space Symposium October 16-18 at
the Crowne Plaza in downtown Dayton. More information will be
posted on the AMSAT website www.amsat.org
as it becomes available.
+ A great Russian 435-438 MHz WebSDR with labels for satellite
frequencies is now available on line at: http://websdr.r4uab.ru/
+ Need a 2015 calendar? How about one with out-of-this-world images?
Download the ?#?ISS calendar here:
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,
EMike McCardel, KC8YLD
kc8yld at amsat dot org