AMSAT NEWS SERVICE ANS-010
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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 satellites.
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: [email protected]
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In this edition:
* Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 is go for launch * Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS * Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise * AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705 * AMSAT Ambassador Activities * AMSAT - Changes in Orbital Elements * ARISS News * Upcoming Satellite Operations * Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events * Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-010.01 ANS-010 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 010.01 From AMSAT HQ WASHINGTON, DC DATE YYY To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-010.01
Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne is go for launch with RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E cubesat
LauncherOne is scheduled for launch on Sunday, January 10th at 13:00 EST. The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 11 satellites including the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2 cubesat. RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies: Telemetry Downlink – 435.750 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink – 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink – 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz
See https://bit.ly/2XboF8H and https://bit.ly/3hLlDl3 for more information
[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM AMSAT News Editor, the AMSAT-UK editorial team, and SpaceLaunchNow for the above information]
Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS
The SpaceX Dragon that arrived at the International Space Station on the company's 21st resupply services mission for NASA is scheduled to depart on Monday, Jan. 11, loaded with 5,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo. NASA Television and the agency's website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 9 a.m. EST (1400z).
The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will execute the first undocking of a U.S. commercial cargo craft from the International Docking Adapter at 9:25 a.m. (1425z), with NASA astronaut Victor Glover, KI5BKC, monitoring aboard the station.
Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the station's space-facing port of the Harmony module, then initiate a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth's atmosphere. Dragon is expected to make its parachute-assisted splashdown around 9 p.m. (0200z on Jan. 12) the first return of a cargo resupply spacecraft in the Atlantic Ocean. The deorbit burn and splashdown will not air on NASA TV.
Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency's Kennedy Space Center Space Station Processing Facility, and back into the hands of the researchers. This shorter transportation time frame allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects. For splashdowns in the Pacific Ocean, quick-return science cargo is processed at SpaceX's facility in McGregor, Texas, and delivered to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Dragon launched Dec. 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station just over 24 hours later and achieving the first autonomous docking of a U.S. commercial cargo resupply spacecraft. Previous arriving cargo Dragon spacecraft were captured and attached to the space station by astronauts operating the station's robotic Canadarm2. The spacecraft delivered more than 6,400 pounds of hardware, research investigations and crew supplies.
The upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission contains double the powered locker availability of previous capsules, allowing for a significant increase in the research that can be carried back to Earth.
[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice. For details, please visit https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/
Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise
A portable satellite station for the QO-100 geostationary satellite (Es’hail-2) was commissioned on the icebreaker FS “Polarstern” at 14:23 UTC on December 27, 2020, with an initial QSO between DP0POL/mm and DK3ZL. A very special experiment, originated from an idea of Felix DL5XL and Charly DK3ZL. AMSAT-DL spontaneously supported this project by providing a complete 6 Watt transverter radio station, as well as a 75 cm dish on a tripod.
Charly DK3ZL first tested this system extensively via QO-100 at his home for a few days before he personally brought it to Felix DL5XL in Bremerhaven for handover on December 6, 2020. On the same day, all the equipment was loaded onto the research vessel Polarstern, while the entire crew remained in quarantine for almost 2 weeks. On 20 December 2020, the Polarstern then set sail from Bremerhaven and embarked on the long voyage to Antarctica, non-stop.
In agreement with the responsible board engineer of Polarstern, Jörg DJ0HO, who is responsible for the callsign DP0POL on Polarstern, the station could be set up in front of a container on the upper deck, depending on the weather situation (see cover picture). Theresa DC1TH and Felix DL5XL are thus able to make radio calls in their spare time during the several-week trip to Antarctica. After the premiere there was an impressive “pile-up” of up to 40 kHz on the NB transponder on the following days.
Additional information may be found at: https://bit.ly/3bjx1Um
[ANS thanks Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, President AMSAT-DL for the above information]
AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705
Lars Thunberg, Webmaster for AMSAT-SM has posted a satellite memory set for the new IC-705 QRP radio from ICOM. Lars has provided two .CSV files which may be merged into your existing memory groups as a dedicated group. You will need to use the CS-705 software from ICOM to perform the merge. Please carefully read the instructions that Lars gives at: https://bit.ly/3obNm0R The .CSV files in the EU/Swedish format and the North American/US format are posted at the above URL. Note from Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ. "I found the CS-705 format difficult to import into the RT Systems IC-705 Programmer. The easiest path would be to use Icom's CS-705 software to merge the memories into a new group, then to save the settings back into the RT Systems Programmer software. I have provided an import template for the RT Systems software to Lars. It will require some testing by others. Please contact me with your results or questions (kd4iz at arrl dot org). Lars has posted this file at the above link. Lars also has also provided a nice tutorial for users of the PstRotator Satellites Tracking Sofware at: https://bit.ly/2LewbNt Lars plans to update his memory settings file to add additional satellites in the future. [ANS thanks Lars Thunberg, SM0TGU, Webmaster AMSAT-SM and Jack Spitznagel, Editor AMSAT News for the above information]
Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows, and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space. https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/
AMSAT Ambassador Activities
AMSAT Ambassador and registered ARRL instructor Clint Bradford K6LCS has a couple of Zoom presentations lined up to begin 2021.In the first week of February, a private group “abbreviated” presentation will be given to a Southern CA ARES group. Clint will make a full presentation to The Villages Amateur Radio Club, The Villages, Florida on January 21, 2021 - 3PM Pacific, 6PM Eastern, via Zoom. The Villages Radio Club website may be found at: https://www.k4vrc.com/ Clint wishes to add some additional presentations to his schedule and he adds: "There are up-to-five spots available for you to attend! Just send me an email message (email address below) for details. Would a 90-minute informative, personalized-to-your-club, FUN presentation on working the “easy” satellites would be appropriate for your club? Send me an email message, and let’s book a date!"
[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS (k6lcs at ham-satdot info) for the above information]
Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition? Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff from our Zazzle store! 25% of the purchase price of each product goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear
Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 7, 2020
The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from this week's AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution: UBAKUSAT - NORAD Cat ID 43467 (Decayed on December 27, 2020 per Space-Track).
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]
Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.
Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School, Higashioumi, Japan, direct via 8N3SG The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB (***)Contact is go for: Wed 2021-01-13 10:38:29 UTC 26 deg (***)
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the schools/host organizations selected for the July-December 2021 contact window. A total of 7 of the submitted proposals during the recent proposal window have been accepted to move forward in the processes of planning to host a scheduled amateur radio contact with crew on the ISS. The primary goal of the ARISS program is to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities and raise their awareness of space communications, radio communications, space exploration, and related areas of study and career possibilities.
The ARISS program anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for the 7 US host organizations during the July through December 2021 time period. They are now at work completing an acceptable equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by the ARISS Technical Mentors, the final selected schools/organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities offered by NASA.
The following have been listed by Organization and Location: Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN Tarwater Elementary, Chandler, AZ Museum of Science & Technology, Syracuse , NY SpaceKids Global and Girl Scouts of Citrus, Winter Park, FL Civil Air Patrol – Illinois Wing, St Charles, IL Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC Savannah River Academy, Grovetown, GA
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N and Dave Jordan, AA4KN of ARISS for the above information]
AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur radio package, including two-way communication capability, to be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.
Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
Quick Hits: +Thursday 1/14/21 KF6JOQ "Planning to rove DM16 and maybe 16/15 line,Thursday 1/14/21. Will be FM and linear." +Watch for additional rove tweets from WL7T: @WL7T Is headed to Colorado for 3 weeks in January. "Will be in DM69 most of the time but might be able to be persuaded to go as far south as DM66. I am heading to Denver on Thursday (1/7) morning. I’ll be in DM79 for a few hours starting at 20z and will try working whatever I can as time permits. Will get to DM69 by Thursday evening and will get on the later passes as soon as I arrive."
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]
1/10/2021, from 1300Z-1700Z, N4DCW will be working satellite passes from West Virginia in EM88. Passes are listed at: https://t.co/YbgeMyu3Vv?amp=1 Michael asks: "Please, no blind calling (calling me before I have AOS). I will have *at least* 5-10 degree horizons in all directions. (It’s West Virginia!) Rest assured, when I can hear the satellite, I will let you know. :)" Rove updates can be found on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/MWimages
[ANS thanks Michael Whitman, N4DCW posting to AMSAT-BB for the above information]
Major Roves: There are no major roves scheduled as of 1/6/2021
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
None on the immediate schedule.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Reminders from Drew Glasbrenner about AO-92 and AO-91 - AMSAT-BB 1/6/2021: "Today I turned AO-92's transmitter off after resetting the min-max readings. We've been watching the battery minimum voltage decline steadily over the last few days, and needed to give it a rest for a bit. Immediately afterwards, there was an AO-91 pass. I turned on the transmitter, and a few moments later reset the min-max readings. The command team will monitor telemetry and determine if we can leave it on for a while. Please remember to not transmit to either satellite while it is in eclipse. If you do not use software that indicates eclipse state, just avoid the evening passes. We are in the endgame for both satellites, and your cooperation will give us more operational time over the coming months."
(ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations for the above information)
+ Alba Orbital, the space broker that manages the launch of AMSAT-EA (AMSAT Spain) EASAT-2 and Hades satellites, has informed us of a delay in the scheduled one for January 14, 2021 with SpaceX. "This delay has nothing to do with our satellites, or with Alba Orbital itself. It is attributable to Momentus, which acts as an integrator with SpaceX." "The delay means the next try would probably go to March, coinciding with the Starlink mission and being located in an estimated orbit between 450 and 550 km with an inclination of 53 degrees." "As for the satellites themselves, this should not be a major setback. AMSAT-EA does does not expect a significant drain on the batteries."
(ANS thanks Felix Paez, EA4GQS of AMSAT EA for the above information)
+ Roy Dean, K3RLD commented on LilacSat-2 operations: "Just a reminder for those who may not know, LilacSat-2 frequently turns on with a downlink about 12 kHz higher than it's published value. It seems to "jump around" sometimes between the two frequencies. Here is a good illustration of the the recently completed 21:55z pass:"
Roy continues: "It was just me and KC1OCA on this pass, but I don't think Michael could hear me. The downlink was very strong, so I suspect he was using a radio with no waterfall - which would make it difficult to know that you are getting in.
If anybody knows KC1OCA - please let him know that I have a recording of the pass if he would like (no email on qrz.com). Thanks!"
(ANS thanks Roy Dean, K3RLD for the above information)
+ Rocket Lab announces "Another One Leaves The Crust" launch window: The mission will launch a single communication microsatellite for OHB Group that will enable specific frequencies to support future services from orbit. The launch will be Rocket Lab’s 18th Electron mission and was procured for OHB Group through OHB Cosmos International Launch Service GmbH, the launch service division of OHB Group. OHB Cosmos is responsible for launching the spacecraft built by the Group's satellite manufacturers based in Germany, Sweden, and Czech Republic. The mission will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula
(ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC of RocketLab for the above information)
+ A Japanese company and Kyoto University have joined forces to develop what they hope will be the world's first satellites made out of wood by 2023. Sumitomo Forestry said it has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space. The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth. Space junk is becoming an increasing problem as more satellites are launched into the atmosphere. Wooden satellites would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground when they plunge back to Earth. (ANS thanks BBC News for the above information)
+ Want to add a bit of space to your Google Calendar? CNET has launched the SPACE CALENDAR (all caps for dramatic cosmic effect), covering all the big rocket launches, mesmerizing meteor showers, epic eclipses and even an assortment of scientific milestones. The Google Calendar is constantly updating, and can be added to your existing Google app at https://bit.ly/38lfWHC For other calendars, such as Outlook, a static computer file of dates as they are presently scheduled can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3hQm6T2
(ANS thanks CNET.com 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 Store.
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 student rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status. Contact AMSAT for additional student membership information at info at amsat dot org.
73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space, This week's ANS Editor, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ kd4iz at frawg dot org