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ANS-147 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT news - Sat, 05/25/2024 - 18:00

AMSAT News Service ANS-147
May 26, 2024

In this edition:

  • Hamvention 2024 a Success for AMSAT
  • Project OSCAR Discontinues Operations, Donates Remaining Funds to AMSAT
  • Nominations Open for 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 24, 2024
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 https://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

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

Save the Date! Symposium 2024 Photo by Robert DuBois

Mark your calendar now for the 2024 AMSAT Symposium,

October 25-27, 2024 at the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Rocky Point Waterfront in Tampa, Florida!

Watch for announcements concerning further details as plans are formulated. Hamvention 2024 a Success for AMSAT

Hamvention 2024 was held this past weekend at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, OH. It was a busy weekend at the AMSAT booth as visitors joined or renewed their memberships, learned about satellite operation, checked out our Engineering and CubeSat Simulator displays, and purchased items from AMSAT’s store.

The first event of the weekend was AMSAT’s informal “Dinner at Tickets” at Tickets Pub & Eatery in Fairborn, OH, on Thursday evening. Approximately 20 AMSAT members and visitors attended this informal dinner and enjoyed great conversation about amateur radio satellites.

 

 

 

Friday was a very rainy day early in the morning and while this prevented the setup of our normal satellite demonstrations, booth traffic was heavy as visitors sought refuge by visiting the inside vendor exhibits. Alan Johnston, KU2Y, introduced his CubeSatSim Kits available for purchase in the education section of the AMSAT booth and sold out of all the kits. More kits will be available to purchase from the AMSAT Store in the near future. Details about the CubeSatSim Kits can be found on the AMSAT website. The Engineering section also saw a lot of traffic as visitors viewed the displays and had conversation with AMSAT’s Engineering team. One of the new items on display was a 3D printed model of the subsystems within the GOLF-TEE satellite. On Sunday afternoon, the ARRL Youth Rally attended a demonstration of a pass of Tevel-3 at the AMSAT demo area.

The AMSAT and ARISS forums were held on Saturday afternoon. Archived videos of each forum presentation can be found on YouTube, courtesy of DARA:

AMSAT: Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

AMSAT GOLF 2024

AMSAT CubeSat Simulator

AMSAT Youth Initiative

ARISS: 40 Years of Amateur Radio in Space

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Hamvention Team for the above information – photos courtesy Keith Baker, KB1SF]

Project OSCAR Discontinues Operations, Donates Remaining Funds to AMSAT

Project OSCAR, the organization responsible for the construction and launch of the first amateur radio satellite, OSCAR 1 in 1961, as well as OSCARs 2, 3 and 4, has discontinued operations and donated its remaining funds to AMSAT.

Project OSCAR Inc. was originally formed to investigate the possibility of putting an amateur satellite in orbit. The first amateur radio satellite, OSCAR-1 orbited the earth for 22 days, transmitting the “HI” greeting in Morse Code. Since that beginning, the group had focused on supporting and promoting amateur radio satellite related projects.

In addition to donating its remaining funds to AMSAT, Project OSCAR also granted AMSAT ownership to the future rights to the term “OSCAR” or Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. Ever since the launch of OSCAR I in 1961, it has been traditional for amateur radio satellites to carry the name OSCAR after their launch and activation in orbit. For several decades, AMSAT has administered the numbering of OSCAR satellites at Project OSCAR’s request. 121 satellites have received OSCAR designations.

AMSAT is greatly appreciative of all of those who have been involved in Project OSCAR over the past 64 years. The large and growing amateur satellite community owes its existence to those early pioneers who decided that amateur radio had a place in space and made it happen. AMSAT is committed to upholding the legacy of those early pioneers and Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

[ANS thanks Project OSCAR and AMSAT for the above information]

Nominations Open for 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election

AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2024 and will be filled by this year’s election:

  • Mark Hammond, N8MH
  • Bruce Paige, KK5DO
  • Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be elected for one-year terms. A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators’ names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the AMSAT Secretary:

Jeff Davis, KE9V
PO Box 11
Yorktown, IN 47396

AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the form specified by the Secretary who has elected to accept written nomination materials via postal mail or in electronic form, including email or electronic image of a paper document. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted.

Email nominations may be sent to jdavis [at] amsat [dot] org.

No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qualifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as petitions are received and will notify candidates whether their nominations are in order by the end of June.

[ANS thanks Jeff Davis, KE9V, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]

The 2024 Coins Are Here Now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus.
Join the AMSAT President’s Club today!

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 24, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated Thursday evenings around 2300 UTC, or more frequently if new high interest satellites are launched. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/

The following satellite has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

OPS-SAT NORAD Cat ID 44878 Decayed from orbit on or about 23 May 2024

[ANS thanks Thian Golda, KO1MAN, New England Sci-Tech Orbital Analyst, for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack from the
AMSAT Store! When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

ARISS News

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.

Children’s Technopark “Quantorium”, Obninsk, Russia, direct via R3XDC 

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Aleksandr Grebyonkin RZ3DSE
The ARISS mentor is RV3DR

Contact is go for Mon 2024-05-27 14:07 UTC (***)

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down),  If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations Quick Hits:

On 30th May I will operate as G0ABI/P from the Lizard Peninsula Cornwall IN79, this is a very exposed area and is subject to extreme weather at times so fingers crossed.

Starting at 02:00 the first 2 passes of IO-117 will be from the roadside, the remaining passes will be from the Marconi Wireless Station.  My thanks to them for allowing me to operate from this facility. The object of the excise to give this grid to as many people as possible. So if you can use UHM please when you call and receive a checkmark, I have received your call PLEASE wait until I am able to reply, this way I can give more people the grid. I will respond to the callers who’s LOS is first. When you get R73 you are in the log there is no need to reply.

If you are unable to use UHM please do NOT continually call as this stops me responding.

I will work other sats during the day please check https://hams.at

Let’s have a fun and  memorable day filled with great operating.

Best 73

Pete G0ABI

Major Roves: The Zinks (KJ7NDY & KI7QEK) are QRV from Kaui this week and will be doing LEO sat passes and POTA activations from BL01 & BL02. Watch hams.at for passes/parks, etc.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT Rover Page Manager, and Alex Ners, K6VHF, for the above information]

 Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get an 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

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, says,

“Two “different” audiences last week invited me to speak. The Mount Baker  Amateur Radio Club in Bellingham, WA, was a ham club – and we had a great time.”

“But the Orange County (CA)  Astronomers Club was a little, well, different.  But there was plenty of “crossover” interests: space photography, studies  of our planets … so it wasn’t a 100-percent “ham” audience. But I edited and  came up with a presentation they said they enjoyed!”

“Think a 75-minute presentation on “working the easy satellites” would be appropriate for your club or event? Let me know by emailing me at k6lcsclint (at) gmail (dot) com or calling me at 909-999-SATS (7287)!”

Clint has NEVER given the exact same show twice: EACH of the 150+ presentations so far has been customized/tailored to their audiences.

Scheduled Events

Northeast HamXpostion

August 22-25, 2024
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center
181 Boston Post Road W
Marlborough, MA 01752

2024 AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting

October 25-27, 2024
Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Rocky Point Waterfront
3050 N Rocky Point Dr W
Tampa, FL 33607

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, and AMSAT for the above information]

Satellite Shorts from All Over

+ The University of Maine has published an article about MESAT1, expected to launch within the next couple of months. MESAT1 carries AMSAT’s Linear Transponder Module, a V/u linear transponder. The article can be read at https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2024/05/13/maines-first-research-satellite-to-launch-this-year/

+ LU7AA will fly Sunday 05/26 13hs(z) from San Luis, Argentina, a latex Balloon carrying a 200 KHz linear V/U Multimode Transponder as a mini QO-100. (aka PUNTANO-1). The object is to validate future satellite platforms planned by AMSAT Argentina. Pictures and details on http://amsat.org.ar/?f=merlo (Thanks to AMSAT Argentina).

+ A video of pre-launch testing of the AMSAT Microsats (AO-16, DO-17, WO-18, and LO-19) was recently uploaded to YouTube by Stephen Smith. It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWip0QjwLVg

+ HB9SKA released his monthly OSCAR News (in German) at http://home.datacomm.ch/th.frey/oscar.htm

+ As part of a series of activations of QO-100 from Newfoundland, G0MRF worked 147 stations on SSB, 92 on FT8, and 1 on CW as VO1/G0MRF. (Thanks to Dave Bowman, G0MRF)

+ Graham Shirville, G3VZV, was also active from Newfoundland this past weekend. He was running 10 watts with a backpack portable station. A short video of his activation can be found at https://x.com/G8GTZ/status/1791863503441076568 

+ Stefan Wagner, VE4NSA, and John Langille, VE1CWJ, made the first SSB QSOs via QO-100 from North America on May 16th as VO100QO. A picture of their setup can be found at https://x.com/vu3hpf/status/1791383807473377461

+ The June 2024 issue of The Spectrum Monitor has been released with an excellent Amateur Satellites column by Keith Baker, KB1SF. In his column, he discusses the AMSAT GOLF program. The Spectrum Monitor is an online magazine dealing with all facets of the radio hobby. More information can be found at https://www.thespectrummonitor.com/

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

  • Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
  • 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.
  • Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm [at] amsat.org

ANS is a service of AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, 712 H Street NE, Suite 1653, Washington, DC 20002

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-140 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT news - Sat, 05/18/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

* AMSAT at Hamvention
* Save the Date! Symposium 2024
* Multiple QO-100 DX-Peditions to VO1
* Lost and Found: Missing Satellite Rediscovered
* Starliner: A Decade of Challenges
* 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 16
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

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: ans-editor [at] amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

ANS-140 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2024 May 19

AMSAT at Hamvention

This issue of the AMSAT News Service bulletins is being produced at the AMSAT booth at Hamvetion 2024 in Xenia, Ohio. AMSAT has a major presence at Hamvention, with booths devoted to teaching satellite basics, membership recruitment, the AMSAT Store, Engineering, Education, and the Ambassador program.

Traffic was heavy on Friday morning, May 17, as soon as Hamvention opened its doors. While some came directly to the AMSAT booth with their questions, or to make purchases at the Store, many other ham attendees were attracted by the displays as they wandered through the several Hamvention venues.

Volunteer members of the AMSAT Engineering team were on hand to show off models of the GOLF-Tee and Fox Plus satellites currently under construction. Engineering team members also discussed various projects that are part of the ASCENT program, developing possible components for future satellites.

At the Education booth, Cubesat SIM models were transmitting actual telemetry and slow-scan TV data across the table, demonstrating how these tools can be assembled and used in classrooms and other settings to provide hands-on instruction in satellite basics.

At the “Beginners Corner,” experienced satellite operators answered questions and helped the curious to understand how easy and exciting it is to get started in this fascinating aspect of the amateur radio hobby. Rain on Friday morning prevented live satellite demonstrations, but these took place as satellite passes and Hamvention circumstances permitted on Saturday and Sunday.

The sixteenth annual joint AMSAT/ TAPR Banquet was held on Friday evening at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center in Kettering, Ohio, just south of Dayton. This year’s banquet speaker was Bill Reed, NX5R, AMSAT PACSAT Project Manager, who highlighted the forthcoming PACSAT digital communications payload. This payload is drawing on lessons learned from previous digital satellites to provide smoother operations for users in the future.

The AMSAT Forum was held on Saturday afternoon. Robert Bankston KE4AL, AMSAT President, highlighted recent activities within AMSAT and discussed some of our challenges, accomplishments, projects, and late breaking news (See following story). Jerry Buxton, NØJY, AMSAT Vice President for Engineering, provided a video status update about upcoming satellite missions currently in development. Alan Johnston, KU2Y, AMSAT Vice President Education Relations, spoke about opportunities for using the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator in educational settings. Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, Vice President Operations, briefed those attending on the status of current satellites. And Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, Vice President of AMSAT Development, reported on the AMSAT Youth Initiative and its features.

Attendance was steady at all AMSAT exhibits throughout the Hamvention weekend, and satellite operators enjoyed meeting, fact to face, the voices and callsigns encountered on the satellites.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, KØJM,  ANS Senior Editor, for the above information]

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus

Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/

Save the Date! Symposium 2024

Mark your calendar now for the 2024 AMSAT Symposium, October 25-27, 2024 in Tampa, Florida!

AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, announced this week at the Hamvention that the 2024 Symposium will be held October 25-27, 2024 at the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Rocky Point Waterfront.

Watch for announcements in future AMSAT News Service bulletins, the AMSAT Journal, and on the AMSAT.org website concerning further details as plans are formulated.

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, for the above information]

Multiple QO-100 DX-Peditions to VO1

This week sees three separate groups operating from just outside the coverage footprint of the QO-100 satellite.

From Newfoundland the geostationary QO-100 satellite is nominally 1 degree below the horizon. After 5 years in orbit and much speculation, three groups are in the St. John’s area to try operating QO-100 with its S band uplink and 10GHz downlink.

First in Newfoundland was Gopan, M0XUU. He was operating with a 0.8m dish from just north of the harbor entrance and updates could be found on the QO-100 DX Club web site. https://qo100dx.club/ Despite frequency periods of no signal or deep QSB, Gopan managed to work stations via FT8, FT4, and CW. After a week on the air as VO1/M0XUU, Gopan left Newfoundland on May 15.

Arriving Monday 13 May and remaining until to Friday 17, was a Canadian team with a 1.8m dish and up to 100W. Poor weather hampered their operations. Details of the operation by Stefan Wagener, VE4SW, and John Langille, VE1CWJ, can be found at the QRZ.com page for special callsign, VO100QO at https://www.qrz.com/db/VO100QO

Finally, Graham Shirville, G3VZV, and David Bowman, G0MRF, arrived on Wednesday, May 15 with two sets of equipment and were active as VO1/G3VZV and VO1/G0MRF. They will fly back to the UK early Sunday, May 19. Operating from the old lighthouse keepers bungalow on the southern side of the harbor entrance, GN37PN85, they attempted working all modes including an attempt with DATV with a 175W S band amplifier. When not actively on the bands, a personal beacon was operating on 10489.539 MHz in CW to act as a propagation indicator.

[ANS thanks David Bowman, G0MRF, for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase 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/

Lost and Found: Missing Satellite Rediscovered

After 25 years lost in the vastness of space, a missing satellite has finally been located, highlighting the challenges of tracking the multitude of objects orbiting Earth. The rediscovery sheds light on the difficulty of monitoring the approximately 27,000 objects that populate Earth’s orbit, a number that continues to grow with each rocket launch and satellite deployment.

The satellite in question, the Infra-Red Calibration Balloon (S73-7), was part of the United States Air Force’s Space Test Program and was launched in 1974. Its purpose was to serve as a calibration target for remote sensing equipment, but a deployment failure left it adrift as space debris. Despite initial attempts to track its whereabouts, it vanished from ground-based sensors in the 1990s, only to resurface last month.

The Air Force’s KH-9 Hexagon satellite deployed the tiny IRCB (S73-7) satellite in 1974. (Illustration: U.S. Air Force)

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, discovered the satellite’s reappearance while reviewing archival data. He explained that the satellite’s low radar cross section and possible malfunctioning equipment made it difficult to detect. This underscores the challenges faced by ground-based radar and optical sensors tasked with monitoring objects in orbit.

Tracking objects in space is akin to air traffic control, with sensors relying on identifying the orbit of moving objects and matching them with designated satellite orbits. However, this becomes increasingly complex as Earth’s orbit becomes more congested, particularly in geostationary orbit where monitoring is hindered by a lack of radars positioned precisely on the equator.


A screenshot of a screenshot of a graph Description automatically generated

The Department of Defense’s Space Surveillance Network currently tracks over 27,000 objects, predominantly defunct satellites and debris. As the number of satellites and rocket launches continues to rise, maintaining accurate tracking becomes crucial to mitigate the risk of collisions and space debris hazards.

While the rediscovery of the missing satellite serves as a reminder of the challenges of space tracking, it also underscores the importance of continued efforts to monitor and manage Earth’s orbital environment. With technology evolving and space activity increasing, effective space surveillance remains paramount to ensure the safety and sustainability of activities in Earth’s orbit.

[ANS thanks Passant Rabie, Gizmodo, for the above information]

Starliner: A Decade of Challenges

Boeing is delaying its first flight with humans on its Starliner spacecraft yet again, the company said on May 14. The launch, which has been delayed for years and was most recently scheduled for May 18, was pushed back until Tuesday afternoon, May 21 at the earliest because of a helium leak.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft marks the culmination of a tumultuous journey fraught with setbacks and challenges. What’s surprising isn’t merely Boeing’s eventual loss in the commercial crew space race to SpaceX but rather the fact that Boeing managed to reach this point at all.

The story traces back a decade when NASA’s human spaceflight leaders convened to select a replacement vehicle for the retired Space Shuttle. Boeing emerged as the frontrunner, backed by its illustrious history in spaceflight. However, the eventual decision to award contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX marked the beginning of Boeing’s struggle to adapt to the demands of a fixed-price environment.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is lifted to be placed atop an Atlas V rocket for its first crewed launch. [Credit: NASA/Cory Huston]

Unlike SpaceX, which was already immersed in multiple space projects, Boeing found itself grappling with a new paradigm. Accustomed to cost-plus contracts, where expenses could be billed to the government, Boeing now faced the challenge of delivering a spacecraft within strict budget constraints. This shift exposed deep cultural and structural inefficiencies within the company.

Boeing’s difficulties were compounded by technical hurdles, particularly in software development and propulsion. Fragmented software teams and strained relationships with suppliers like Aerojet Rocketdyne hindered progress. The consequences of these challenges became evident during Starliner’s ill-fated uncrewed test flight in 2019, marred by critical software errors and propulsion anomalies.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner ahead of the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission in 2022 [Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky]

While Boeing struggled, SpaceX surged ahead, buoyed by its vertically integrated approach and a culture of innovation. SpaceX’s success underscored the shortcomings of Boeing’s traditional aerospace model, further exacerbated by broader crises within Boeing’s aviation division, notably the 737 MAX disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing’s tumultuous journey with Starliner offers valuable lessons about the perils of resisting change and the imperative of embracing innovation in the rapidly evolving space industry. Despite its setbacks, Boeing’s perseverance underscores the dedication of the engineers and technicians who tirelessly worked to bring Starliner to fruition.

[ANS thanks Eric Berger, Ars Technica, for the above information]

2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election – Call for Nominations

AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2024 and will be filled by this year’s election:

– Mark Hammond, N8MH
– Bruce Paige, KK5DO
– Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be elected for one-year terms. A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators’ names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the AMSAT Secretary:

Jeff Davis, KE9V
PO Box 11
Yorktown, IN 47396

AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the form specified by the Secretary who has elected to accept written nomination materials via postal mail or in electronic form, including email or electronic image of a paper document. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted.

Email nominations may be sent to jdavis [at] amsat [dot] org.

No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qualifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as petitions are received and will notify candidates whether their nominations are in order by the end of June.

[ANS thanks Jeff Davis, KE9V, AMSAT Secretary 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 May 16

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

The following satellite has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

CHOMPTT NORAD Cat ID 43855 Decayed from orbit on or about 13 May 2024

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements page editor, for the above information]

ARISS NEWS

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.

COMPLETED:
Eric Knows CIC, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, telebridge via K6DUE
The scheduled crewmember was Matthew Dominick, KCØTOR. The ARISS mentor was MØXTD
Contact was scheduled for: Sat 2024-05-11 08:42:32 UTC 48 degrees elevation

UPCOMING:
Ulukulevo Secondary School, Ulukulevo, Bashkortostan, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Nikolay Chub. The ARISS mentor is RV3DR.
Contact is go for Wed 2024-05-22 15:05 UTC

Amur State Medical Academy, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Nikolay Chub. The ARISS mentor is RV3DR.
Contact is go for Thu 2024-05-23 10:25 UTC

Children’s Technopark “Quantorium”, Obninsk, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Aleksandr Grebyonkin, RZ3DSE. The ARISS mentor is RV3DR.
Proposed for Mon 2024-05-27 14:10 UTC

The crossband repeater continues to be ACTIVE (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system is also ACTIVE (145.825 MHz up & down). Digital amateur television operations (2395.00 MHz down) is currently STOWED.

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol. Upcoming:
+ Powering off for Progress undocking on May 28. OFF TBD. ON TBD.
+ Powering off for Progress docking on June 01. OFF TBD. ON TBD.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

No rovers have reported operations as of this publication date. Please submit any rover operations to k5zm (at) comcast (dot) net.

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Hamvention 2024
Continues through 1:00 p.m. EDT, Sunday May 19, 2024
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Events page for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Congratulations to Maksym “Max” Romenskyy, SA5IKN, M0SKN, US6IKN, EI6KC, who has earned his THIRD satellite Worked All Zones (WAZ) award, this time as EI6KC #121. This is the first WAZ Satellite Award in Ireland. He is also the first in the world to complete three WAZ Satellite Awards from three different locations in three countries. He already holds a special plague “IN RECOGNITION OF WORLD # 1 SAT WAZ AWARD WITH TWO CALLS” for WAZ awards #40 as SA5IKN (38 zones) and #92 as MØSKN. (ANS thanks Max Romenskyy, US6IKN, for the above information.)

+ Since April 28, 2019, the Swiss satellite net on QO-100 has been a consistent weekly event, marking its fifth anniversary on the same date in 2024. Hosted by HB9RYZ initially and later by HB9TSI from Italy, the round convenes every Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on 10489.740 MHz, typically with 5 to 10 participants, though 15 joined for the anniversary round. Led by Paul, HB9DFQ, the round maintains a familiar format: participants check in, share station updates and radio experiences, delve into topics, and bid farewell. Despite no specific celebration planned, the anniversary drew a hearty attendance. Notable moments include Roman, HB9HCF’s reports from Antarctica during the pandemic, while regular attendees like IS0/HB9SJP and supportive listeners add to the camaraderie. The inaugural round was preserved on Soundcloud by HB9WDF, encapsulating the enduring spirit of this community gathering. (ANS thanks AMSAT-HB for the above information for the above information)

+ The recently released GreenCube BackPack antenna by Arrow Antennas, designed specifically for IO-117 satellite communication, can now be purchased from their website for $219. It boasts a three-piece split boom design and 15 UHF elements, along with a pre-assembled and pre-tuned Gamma Match compatible only with BNC connectors. Engineered for maximum gain and efficiency, the antenna utilizes aluminum Arrow Shafts for its elements and a 3/4″ square boom measuring 116.8″ in length. Mounting near its balance point is recommended due to its weight, and plastic tips ensure safety. While the foam handle grip can be removed using isopropyl alcohol, using the tripod hole for mounting is discouraged due to balance issues. Additionally, customers have the option to purchase a separate element set for cross-polarized antenna configuration, priced at $99.00. Info at https://arrowantennas.com/arrowii/greencube.html (ANS thanks Arrow Antennas, for the above information.)

+ Prof. Robert “Bob” Twiggs, KE6QMD, and a group of former students and colleagues are working on gathering and publishing a series of books on the history of the creation and adoption of the CubeSat. Take a look at the LinkedIn announcement here: https://lnkd.in/eNZgv6Tk. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in supporting, please take a look at our GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/cubesat-history-project. The community’s response has been amazing! Over a hundred interviews were conducted, and countless images and documents from the earliest days of the CubeSat were collected! The result is that we have accumulated one of the most comprehensive histories of the CubeSat, with many unique, never-before-told stories! Reach out if you are interested in sponsoring the project to get a signed copy and your organization’s name in the book. Please email Dr. Aaron Zucherman at azucherman@gmail.com. (ANS thanks Aaron Zucherman, KM6CHY, for the above information.)

+ Last week, as Sol continues to edge into the most active phase of its 11-year cycle, multiple massive X-class solar flares (the largest an X5.8 flare) erupted from associated active sunspots, along with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) directed towards Earth. This sustained activity caused a G5 solar storm last weekend (NOAA’s space weather scales for reference), leading to aurorae visible from middle latitudes as far south as Puerto Rico in the US and all over Europe. This was one of the most powerful solar storms since an estimated X28-45 flare in 2003 contributed to the 2003 Halloween solar storms that damaged or interrupted services from multiple spacecraft, saturated measurement instruments, and made ISS astronauts shelter in the more shielded Russian segment. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.)

+ Japan’s Moon Sniper, also known as SLIM, has astounded experts by surviving its third lunar night, despite not being designed for such harsh conditions. Initially landing near the Shioli Crater on January 19, the spacecraft encountered an anomaly during descent, landing on its nose and facing west, hindering its solar panels’ ability to generate power. However, Moon Sniper continues to defy expectations by waking up after each lunar night, transmitting new images before going back into hibernation. Despite enduring both the extreme cold of the lunar night and the searing temperatures of the lunar day, the spacecraft has maintained functionality, prompting close monitoring from the mission team to identify potential deteriorating components. As Moon Sniper enters hibernation again, the team plans to resume operations in May, expressing gratitude for ongoing support and even composing a song titled “15 Degree Slope” to commemorate the mission’s unexpected journey. (ANS thanks CNN for the above information.)

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor, Mark Johns, KØJM
k0jm [at] amsat.org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

2024 ARRL National Convention Kicks off at Dayton Hamvention

ARRL News - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 21:42

By: Sam Shaner, KE1SAM

A massive turnout of hams of all ages are flocking to numerous attractions at the 2024 ARRL National Convention, hosted at Dayton Hamvention®. Local scattered showers don’t seem to be raining on this parade; outside Tesla Building 2, seemingly miles-long lines of attendees wait for their orders of pork tenderloin sandwiches, hand-sliced gyros, burgers, and corn dogs. Insid...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ARRL Systems Service Disruption

ARRL News - Thu, 05/16/2024 - 13:05

We are in the process of responding to a serious incident involving access to our network and headquarters-based systems. Several services, such as Logbook of The World® and the ARRL Learning Center, are affected. Please know that restoring access is our highest priority, and we are expeditiously working with outside industry experts to address the issue. We appreciate your patience.

This story...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

CubeSatSim Kits Available at Hamvention

AMSAT news - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 13:31

For Hamvention 2024, I am very happy to announce a limited availability of Beta CubeSatSim Kits!  We will have some CubeSat Simulator kits at the AMSAT booth at Hamvention on Friday and Saturday, and will also make some available online on the AMSAT Store a few weeks later – look for ANS and social media for the date they will go on sale.  We will only ship AMSAT Store kit orders to U.S. addresses.  They are priced at $400 including shipping.

The Beta CubeSatSim Kits contain:

  • All three PCBs (STEM Payload, Solar, and Battery Boards) fully assembled and tested with all components soldered in
  • Raspberry Pi Zero WH with a fully programmed micro-SD card and a fully programmed Raspberry Pi Pico WH
  • AMSAT logo Remove Before Flight tag switch
  • Four-piece 3D printed frame and nylon screws and nuts, ready for you to assemble with included mini screwdriver
  • Pi Camera, ribbon cable, and nylon screws and nuts ready for you to plug into the Pi Zero WH and attach to the frame
  • Metal standoffs, stacking headers, and JST jumpers ready for you to stack the PCBs and the Pi Zero WH into the board stack
  • 10 solar panels, JST connectors, and double stick mounting tape, ready for you to solder the JST wires to the panels and mount them using the tape on the frame
  • BME280 pressure, temperature, altitude, and humidity sensor, and MPU6050 IMU/gyro ready for you to solder the male pin headers so you can plug them into the sockets on the STEM Payload Board
  • Two 6″ SMA coax cables and two SMA antennas for you to connect to the STEM Payload board and the frame
  • Instruction sheet with parts inventory and link to the online instructions.

    AMSAT Beta CubeSatSim Kit

The approximate time for you to complete the kit by soldering the solar panels and sensor pin headers, and assembling the board stack and frame is less than two hours.  You will need a soldering iron, solder, scissors, and an included mini Phillips screw driver.

The kit instructions are here:  https://CubeSatSim.org/kit-beta

The current Beta CubeSatSim has some improvements over the v1.2 version, including an FM transceiver, Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, and RF command and control.  You can also modify it to fly as a 500mW high altitude balloon payload.

You can see all the updates here: https://www.amsat.org/amsat-cubesatsim-beta-release-v1-3/

For those who like to solder the components and 3D print their own frame, we also have the Beta v1.3 blank PCB sets available at the AMSAT Store for $35:  https://www.amsat.org/product/amsat-cubesatsim-pcb/ You will need to purchase the rest of the parts from Digikey and Amazon for approximately $300 using the Bill of Materials https://CubeSatSim.org/bom-beta.

During this beta period, we ask for your help in testing the new hardware and software and making sure that all the instructions and documentation are accurate.  As we have announced previously, past purchasers of the CubeSatSim v1 PCB board sets are eligible for a free beta v1.3 set of PCB boards.  Just email me ku2y [at] arrl.net! I will verify the order and ship you a new set of 3 blank boards.  The boards will have the surface mount components already mounted.  The first one hundred who contact me in the first half of this year will be eligible to receive them.

73,

Alan Johnston, PhD, KU2Y
AMSAT VP Educational Relations
ku2y [at] arrl.net

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-133 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT news - Sat, 05/11/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

  • 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election – Call for Nominations
  • Last Call for AMSAT/TAPR Banquet Tickets
  • Hamvention 2024 – Here We Come!
  • Wanted: Your AO-7 Experiences and Memories
  • AMSAT Ambassador Program Re-Introduced at Hamvention
  • AMSAT Francophone & Fédération des Clubs Radioamateurs du Québec (RAQI) Publish Preliminary Geostationary Payload Proposal
  • A Few Minutes with AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 10, 2024
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

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: ans-editor [at] amsat [dot] org.

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

ANS-133 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2024 May 12

2024 AMSAT Board of Directors Election – Call for Nominations

AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2024 AMSAT Board of Directors election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2024 and will be filled by this year’s election:

– Mark Hammond, N8MH
– Bruce Paige, KK5DO
– Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be elected for one-year terms. A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators’ names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the AMSAT Secretary:

Jeff Davis, KE9V
PO Box 11
Yorktown, IN 47396

AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the form specified by the Secretary who has elected to accept written nomination materials via postal mail or in electronic form, including email or electronic image of a paper document. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted.

Email nominations may be sent to jdavis [at] amsat [dot] org.

No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qualifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as petitions are received and will notify candidates whether their nominations are in order by the end of June.

[ANS thanks Jeff Davis, KE9V, AMSAT Secretary for the above information.]

Last Call for AMSAT/TAPR Banquet Tickets

The deadline for purchasing tickets for the 15th annual AMSAT/TAPR banquet is Monday, May 13th at 21:00 Z (5:00 PM EDT). Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the AMSAT booth. There will be no tickets to pick up at the AMSAT booth. Seating is limited to the number of meals sold by the deadline. Tickets purchased on-line will be maintained on a list with check-in at the door at the banquet center.

The banquet will be held at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center on Friday, May 17th at 18:30 EDT. This dinner is always a highlight of the TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio) and AMSAT activities during the Dayton Hamvention. This year’s banquet speaker will be Bill Reed, NX5R, AMSAT PACSAT Project Manager, who will highlight the forthcoming PACSAT digital communications payload.

The Kohler Presidential Banquet Center is located at 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, Ohio – about 20 minutes away from the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Purchase your tickets online at https://www.amsat.org/product-category/amsat-at-hamvention/

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP for the above information.]

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus

Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/

Hamvention 2024 – Here We Come!

It’s that time of the year again with only five days to go before the festivities begin.

Starting off is the annual AMSAT “Dinner at Tickets” party that will be held at Tickets Pub & Eatery on Thursday, May 16th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT. There is no program or speaker – just good conversation. Everyone is invited regardless of whether or not they helped with setup or plan to work in the booth. Tickets has a great selection of Greek and American food and great company! Food can be ordered from the menu; drinks (beer, wine, sodas and iced tea) are available at the bar. Come as you are; no reservations required. Bring some friends and have a great time the night before Hamvention. Tickets Pub & Eatery is located at 7 W. Main St, Fairborn, OH 45324.

The 15th annual AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be held at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center on Friday, May 17th at 18:30 EDT. This year’s banquet speaker will be Bill Reed, NX5R, AMSAT PACSAT Project Manager, who will highlight the forthcoming PACSAT digital communications payload. Tickets must be purchased no later than Monday, May 13th 5:00 PM EDT. The Kohler Presidential Banquet Center is located at 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, Ohio – about 20 minutes away from the Greene County Fairgrounds.

The AMSAT Forum will take place in Forum Room 2 on Saturday, May 18th at 1:20 PM – 2:50 PM. This will immediately follow the ARISS Forum in the same room at 12:10 PM, so get there early and see both presentations!

It’s not too late to volunteer for working the AMSAT booth. Whether you can lend a hand for a few hours or a full day, we can always use help. Contact Phil Smith, W1EME, AMSAT Hamvention Team Leader via email at w1eme [at] amsat [dot] org.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

Wanted: Your AO-7 Experiences and Memories

As we prepare to celebrate AO-7’s 50th anniversary since its launch on November 15, 1974, a small team of writers are collecting stories about the history of this record-breaking satellite, now the longest operating satellite of any type – government, military, commercial or private. Mr. Jan King, W3GEY/VK4GEY was a member of the original team of hams that were responsible for the design, build and launch of AO-7. Jan is interested in hearing how hams adapted to AO-7’s operating characteristics over the years. He is also especially interested in accounts of how AO-7 was used for operational or scientific experiments.

Jan continues to track and monitor the health of AO-7 after all these years. Jan predicts that within a few months AO-7 will enter a period of five years of continuous sunlit operation without eclipse interruptions. Already with 50 years behind it, AO-7 might continue to set new records and host more invaluable scientific studies and practical uses.

Working with Jan is Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT VP-Development. Amateurs with stories they wish to contribute to the project are encouraged to contact Frank via email f.karnauskas [at] amsat [dot] org.

[ANS thanks Jan King, W3GEY/VK4GEY and Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT VP-Development for the above information.]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase 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 Program Re-Introduced at Hamvention

Sometimes in the past referred to as Field Operations, other times as Area Coordinators, maintaining a presence at local hamfests and at ARRL conventions has been a long standing AMSAT tradition. Now known as the AMSAT Ambassador Program, our volunteers continue this important activity, stimulating interest in amateur satellites, helping newcomers get on the air and building membership in AMSAT.

At this year’s Hamvention, AMSAT is pleased to introduce Mr. Bo Lowrey, W4FCL, Director – AMSAT Ambassador Program. Bo has a solid background in aerospace education and public relations including serving as Director – Space Science and IT for the National Air and Space Education Institute in Louisville, KY and as a NASA / JPL Solar System Ambassador Applicant Review, Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

Under Bo’s leadership, the Ambassador Program is being revitalized with new levels of support for volunteers. This included new display banners and presentation folders for local hamfests as well as a special callsign badge and a selection of Ambassador branded apparel. A fresh set of updated PowerPoint scripted presentations are also being made available for in-person and online club presentations.

Training will also be made available to help prepare volunteers for making the best possible presence to their audiences. Volunteers will also have access to online technology such as Microsoft Teams to collaborate with fellow Ambassador volunteers.

While in past years, AMSAT’s presence at local hamfests was largely up to volunteers in the area, Bo plans to be more pro-active in recruiting volunteers to be available for major events such as ARRL Section and Division conventions as well as at major events hosted by special interest groups such as VHF/UHF and microwave societies.

AMSAT members who are interested in more information on becoming an AMSAT Ambassador are encouraged to visit the AMSAT booth at Hamvention and meet with Bo. If you are not attending Hamvention, please contact Bo via email blowrey [at] amsat [dot] org.

[ANS thanks Bo Lowrey, W4FCL, Director – AMSAT Ambassador Program for the above information.]

AMSAT Francophone & Fédération des Clubs Radioamateurs du Québec (RAQI) Publish Preliminary Geostationary Payload Proposal

AMSAT Francophone (AMSAT-F) and Fédération des clubs radioamateurs du Québec (RAQI) are soliciting comments on their draft proposal to the European Space Agency (ESA) for an amateur geostationary payload. AMSAT-UK, the British Amateur Television Club (BATC), and AMSAT-NA, with input from the UK Microwave Group, previously submitted a proposal (https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/ESA-GEO-proposal-AMSAT-UK.pdf) as has AMSAT-DL (https://amsat-dl.org/en/the-next-generation-of-a-geo-meo-amateur-radio-payload/).

These proposals have been submitted in response to an ESA call for proposals for a future amateur geostationary payload with the potential to cover Europe and at least a portion of North America.

The English version of the proposal can be found at https://site.amsat-f.org/download/119824/?tmstv=1715353379 and the French version can be found at https://site.amsat-f.org/download/119821/?tmstv=1715353379.

Comments may be submitted to groupe.travail.geo.esa [at] amsat-f [dot] org by May 24, 2024.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-F 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

A Few Minutes with AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS

ANS writer Mark Blackwood, KI5AXK, was able to catch AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS in between one of his popular club presentations. As of this writing, Clint has presented his introduction to amateur satellites and the AMSAT story over 170 times.

ANS: How did you get started in amateur satellites?

CLINT: “Mark, it was about 18 years ago that I saw an AMSAT display table at a local ham convention. I initially just passed it by, mistakenly thinking a ham required 100 watts of transmit power, that expensive Yaesu rotator, and dual Yagi antennas on the roof. But, when I was told hams were “working some birds” with low power and handheld stations, well, that’s when I started to search the net for information.

“But, there’s a problem. If one Google searches “work amateur satellites”, either today or 18 years ago, up pops old information on some satellites that were easy to access, but whose service ended years before. I had a Boy Scout Scoutmaster call me about five years ago. He was disappointed and irritated. He had an assemblage of 300 Scouts, parents, and community members in an auditorium and was all set up to demonstrate satellite comms via AO-51. He searched for “work amateur satellites” and found info for it, but AO-51’s lifespan was from 2004 to 2011.

“So I preface my satellite presentations with a disclaimer: “Folks, what I am going to tell you today about, specific satellites, just might not be accurate next week. We may gain a bird, we may lose a bird. The ISS’ gear may be up and running tonight but it gets turned off when there is a spacewalk and/or when there is a mission heading towards or away from it. Stick with amsat.org, amsat-uk.org, ariss.org or work-sat.com for current information. And, get to know some of the satellites’ official social media accounts.”

ANS: Which do you enjoy more, introducing satellite ham radio to newcomers, or seasoned amateur radio folks?

CLINT: “Just recently had this discussion with ARRL Orange Section Manager Bob Turner, W6RHK. Youth is our future. And it is always exciting to speak and demo at elementary, middle, and high school campuses. But, ham clubs have varied audiences, too. And by using Zoom, I have been able to speak to clubs not only in Southern CA, but also across the US, to Canada, and to Europe. Zoom sessions enable anyone with a smartphone or home computer to attend a session – folks without transportation, those who don’t drive, those who may be ill at the time. At the end of each presentation, I ask for a show of hands, ‘Now that you’ve seen how easy this can be, is anyone thinking of going outside and maybe just listening for the FM voice repeater on the ISS for their first time?’ The satisfaction comes when a couple hands rise!”

ANS: What is the most difficult thing for people getting started?

CLINT: “Possibly the same problems I had, Mark, almost 20 years ago: mic fright and thinking I had insufficient equipment. As I walk my presentations’ attendees through the timer on the SO-50 satellite that might need to be activated, I see jaws drop. ‘Yes, you become the control operator of an orbiting satellite!’ I also tell them how tentative I was doing that my first time, “Gawd, if I mess up, SO-50’s going to crash into my Koi pond – the AMSAT handcuffs might be too tight!

I also include audio of my 2 meter contact with ISS Commander, Reid Wiseman. There I am – using a non-full-duplex HT that is turned down to 2 watts transmit power, speaking to an ISS astronaut who was about 450 miles downrange when we began. That really shows my show attendees that elaborate, expensive station setups are not mandatory! And, it demonstrates “line-of-sight!”

ANS: What do people enjoy the most about amateur satellite radio?

CLINT: “I have given my presentation 174 times. Never the same exact show to anyone as each is customized to their club or event. Using a non-cookie-cutter slide show gets folks more interested in what’s coming up. I couple step-by-step instructions with a single, large image per slide. And my mantra, ‘You do not need 100 watts – you do not need expensive equipment.’ Clubs continue to request my ‘Getting Started’ presentation and tell me afterwards that they enjoyed themselves.

“I’m still finding audiences, well, they find me, who haven’t been exposed to the easy-to-work FM voice satellites. So, getting them to know they don’t need a lot of stuff to successfully make contacts seems to turn a lot on to this aspect of our hobby.”

ANS: What types of groups or people do you usually talk to?

CLINT: “The vast majority have been individual amateur radio clubs. I spoke to an astronomy club last month – not a whole lot of hams, but we found plenty of cross interests to have a great time. I have also spoken at several ham conventions. And I was honored to orchestrate one of those contacts between a classroom of students and an astronaut aboard the ISS. These ARISS contacts are a year’s worth of preparation for a 15-minute conversation – but, oh, what a conversation!”

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, AMSAT Ambassador and Mark Blackwood, KI5AXK, ANS writer for the above information.]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 10, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

The following satellite has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

Changshagaoxin NORAD Cat ID 43669 Decayed from orbit on or about 09 May 2024

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information.]

ARISS NEWS

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.

  • Completed Contacts
    Wireless Institute of Australia/Bundaberg High School Amateur Radio Club, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, telebridge via VK6MJ
    The ISS callsign was NA1SS.
    The crewmember is Mike Barratt, KD5MIJ.
    The ARISS mentor was Shane Lynd, VK4KHZ
    Contact was successful on Saturday May 5, 2024.

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system is also active (145.825 MHz up & down).

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html.

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information.]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

No operations listed.

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT Rover Page Manager, and Alex Ners, K6VHF, for the above information.]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, says, “Think a 75-minute presentation on “working the easy satellites” would be appropriate for your club or event? Let me know by emailing me at k6lcsclint (at) gmail (dot) com or calling me at 909-999-SATS (7287)!”

AMSAT Dinner at Tickets
Thursday, May 16, 2024
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
7 W. Main St, Fairborn, OH 45324

Dayton Hamvention 2024
Friday May 17 – Sunday May 19, 2024
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Events page for the above information.]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

Since April 28, 2019, the Swiss satellite net on QO-100 has been a consistent weekly event, marking its fifth anniversary on the same date in 2024. Hosted by HB9RYZ initially and later by HB9TSI from Italy, the round convenes every Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on 10489.740 MHz, typically with 5 to 10 participants, though 15 joined for the anniversary round. Led by Paul, HB9DFQ, the round maintains a familiar format: participants check in, share station updates and radio experiences, delve into topics, and bid farewell. Despite no specific celebration planned, the anniversary drew a hearty attendance. Notable moments include Roman, HB9HCF’s reports from Antarctica during the pandemic, while regular attendees like IS0/HB9SJP and supportive listeners add to the camaraderie. The inaugural round was preserved on Soundcloud by HB9WDF, encapsulating the enduring spirit of this community gathering. More information at https://www.amsat-hb.org/willkommen?b=1000278&c=ND1000105&s=03. [ANS thanks AMSAT-BB for the above information for the above information.]

In May, there are two planned attempts to establish contacts from Newfoundland using the QO-100 geostationary satellite amateur transponders, despite Newfoundland being just outside the satellite’s coverage area. With the elevation at Signal Hill in St. Johns being -0.9°, there’s optimism due to successful contacts made from Indonesia at an elevation as low as -1.3°. Gopan VO1/M0XUU (VU3HPF) will be in Newfoundland from May 8-15 for the initial attempt, while David VO1/G0MRF and Graham VO1/G3VZV will be there from May 15-19, planning to utilize various modes including SSB, CW, FT8, FT4, and DATV. Updates on their progress can be found on their respective online platforms, and additional information on making QO-100 contacts is available via a presentation by Graham G3VZV and on the AMSAT-DL forum. More information at https://amsat-uk.org/2024/05/05/newfoundland-on-qo-100/. [ANS thanks AMSAT-UK, for the above information.]

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

  • Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
  • 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.
  • Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat [dot] org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw [at] amsat [dot] org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

2024 ARRL Field Day gear is now shipping!

ARRL News - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 10:36

ARRL Field Day is June 22-23. Get ready for amateur radio's largest on-air operating event with official 2024 ARRL Field Day merchandise, now available. T-shirts, hats, mugs, pins, patches, and more are a great way to show off your involvement in this annual event. This year's design features the theme "Be Radio Active." The back of the t-shirt includes a check-off list of ARRL and RAC Sections...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The K7RA Solar Update

ARRL News - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 10:36

"ASWFC GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING ISSUED AT 2302 UTC/09 MAY 2024 BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE WEATHER FORECASTING CENTRE.

"Four halo CMEs first observed over 08-09 May are expected to arrive
at Earth on 10-May, starting at 1000 UTC +/- 10 hours. G4
geomagnetic conditions are expected on 10-May, reducing to G3 with a
chance of G4 on 11-May.

"INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED DUE TO CORONAL MASS...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ARRL Learning Center Features Two New Emergency Communication Training Courses

ARRL News - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 10:33

ARRL has released two new courses to train emergency communications (EmComm) operators for volunteering within the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®). Both courses are within the ARRL Learning Center.

The Basic EmComm course is designed to get a new volunteer started. It provides basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer and contains three modules and 11 topics, ...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Focus on Public Safety Relationship Building at the 2024 ARRL National Convention

ARRL News - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 10:23

Those attending the 2024 ARRL National Convention at Dayton Hamvention® will have an opportunity to learn more about how amateur radio is relevant and highly involved in the modern emergency management landscape. The convention is May 17 - 19 in Xenia, Ohio. 

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, will host a booth for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® -- ARES®. The boot...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ARRL Volunteers Obtain Ham Exemption to Pennsylvania Handsfree Law

ARRL News - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 14:41

Member-volunteers of ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® in Pennsylvania have successfully protected the legal right to use amateur radio while operating mobile within the state. A handsfree distracted driving bill had worked its way through the legislature over the past several years, and ARRL Atlantic Division Director Bob Famiglio, K3RF, successfully advocated for an exemption ...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Dick Rutan, KB6LQS, Record-Setting Pilot, SK

ARRL News - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 07:36

Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” G. Rutan, KB6LQS, has become a Silent Key. He passed away at the age of 85 on May 3, 2024, surrounded by family. Rutan was an ARRL member.

In 1986, Rutan made international headlines for his flight in Voyager with copilot Jeana Yeager. The pair flew around the world (nonstop and unrefueled) in 9 days, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds.

Rutan was a United States Air Force combat pi...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Scheduled for May 11

ARRL News - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 07:15

The US Department of Defense (DOD) is hosting this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test on Saturday, May 11.

For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is an interoperability exercise between amateur and government radio stations. The event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators and will not impact any public or private communicat...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-126 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT news - Sat, 05/04/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

* Greencube Terminal Program: Version 1.0.0.90 Enhancements and Updates
* Chang’e-6 Successfully Launches: China’s Historic Lunar Mission Begins
* NASA Reveals SpaceX’s Innovative Plan for Starship Refueling in Orbit
* GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers May 2024 Rankings
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 3, 2024
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 https://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

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

ANS-126 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2024 May 05

Greencube Terminal Program: Version 1.0.0.90 Enhancements and Updates

The Greencube Terminal Program, developed by Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR, has taken another leap forward in its evolution with the launch of Version 1.0.0.90. This latest update brings a number of enhancements and fixes geared towards bolstering operational efficiency and enriching the user experience, particularly for IO-117 satellite enthusiasts.

One of the standout features of this update is the integration of UHM 2.1 (yoU Heard Me), supplanting the older UHM 2.0. It’s imperative for users to make the switch before May 14th, as UHM 2.0 will quit working thereafter. In the Live World View (LWV), users now have the flexibility to customize the positioning of the “radar view” of the current pass on the screen, allowing for more tailored satellite tracking experiences. Moreover, a bug that caused the frequency/band to default to 435.310 MHz regardless of the satellite selected when logging stations has been rectified.

Greencube Terminal Live World View [Credit: Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR]Several user-requested enhancements have been incorporated, including the addition of time stamps (HH:MM:SS) when copying selected lines to the clipboard in the Traffic window and the removal of limitations on the length of callsigns (excluding SSID) in AX.25 mode so the full 6-character callsigns in AX.25 are supported. Additionally, users can now integrate their horizon into the “radar view” in LWV by defining horizon definitions in a text file.

Noteworthy improvements have also been made to message handling within the Terminal program. These include fixes to parsing issues with local TLE data caused by duplicate NORAD numbers and adjustments to the way UHM paints lines in the Traffic view to address reported errors. Furthermore, enhancements to LoTW status checks now ensure that updates occur automatically every 12 hours based on user-configured preferences, streamlining the process and ensuring accuracy.

Greencube Terminal Main Screen with UHM 2.1 [Credit: Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR]The introduction of Live QSO Viewer (LQV) and Live World View (LWV) offers users innovative graphical representations of satellite traffic and station locations, enhancing situational awareness and operational efficiency. Additionally, the integration of GPS in version 1.0.0.84 enables users to connect GPS receivers for automatic grid location updates, simplifying tracking and reporting, especially for mobile users.

With the addition of features such as UHM integration, expanded satellite selection, and improved message handling, users can anticipate a more robust and user-friendly experience with the Greencube Terminal Program v1.0.0.90. These updates underscore a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation, ensuring Greencube Terminal Program remains the most popular application for GreenCube satellite communications. More information about installation, features, and updates can be found on Carsten’s website: https://www.moonbounce.dk/hamradio/greencube-terminal-program.html.

[ANS thanks Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR, for the above information]

Chang’e-6 Successfully Launches: China’s Historic Lunar Mission Begins

China’s Chang’e-6 mission embarked on its historic journey on May 3rd, launching aboard a Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island, China. This mission aims to retrieve samples from the far side of the Moon, a feat never before achieved. The spacecraft is set to undergo a 53-day voyage to the Moon and back, where it will collect lunar soil and rocks, offering invaluable insights into the Moon’s ancient history.

The mission targets the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, a region of particular interest due to its potential to unveil crucial information about the Moon’s past. This basin, formed by an ancient impact, holds clues about the events that shaped both the Moon and Earth billions of years ago, providing an opportunity to understand the differences between the near and far sides of the Moon.

Rendering of Chang’e-6 Spacecraft in Lunar Orbit. [Credit: Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA)]Unlike previous lunar missions, which primarily focused on the near side, Chang’e-6 will explore the challenging terrain of the far side. Landing and communicating on this side of the Moon require sophisticated technology, including communications relay satellites. China, having achieved the first successful lunar far-side landing in 2019 with Chang’e-4, now endeavors to bring back samples from this uncharted territory.

The Chang’e-6 spacecraft is comprised of four components: an orbiter, lander, ascender, and reentry module. Upon reaching lunar orbit, the lander and ascender will descend to the Moon’s surface, collect approximately 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of lunar material using specialized tools, and return to lunar orbit. The orbiter will then carry the samples back to Earth, releasing the reentry module into the atmosphere for a soft landing.

Chang’e-6 Spacecraft’s Landing Site on the Moon’s SPA Basin. [Credit: Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA)]During its 53-day mission, Chang’e-6 will communicate with Earth through the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, which features a large parabolic antenna. This communication link will enable scientists to monitor and control the mission’s progress and ensure the safe return of valuable lunar samples.

The scientific significance of Chang’e-6 extends beyond lunar exploration. The samples it retrieves will shed light on the Solar System’s tumultuous past, particularly the Late Heavy Bombardment period around 3.9 billion years ago. By studying the SPA basin’s age and composition, scientists hope to discern the origins of this event and its implications for Earth’s history and the potential for life elsewhere in the universe.

[ANS thanks Jason Davis, The Planetary Society, for the above information]

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/ NASA Reveals SpaceX’s Innovative Plan for Starship Refueling in Orbit

NASA recently outlined SpaceX’s plans for refueling Starships in low-Earth orbit, a critical step toward enabling ambitious lunar missions. Scheduled for next year, this demonstration involves linking two Starships in orbit. Under contract with NASA’s Artemis program, SpaceX aims to supply human-rated Starships for lunar landings, although the targeted 2026 launch for Artemis III highlights the project’s ambitious nature. Last year, NASA awarded a contract to Blue Origin, providing alternative options for lunar missions. Both companies designed their landers with future refueling capabilities, allowing for multiple missions and potential resource utilization on the Moon or Mars.

Amit Kshatriya, leading NASA’s “Moon to Mars” program, outlined SpaceX’s strategy for in-space refueling during a recent meeting. Despite challenges, progress is evident as SpaceX prepares for upcoming Starship test flights, aiming to tackle crucial technical hurdles. Before lunar missions become a reality, mastering in-space refueling is essential. SpaceX plans to demonstrate large-scale propellant transfer between two Starships in orbit next year. This milestone follows a successful cryogenic propellant transfer test during a previous Starship flight, funded by NASA.

Artist’s Illustration of Two SpaceX Starships Docked in Orbit. [Credit: SpaceX]With each test flight, SpaceX aims to enhance capabilities necessary for lunar landings. These include precise booster landings, in-orbit engine restarts, and controlled reentries—a prerequisite for deep space exploration. SpaceX’s long-term goal of frequent Starship launches hinges on rapid reusability, aligning with Elon Musk’s vision. Despite the challenges, progress is tangible, with plans underway to establish additional launch infrastructure in Texas and Florida.

The upcoming refueling demonstration involves autonomously linking two Starships in orbit, a task not without complexities. Yet, leveraging experience from Dragon capsule missions, SpaceX aims to navigate these challenges. The propellant transfer process relies on a pressure differential mechanism, simplifying the flow between donor and recipient tanks. Fine-tuning this procedure is crucial to avoid propellant loss during transfers.

Plans for SpaceX’s Ship-to-Ship Cryogenic Transfer Demonstration. [Credit: NASA/Amit Kshatriya]Success in these demonstrations will determine the number of refueling tankers required for lunar missions. While predictions exist, practical tests will validate these estimates, ensuring mission success. As SpaceX pushes boundaries, industry experts emphasize the importance of collaboration and innovation. With a resilient team and the right attitude, SpaceX aims to overcome challenges and pioneer the next era of space exploration. While ambitious, SpaceX’s endeavors signify a paradigm shift in space exploration, driven by a collective vision of advancing humanity’s reach beyond Earth’s orbit.

[ANS thanks Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, for the above information]

GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers May 2024 Rankings

The May 2024 rankings for the Top 100 Rovers (Mixed LEO/MEO/GEO) in satellite operations, as determined by @GridMasterMap on Twitter, has been released. The ranking is determined by the number of grids and DXCC entities activated, taking into account only those grids where a minimum number of QSOs logged on the gridmaster.fr website have been validated by a third party. Grid numbers do not directly reflect the exact number of activations. Satellite operators are encouraged to upload their LoTW satellite contacts to https://gridmaster.fr in order to provide more accurate data.

Updated: 2024-05-01

1 ND9M 26 N5BO 51 SP5XSD 76 FG8OJ 2 NJ7H 27 K8BL 52 AD7DB 77 PT9BM 3 JA9KRO 28 LU5ILA 53 JL3RNZ 78 KJ7NDY 4 N5UC 29 KE4AL 54 F4DXV 79 KI7UXT 5 UT1FG 30 DL2GRC 55 KE9AJ 80 YU0W 6 OE3SEU 31 VE3HLS 56 KI7QEK 81 WA9JBQ 7 DL6AP 32 KB5FHK 57 PA3GAN 82 N4DCW 8 WI7P 33 KI7UNJ 58 N8RO 83 HB9GWJ 9 HA3FOK 34 LA9XGA 59 XE1ET 84 KB2YSI 10 K5ZM 35 F4BKV 60 KM4LAO 85 N0TEL 11 N6UA 36 N7AGF 61 VE1CWJ 86 VE3GOP 12 N9IP 37 JO2ASQ 62 SM3NRY 87 KI0KB 13 WY7AA 38 XE3DX 63 N4UFO 88 JM1CAX 14 W5PFG 39 K7TAB 64 VA3VGR 89 CU2ZG 15 AK8CW 40 KE0PBR 65 W1AW 90 K0FFY 16 AD0DX 41 KE0WPA 66 VA7LM 91 KG4AKV 17 DP0POL 42 N6DNM 67 PT2AP 92 AF5CC 18 WD9EWK 43 PR8KW 68 M1DDD 93 VE6WK 19 AD0HJ 44 AC0RA 69 DL4EA 94 W8MTB 20 ON4AUC 45 EB1AO 70 AA8CH 95 VE7PTN 21 KX9X 46 JK2XXK 71 N4AKV 96 DK9JC 22 KG5CCI 47 W7WGC 72 LU4JVE 97 K6VHF 23 ND0C 48 EA4NF 73 VE1VOX 98 N6UTC 24 DJ8MS 49 VK5DG 74 W8LR 99 PT9ST 25 F5VMJ 50 AA5PK 75 DF2ET 100 VO2AC

[ANS thanks @GridMasterMap for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack 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/ Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 3, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

Correction to last week’s addition:
KASHIWA NORAD Cat ID 59508 Correct downlink 437.3753 MHz (Thanks Nico PA0DLO)

The following satellites have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:
NIUSAT NORAD Cat ID 42766 Decayed from orbit on or about 27 April 2024
ExoCube 2 NORAD Cat ID 47319 Decayed from orbit on or about 30 April 2024

[ANS thanks AMSAT Orbital Elements page for the above information]

ARISS NEWS

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.

Recently Completed Contacts

Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School Center for Innovation, Raleigh, NC, telebridge via K6DUE
The ISS callsign was NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember was Matthew Dominick KCØTOR
The ARISS mentor was AA6TB
Contact was successful: Wed 2024-05-01 12:03:49 UTC
Watch for Livestream at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnAZJknxsgw

Wireless Institute of Australia / Bundaberg High School Amateur Radio Club, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, telebridge via VK6MJ
The ISS callsign was NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember was Mike Barratt KD5MIJ
The ARISS mentor was VK4KHZ
Contact was successful: Sat 2024-05-04 10:28:24 UTC

Upcoming Contacts

Eric Knows CIC, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, telebridge via K6DUE
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Matthew Dominick KCØTOR
The ARISS mentor is MØXTD
Contact is go for: Sat 2024-05-11 08:42:32 UTC

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system is also active (145.825 MHz up & down).

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Dayton Hamvention 2024
Friday May 17th – Sunday May 19th
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

38th Annual Small Satellite Conference
August 3-8, 2024
Logan, UT, USA
https://smallsat.org

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Events page for the above information]

Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get an 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 Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Congratulations are in order for RJ Bragg, WY7AA, and Andrew Northam, KE8FZT, for their impressive accomplishments in earning GridMaster Awards #64 and #65, respectively! This esteemed recognition, initiated by Star Comm Group in 2014 and backed by Damon Runion, WA4HFN, and Rick Tillman, WA4NVM, has now been entrusted to AMSAT for the benefit of the entire amateur satellite community. The GridMaster Award celebrates radio amateurs worldwide who achieve two-way communication via amateur satellite with operators in all 488 Maidenhead grids across the contiguous United States of America. For more details on this distinguished award, visit the AMSAT website at https://www.amsat.org/gridmaster/. Andrew and RJ, your achievement is truly commendable—well done! (ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards for the above information)

+ AMSAT Italia proudly announces the acquisition of ownership of the IO-117 “GreenCube” satellite, with Sapienza University retaining partial ownership. Through collaboration, the satellite will continue amateur radio operations post-primary scientific mission completion, preventing its decommissioning. This transfer of legal responsibility from the Italian Space Agency to AMSAT Italia solidifies the satellite’s exclusive amateur radio use. Originally named GreenCube, it was developed by Sapienza University, ENEA, and University of Naples Federico II, with AMSAT Italia contributing to its design. On October 29, 2022, GreenCube became the first ham radio satellite to operate in a MEO orbit, designated as Italy-OSCAR 117 (IO-117) by AMSAT. AMSAT Italia, Sapienza Space Systems, and Space Surveillance Laboratory commit to operating the satellite for continued service to the amateur radio community. (ANS thanks AMSAT Italia for the above information)

+ Boeing’s Crew Flight Test (CFT) of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is scheduled for Monday, May 6, with a targeted launch time of 10:34 p.m. EDT. Led by Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Pilot Suni Williams, both experienced NASA astronauts, this mission comes after over a decade in development. The duo will spend at least eight days aboard the International Space Station (ISS) conducting various flight test objectives before returning for a solid-ground landing. Wilmore and Williams will be the first humans to fly atop the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket since 1963 and execute the first “land” landing of a crew-carrying U.S. spacecraft since 2011. Originally not slated for this mission, Wilmore and Williams stepped in after several crew changes, with Williams set to become the first woman to fly the maiden voyage of a new orbital-class vehicle. Deep into pre-flight quarantine, the astronauts express their readiness, acknowledging the challenges and the learning opportunities that lie ahead in this ambitious test flight. (ANS thanks Ben Evans, AmericaSpace, for the above information)

+ On April 25, 2024, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub conducted a successful spacewalk, lasting four hours and 36 minutes, to install communication and corrosion analysis equipment on the International Space Station (ISS). The spacewalk aimed to deploy a communications system and install equipment to analyze corrosion levels on station surfaces. Kononenko, with seven spacewalks under his belt, and Chub, on his second, completed their tasks, including deploying a panel for a synthetic radar communications system on the Russian segment of the ISS. This mission marked the 270th spacewalk for assembly, maintenance, and upgrades of the space station, with Kononenko and Chub having arrived at the station on September 15, 2023, aboard the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft. (ANS thanks SciTechDaily.com, for the above information)

+ Two new Galileo navigation satellites were launched from Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, April 27th, at 8:34 p.m. EDT, bolstering the system’s constellation to 30 satellites and amplifying reliability and precision for billions of users globally. Since its inception in 2016, Galileo has been pivotal across various sectors such as rail, maritime, agriculture, and rescue operations, contributing significantly to the EU’s GDP, with 10% reliant on satellite navigation. This launch follows the recent introduction of the new Public Regulated Service signals, further solidifying Europe’s independence in satellite navigation. Notably, this marks the first time Galileo satellites have been launched aboard an American-made rocket, a significant development amid Europe’s diminishing space collaboration with Russia. (ANS thanks the European Space Agency, for the above information)

+ SpaceX’s 30th Dragon cargo mission successfully returned to Earth, splashing down off the coast of Florida in the early hours of April 30th. Departing from the International Space Station on April 28th, the capsule completed its mission under the CRS-30 contract with NASA. Loaded with over 4,100 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments, Dragon is unique in its capability to safely bring gear back from the ISS, unlike other operational spacecraft that burn up upon reentry. This return enables quick transportation of experiments to NASA’s facilities for data collection. Meanwhile, another SpaceX vehicle remains docked at the ISS, supporting the Crew-8 astronaut mission for NASA, launched in early March. (ANS thanks Mike Wall, Space.com, for the above information)

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor, Mitch Ahrenstorff, ADØHJ
ad0hj [at] amsat.org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Changes in the ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section

ARRL News - Fri, 05/03/2024 - 12:53

Steven Hendricks, KK6JTB, has been appointed as Section Manager of the ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section.

He fills the vacancy left by John Litz, NZ6Q, who was appointed as Vice Director of the ARRL Pacific Division.  

Hendricks has always had a love for radio, and he first earned his amateur radio license a decade ago. "In 2014, I became licensed as a Technician, and in 2015 I became a General," h...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Storms and Tornadoes: Amateur Radio Ready

ARRL News - Fri, 05/03/2024 - 12:53

Strong storms and reports of at least 60 tornadoes have wreaked havoc in the Central U.S. for nearly two weeks. Homes and businesses across Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Iowa were destroyed, and power is still down for more than 30,000 residents. On May 1, 2024, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster exists in Oklahoma, making federal aid available to those affected by last we...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Students to Promote Collegiate Amateur Radio at the 2024 ARRL National Convention at Dayton Hamvention®

ARRL News - Fri, 05/03/2024 - 12:44

Young adults planning to attend the 2024 ARRL National Convention at Dayton Hamvention® can look forward to meeting many other young hams at the event, including college students representing the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program (CARP). The convention is on May 17 - 19, 2024, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.

CARP will occupy a booth in the large ARRL exhibit ...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The K7RA Solar Update

ARRL News - Fri, 05/03/2024 - 09:55

"ASWFC GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING ISSUED 1817 UTC/02 MAY 2024 BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE WEATHER FORECASTING CENTRE.

"A period of planetary G3 geomagnetic conditions has been observed
on 02-May, associated with two recent CME arrivals and a sustained
period of southward IMF conditions. Further periods of G3 are
possible over 02-03 May.

"INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED DUE TO CORONAL MASS E...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

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