[ans] ANS-344 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 9 18:49:41 PST 2006


AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-344

ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the
activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an
active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org


In this edition:

* RAFT, ANDE, MARSCom, and GeneSat-1 Satellites Going Up This Week
* Last Chance for Federal CFC Contributions to AMSAT This Week
* Send Your Name and Callsign to the Moon
* Please Make Your Updates to the AMSAT Volunteer Reporting System
* AMSAT-UK Initiates Push for Region 1 Microwave Satellite Allocation
* Unique Donation Opportunity Through The Pension Protection Act
* Satellite News From All Over
* ARISS Status Report for the Week of December 4, 2006

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.01
RAFT, ANDE, MARSCom, and GeneSat-1 Satellites Going Up This Week

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.01

Space Shuttle Discovery was successfully launched on Saturday  
carrying to orbit three new satellites, RAFT-1, MARSCOM and ANDE 
designed, built, and tested by the Midshipmen of the US Naval 
Academy's Satellite Laboratory in Annapolis, Maryland.

The RAFT-1 and ANDE satellite downlinks will be 145.825 MHz.  The 
frequencies used by MARSCOM are on Navy-Marine Corps MARS frequen-
cies.

For full technical details please refer to:
http://www.ew.usna.edu/%7Ebruninga/ande-raft-ops.html

Another feature of the RAFT mission will allow amateur radio operators
to listen to the signal as the satellite crosses the National Space 
Surveillance Network satellite radar tracking system. RAFT has a 
216.98 MHz direct conversion receiver down to 145.825 MHz so you will 
hear the radar ping on RAFT's downlink.  It will be a tone proportional 
to the Doppler as it flies through the radar fence, lasting about one 
second.

GeneSat-1, a secondary payload aboard the Minotaur Launch Vehicle, will 
launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA Wallops 
Flight Facility on December 11, 2006, about 7:00am EST.  The Minotaur 
launch window is 3 hours, 1200z-1500z.  GeneSat-1 is a 10 x 10 x 30 cm. 
spacecraft, which will conduct a cellular biology technology demonstration.

Of particular interest to the amateur radio satellite community, is the
GeneSat-1 beacon.  Operating at 437.075 MHz FM, the beacon sends an AX.25
packet every 5 seconds; the packet contains data about the spacecraft
systems operation.  Full details are available on the mission website 
at http://www.genesat1.org.

[ANS thanks the US Naval Academy and GeneSat teams for the above information]

/EX

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.02
Last Chance for Federal CFC Contributions to AMSAT This Week

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.02
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.02

Attention Federal Employees - This is your final week to support AMSAT
through your pledge in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Gunther Meisse, 
W8GSM, and AMSAT treasurer has announced that any Federal employee can
make a contribution to the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation when they
complete their pledge for 2006. AMSAT is listed as Agency Number CFC 2944.

Your contribution directly supports AMSAT's educational outreach and
satellite construction projects including work on AMSAT-Eagle. Pledges may
be made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign
season. 

The campaign runs from September 1st to December 15th, 2006.

To learn more about CFC visit the CFC website at:
http://www.opm.gov/cfc/

[ANS thanks Gunther Meisse, W8GSM, AMSAT Treasurer for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.03
Send Your Name and Callsign to the Moon

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.03
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.03

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch
the SELENE lunar orbiter by an H-IIA Launch Vehicle in the summer of 
2007.

The major objective of the SELENE mission is to acquire scientific
data to answer key questions on the Moon's origin and evolution. It is
the first fully-fledged lunar exploration project since the Apollo
program.

JAXA is collecting names and will have them etched on a sheet which is
attached to the spacecraft. This is a worldwide campaign sponsored by 
JAXA in cooperation with The Planetary Society of Japan and The Planetary 
Society of the U.S.A.

Please send your name and message within the following letter limits 
before January 31, 2007:
   In Japanese: Name should be within 10 characters, and the message
                should be within 20 characters.
   In English:  Name should be within 10 letters, and the message
                should be within 40 letters.

More information is availabe in English at: 
http://www.jaxa.jp/pr/event/selene/index_e.html

[ANS thanks JAXA for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.04
Please Make Your Updates to the AMSAT Volunteer Reporting System

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.04
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.04

Attention AMSAT Volunteers:
It is that time of the year again.
We need to be sure as many volunteer hours as possible have been 
reported to the VRS (Volunteer Reporting System) on the AMSAT web 
site. Over the last few years thousands of dollars of volunteer time 
have been reported and we are sure this year will be our largest 
given all the work that has done on Eagle.

If you are already registered on the VRS site please take a few 
minutes and report these 2006 hours. If you have not reported before, 
please visit amsat.org, register, and help us keep track of this 
important aspect of the AMSAT mission. We'll keep the year open until 
the middle of January but hope you will take the time within the next 
couple weeks to update your report.  You may combine your efforts for 
the entire year into one filing if that would make the process more 
convenient.

[ANS thanks Gunther Meisse, W8GSM, AMSAT Treasurer for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.05
AMSAT-UK Initiates Push for Region 1 Microwave Satellite Allocation

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.05
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.05

Graham, G3VZV announced last week that AMSAT-UK is working with RSGB on a 
proposal paper to seek to establish access to the 3400-3410 MHz band for 
the Amateur Satellite Service in IARU Region 1.  This meeting is scheduled
for February, 2007.  

At present only Regions 2 and 3 have such an ITU allocation and here in
Region 1, even terrestrial activity is only by footnote to the Radio
Regulations or by national rule making.

We have a list of Region 1 countries that do have such terrestrial access - 
see http://www.uk.amsat.org/images/3400region1.JPG

If anyone has any corrections or additions to the list please let Graham
know [callsign at amsat.org]. 

[ANS thanks Graham, G3VZV for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.06
Unique Donation Opportunity Through The Pension Protection Act

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.06
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.06

Recent legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Bush can
help AMSAT raise the funds needed to build Eagle. The law, called the
Pension Protection Act (PPA), includes a provision enabling AMSAT to
raise substantially more money than might have been previously possible.
However, time is short to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

Serious construction work must be funded this year to have Eagle ready
to orbit by the target of 2009.

Basically, here's the story on how the new law can help Eagle fly!

The PPA provides that U.S. taxpayers with IRAs who have reached the age
of 70-1/2, may contribute to qualified charities, part or all (up to
$100,000 per year or $200,000 for married couples filing jointly), of
the money they must annually withdraw from their IRAs.

Thus, many AMSAT members and other supporters of the amateur radio space
program have a marvelous opportunity to keep the Eagle project on track.

If you must withdraw a certain amount from your IRA each year, there is
a big advantage to making such withdrawals as direct contributions to
AMSAT rather than merely receiving the distributions and then
contributing in the usual manner. Under PPA, the amount you contribute
directly is NOT counted as income and thus may put you into a lower tax
bracket. It may also reduce  the percentage of your Social Security
income subject to taxation.

Key provisions of the new legislation to keep in mind:

1. Donors must hold either a conventional or Roth IRA.

2. Donors must be at least 70-1/2 years of age.

3. Contributions must be made directly from the IRA to the charitable
organization not to a donor- advised fund, private foundation, gift
annuity or trust.

4. Donations may be made this year and next only, and must be made by
December 31, 2006 and December 31, 2007.

5. The maximum amount a contributor may donate each year is $100,000.

6. Direct contributions to qualified charities from IRAs, in accordance
with the PPA provisions, are NOT counted as taxable income.

If you are 70-1/2 or older and have an IRA, you are in a position to
take advantage of this potential windfall for the Eagle project. AMSAT
urges you to first check with your tax advisor for specifics regarding
your individual situation, then ask your IRA custodian to transfer to
AMSAT part or all of what you are required to withdraw. Be sure to have
this transfer completed before December 31st.

Let's all of us do our part to get Eagle into orbit.

* Have your IRA custodian call the AMSAT office to get information on
how to transfer your contribution. The number 301-589-6062. Office hours
are 10 AM to 6 PM EST.

[ANS thanks BIll, W3XO, for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.07
Satellite News From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.07
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.07

* Heads up for European satellite operators!  Paul, 2E1EUB says he will
be active from Scotland on the birds from December 10-14.

* Ed Long, WA4SWJ, Editor of The AMSAT Journal announced this week that 
the Nov/Dec 06 issue of The AMSAT Journal was uploaded to the printer. 
You should have it in you mailbox soon. Thanks to all the Journal 
contributors.

* The HC8N (Galapagos Islands) contest group was active on the AO-51 and 
SO-50 satellites prior to the CQ WW CW Contest. A total of 16 QSOs were 
made via these satellites in 6 countries. Ramon, XE1KK - who had given 
many operators their first satellite QSO with the Galapagos finally worked 
HC8N via SO-50. The HC8N 2006 satellite station consisted of a FT-50R and 
an "Arrow" antenna. Bruce, AA5B and Mark, N5OT assisted with the satellite 
activity. QSL via W5UE.

* Matthias, DD1US has a "Sounds from Space" webpage at http://www.dd1us.de.
He has collected recordings of space objects like MIR, ISS and satellites
presently in orbit which may be of help to people identify transmissions 
they might have received.

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-344.08
ARISS Status Report for the Week of December 4, 2006

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 344.08
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
December 10, 2006
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-344.08

1. School Contacts to be Scheduled

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team 
continues to work on scheduling school contacts for December.

2. ARRL Article on Henri D’Haese School Contact

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) ran an article on Mike Lopez-
Alegria’s Amateur Radio contact with children attending the Henri 
D’Haese Primary School in Belgium.  See: 
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/11/28/102/?nc=1

3. Debrief Session with Space Visitor

On Tuesday, November 28, the ARISS team spoke with space participant 
Anousheh Ansari to discuss her experience with Amateur Radio contacts 
while onboard the ISS. She provided valuable feedback to the team.

4. Astronaut Participates in SKYWARN Recognition Day

The National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Radio Relay League 
co-sponsored SKYWARN Recognition Day on Saturday, December 2 to thank 
those hams who volunteer to act as storm spotters and who are trained 
in emergency communications.  The activity called for Amateur Radio 
perators to exchange contact information, including a short weather 
report for their location, with as many NWS stations as possible. Mike 
Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, took part in the activities and was heard speaking 
to hams in Texas.

5. ARRL Story on ARISS Mentor

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) ran a story on Barry Cohen, K2JV. 
Cohen mentored the Salt Brook Elementary School Amateur Radio on the ISS 
contact in New Providence, New Jersey, in June of this year and was 
recently named “Amateur of the Year.” See: http://www.arrl.org/?artid=6981

6. ARRL Article on Shuttle STS-116 Crew

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) ran a story covering the upcoming 
shuttle launch which will carry ham astronauts Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, 
and Christer Fugelsang, KE5CGR/SA0AFS. Both plan to participate in Amateur 
Radio contacts during their missions. See: http://www.arrl.org/?artid=6996

7. ARRL QST Articles 

The December issue of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) QST ran an 
article, "Civilian Space Traveler and Astronauts Pull Off ARISS Triple 
Header".  The story was about Jeff Williams, Thomas Reiter and Anousheh 
Ansari and described their recent Amateur Radio on the International Space 
Station school contacts.
 
Another story, "Kids Day June 2007", summarized ARRL's on-the-air operating 
event for kids.  Astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, KE5DAT, made the 
comment,  "As an astronaut, I enjoyed volunteering my time to encourage kids 
to study for their license so they can speak to folks all around the world 
and even on the International Space Station!”

[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI for the above information]

/EX

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining donors
to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.


73,
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org



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