May 25, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

AMSAT

Via AMSAT: ANS-267 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

In this edition:

* 2023 AMSAT Symposium Keynote Speakers Announced
* 41st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium Call for Papers
* Russian Soyuz MS-24 Launches Crew to International Space Station
* Imperial College Develops Miniature Rocket Thruster for CubeSats
* GOES-U Successfully Completes Environmental Testing for 2024 Launch
* Sentinel-1 Satellite Reveals Shifts from Morocco Earthquake
* Satellite Top 100 Rovers September 2023 Rankings
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for September 21, 2023
* 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-267 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 September 24

2023 AMSAT Symposium Keynote Speakers Announced

Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, considered to be the “father” of the CubeSat form factor, will be a keynote speaker at the 41st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting banquet.

Bob is a retired professor of Astronautics and Space Science at Morehead State University. He is responsible, along with Jordi Puig-Suari of California Polytechnic State University, for co-inventing the CubeSat reference design for miniaturized satellites which became an industry standard for design and deployment of the satellites.

Twiggs earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1961 and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in microwave devices from Stanford University in 1964.

From 1985 to 1994, Twiggs was the director of the Weber State University Center for Aerospace Technology. He served as a consulting professor in the Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1994 to 2008. At Stanford, he established the Space Systems Development Laboratory. Bob Twiggs became a professor at Morehead State University in 2009 in an effort to push the PocketQube standard leveraging the university’s large aperture (21m) space tracking system, and to help develop a space economy in the state of Kentucky.

In 2019, Twiggs designed and proposed another smaller, simpler satellite form factor called ThinSat which could enable high school students to design and build satellites.

Joining Bob in the presentation will be Nick Pugh, K5QXJ. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Nick is credited with establishing the first microwave loop in the Gulf of Mexico just two years after his graduation from University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). His pioneering leadership with telecommunications technology in and around the Gulf of Mexico over the years has spurred regional economic development.

Nick is also a longtime community volunteer. He directed University of Louisiana Lafayette’s successful effort to become the first college team in Louisiana to build and launch satellites. He also advised the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy’s high school student team, which placed a biological experiment on the International Space Station. Nick is also a member of the Acadiana Area Radio Association and the Lafayette Computer Club, and a founding member of Acadiana Open Channel.

Nick has served as chair of Habitat for Humanity Lafayette. He was a member of Leadership Lafayette Class XXVII and is a 1998 graduate of Harvard’s Owner/President Management program. He is also the founder of the Pugh Family Foundation, a philanthropic venture focused on helping to create a world-class public education system in the Acadiana region.

[ANS thanks AMSAT and Wikipedia for the above information.]


41st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium Call for Papers

Papers are now being accepted for the 41st annual AMSAT Space Symposium to be held on the weekend of October 20-21, 2023 at the Sheraton DFW Airport in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

Proposals for Symposium papers and presentations are invited on any topic of interest to the amateur satellite community. We request a tentative title of your presentation as soon as possible, with final copy submitted by October 12 for inclusion in the symposium proceedings. Abstracts and papers should be sent to Dan Schultz, N8FGV at n8fgv at amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Dan Schultz, N8FGV, AMSAT Symposium Proceedings Editor, for the above information]


Russian Soyuz MS-24 Launches Crew to International Space Station

Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-24, carrying two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut, successfully blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, September 15th, with live TV footage capturing the launch. This mission marked the 85th launch of the Soyuz 2.1a in 2023 and the 6th launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the same year, contributing to the 149th orbital launch attempt of 2023.

The Soyuz MS-24 mission, also known as Expedition 70/71, had initially been scheduled for March 16, 2023. However, due to technical issues with the docked Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, the crewed mission was reassigned to Soyuz MS-24. The spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-24, carried American astronaut Loral O’Hara along with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub.

The mission launched under the auspices of the Russian space agency, ROSCOSMOS, utilizing the Soyuz 2.1a launch vehicle. The lift-off took place from Launch Complex 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The spacecraft’s destination was the International Space Station (ISS), situated in a low Earth orbit approximately 400 kilometers above Earth’s surface at a 51.66° inclination.

The crew of Soyuz MS-24, upon reaching the ISS, would join the existing station crew members, which included NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Jasmin Moghbeli, KI5WSL, Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin, Konstantin Borisov, Sergei Prokopyev, as well as Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen, KG5GCZ, and Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa, KE5DAW.

The Soyuz MS-24 crew was composed of Commander Oleg Kononenko, Flight Engineer 1 Nikolai Chub from ROSCOSMOS, and Flight Engineer 2 Loral O’Hara from NASA. Commander Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, had previously completed four spaceflights and accumulated 916 days in space, exceeding the previous record of 878 days held by Gennady Padalka.

Nikolai Chub, on the other hand, was embarking on his first journey to space as Flight Engineer 1, having been selected as a Roscosmos cosmonaut in 2012. Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM, Flight Engineer 2, was an astronaut candidate with NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, making Soyuz MS-24 her maiden spaceflight.

Soyuz, introduced in 1966, has long served as the multi-use medium-lift launch vehicle for the Soviet/Russian space program. Its versatile capabilities encompass launching civilian and military satellites, cargo, and crewed missions to the ISS. The Soyuz-2 rocket stands approximately 46.3 meters tall, with a diameter of 2.95 meters, and a total lift-off mass of about 312,000 kilograms. Its payload capacity to low-Earth orbit ranges from 6,600 to 7,400 kilograms.

The Soyuz MS spacecraft, in this case, Soyuz MS-24, is the latest iteration of Russia’s renowned three-person spacecraft. Although its external appearance has remained relatively consistent since its first flight in the 1960s, internal systems and capabilities have been modernized over time.

The spacecraft consists of three sections: the orbital module, the descent module, and the service module. The orbital module is where the crew primarily resides while in orbit and docks with the ISS. The descent module is the section that returns to Earth intact, carrying the crew during launch and reentry. The service module houses the main engine for orbital maneuvers, thrusters for docking, and life support systems.

The Soyuz MS-24 mission docked with the ISS approximately three hours and 15 minutes after liftoff, adding to the station’s international crew and enabling further scientific research in the unique environment of space.

[ANS thanks Mariia Kiseleva, writing for Everyday Astronaut for the above information]

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The 2023 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of its launch
on June 16, 1983, this year’s coin features
an image of AMSAT-OSCAR 10.


Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/
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Imperial College Develops Miniature Rocket Thruster for CubeSats

Researchers at Imperial College have designed a miniature rocket thruster so small that it can only be fabricated using techniques originally intended for creating silicon microchips. Named the “Iridium Catalysed Electrolysis CubeSat Thruster” or ICE-Cube Thruster, this innovation holds the promise of revolutionizing the propulsion systems for small satellites, particularly CubeSats, by offering a compact, efficient, and eco-friendly solution.

Satellites weighing under 10 kilograms, constituting approximately 90% of today’s satellite launches, present a unique set of challenges when it comes to developing components for them. Among the most critical challenges is designing rocket thrusters tailored to the limitations of CubeSats. These thrusters must not only be diminutive in size but also uncomplicated, unpressurized, low-power, and devoid of toxic materials.

Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the ICE-Cube Thruster meets these stringent criteria, with its primary attribute being its diminutive size. The entire thruster chip, comparable in length to a human fingernail, features a combustion chamber and nozzle measuring a mere 1 millimeter. It demands a mere 20 watts of electric current to operate. A test campaign achieved 1.25 millinewtons of thrust at a specific impulse of 185 seconds. To provide a sense of scale, this thrust output is roughly half a billion times less powerful than the engines used on the Space Shuttle.

However, the true innovation of the ICE-Cube Thruster lies in its propellant choice, ordinary water. Water, known for its non-explosive and non-flammable properties, is utilized as the propellant of choice. An onboard electric current induces electrolysis within the thruster, breaking down the water into hydrogen and oxygen. These gases are then fed into the combustion chamber, where they ignite, producing the necessary thrust to maneuver the CubeSat.

This utilization of water as propellant not only aligns with sustainability goals but also reduces overall payload requirements. The absence of the need for pressurization in storing the propellant streamlines storage and handling systems, making them lighter and more straightforward. However, the challenge lay in fabricating the combustion chamber and nozzle for the thruster, a task that required adopting a technique akin to microelectronics. The researchers utilized Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques, typically used for machining silicon wafers for processors to sub-micrometer tolerances.

The successful testing of the ICE-Cube Thruster was conducted through an ESA General Support Technology Programme De-Risk activity, validating its feasibility in a controlled laboratory environment. The data acquired during this testing phase will serve as a vital guide in the development of a flight-representative “Engineering Model” of the propulsion system, including the electrolyser. This development is slated to be led by URA Thrusters in collaboration with Imperial College.

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information]


GOES-U Successfully Completes Environmental Testing for 2024 Launch

NOAA’s upcoming satellite, GOES-U, the final addition to the GOES-R Series of advanced geostationary satellites, has completed a rigorous battery of tests to ensure its readiness for the challenges of launch and its mission in space. The year-long testing process concluded with GOES-U proving its resilience to the harsh conditions of space, situated 22,236 miles above Earth.

The testing regimen, which commenced in November 2022, involved subjecting GOES-U to extreme temperatures ranging from a scorching 188 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees Celsius) to a bone-chilling minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 55 degrees Celsius). This thermal vacuum testing aimed to simulate the harsh temperature fluctuations during both launch and its mission in the space environment.

Following this, in February 2023, the satellite underwent vibration testing to ensure its structural integrity during the stresses of launch. It then faced the intense sounds of 138.4 decibels during acoustic testing, replicating the noise levels experienced during launch.

March 2023 witnessed the successful completion of shock testing, confirming GOES-U’s ability to withstand the separation from the launch vehicle and the deployment of its solar panels. Subsequently, in August 2023, electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMI/EMC) testing ensured that the satellite’s operations would remain unaffected by various forms of electromagnetic radiation.

Notably, GOES-U’s large five-panel solar array, initially folded during launch, was verified to deploy correctly upon reaching geostationary orbit. These solar panels will serve as the primary source of power, converting sunlight into electricity to operate the satellite’s instruments, computers, data processors, sensors, and telecommunications equipment.

The exhaustive testing program was conducted at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Littleton, Colorado, where GOES-U was built. Simultaneously, as the satellite was being prepared for the rigors of launch and space, the GOES-U mission operations team engaged in critical rehearsals to test launch procedures and communication systems between the satellite and ground facilities.

These rehearsals encompassed a wide range of scenarios, including normal operations and contingency procedures in case of unexpected events. The team also conducted tests for compatibility with the Compact Coronagraph-1 (CCOR-1) instrument, which will monitor the sun’s corona as part of NOAA’s Space Weather Follow-On mission.

GOES-U remains on schedule for its planned April 2024 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, utilizing a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Following its successful journey to geostationary orbit, it will be renamed GOES-19 and undergo a series of on-orbit instrument and systems checkouts, followed by the validation of its data products.

The GOES-R Series is hailed as the Western Hemisphere’s most advanced weather and environmental monitoring system. Comprising four satellites, the program includes GOES-R (GOES-16), GOES-S (GOES-17), GOES-T (GOES-18), and GOES-U. These satellites play a pivotal role in providing crucial data for weather forecasts, environmental hazard detection, and monitoring solar activity and space weather.

The GOES-R Series is set to operate into the 2030s. In parallel, NOAA and NASA are collaboratively working on the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) mission, ushering in the next generation of geostationary satellites to address future environmental challenges for U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations. This collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA continues to advance environmental monitoring and scientific research from space.

[ANS thanks NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for the above information]

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Sentinel-1 Satellite Reveals Shifts from Morocco Earthquake

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco on September 8th, satellite data is proving to be a vital asset for emergency response teams. The International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters,’ which offers rapid support during major crises, quickly deployed Earth observation assets to assist rescue efforts.

Additionally, radar measurements from Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission are being utilized to assess ground shifts caused by the earthquake. This information not only aids in planning reconstruction efforts but also advances scientific research.

The powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Atlas Mountains, about 75 kilometers from Marrakesh, Morocco in an area rarely affected by such seismic events.

Tragically, the earthquake resulted in significant loss of life, building collapses, and infrastructure damage. The impact was felt as far as the country’s northern coast.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, along with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, invoked the International Charter Space & Major Disasters. This initiative allows for the swift provision of satellite imagery to define the extent of the disaster, enhancing rescue operations.

Satellites play a crucial role in rapid damage assessment and disaster management. Recognizing this, the European Space Agency (ESA) and France’s CNES space agency established the International Charter Space and Major Disasters in 1999 to foster international collaboration in disaster response.

In alignment with this collaboration, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated to share satellite data in response to the Moroccan earthquake. High-resolution images from France’s Pléiades satellites were used to create detailed damage maps, aiding rescue teams in their operations.

These maps assist in identifying safe routes and bridges, ensuring the safety of responders. Philippe Bally, ESA representative of the International Charter, emphasized the urgency of delivering satellite data promptly to support relief efforts.

While the response to Morocco’s disaster continues, scientists are using measurements from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission to assess ground changes using a technique called ‘interferometry.’ This helps to understand the earthquake’s impact and potential future hazards.

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission’s radar capabilities allow scientists to observe and analyze the precise effects of earthquakes on the land surface. This information is crucial for post-disaster restoration efforts.

As Morocco works toward recovery, international space agencies and initiatives like the International Charter, alongside satellite missions such as Sentinel-1, are playing a crucial role in easing the burden on emergency responders and advancing our understanding of seismic events. These efforts contribute significantly to global disaster mitigation.

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information]


Satellite Top 100 Rovers September 2023 Rankings

The September 2023 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: 2023-09-08

1 ND9M 26 KE4AL 51 OE3SEU 76 DF2ET
2 NJ7H 27 LU5ILA 52 KE9AJ 77 N0TEL
3 N5UC 28 VE3HLS 53 VE1CWJ 78 KB2YSI
4 JA9KRO 29 KI7UNJ 54 JL3RNZ 79 KJ7NDY
5 DL6AP 30 KB5FHK 55 KM4LAO 80 CU2ZG
6 HA3FOK 31 LA9XGA 56 N4UFO 81 VE6WK
7 N9IP 32 N7AGF 57 VA7LM 82 VK5DG
8 WY7AA 33 XE3DX 58 N8RO 83 VE7PTN
9 WI7P 34 N6DNM 59 SM3NRY 84 AF5CC
10 N6UA 35 F4BKV 60 FG8OJ 85 YU0W
11 AD0DX 36 DL2GRC 61 PT2AP 86 W1AW
12 W5PFG 37 KE0PBR 62 AA8CH 87 PT9ST
13 DP0POL 38 K7TAB 63 AM1SAT 88 DK9JC
14 K5ZM 39 KE0WPA 64 F5VMJ 89 VO2AC
15 AD0HJ 40 W7WGC 65 KI7QEK 90 W8LR
16 AK8CW 41 JO2ASQ 66 VE1VOX 91 DL4EA
17 WD9EWK 42 EA4NF 67 M1DDD 92 KG4AKV
18 ON4AUC 43 AC0RA 68 VA3VGR 93 LW2DAF
19 KX9X 44 PR8KW 69 LU4JVE 94 HB9GWJ
20 KG5CCI 45 AA5PK 70 KI7UXT 95 KC7JPC
21 N5BO 46 JK2XXK 71 N4DCW 96 XE1ET
22 DJ8MS 47 EB1AO 72 PT9BM 97 AB5SS
23 ND0C 48 F4DXV 73 WA9JBQ 98 A41ZZ
24 K8BL 49 SP5XSD 74 VE3GOP 99 K4DCA
25 UT1FG 50 AD7DB 75 K0FFY 100 WN9Q

[ANS thanks @GridMasterMap for the above information]

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Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for September 21, 2023

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. Elements in the TLE bulletin files are updated daily. TLE bulletin files are updated to add or remove satellites as necessary 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/

This week there are no additions or deletions to the AMSAT TLE distribution.

[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.

+ Upcoming Contacts

Colegio Educación del Talento, Yerba Buena, Tucumán, Argentina, direct via LU5KHF
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ or Jasmin Moghbeli KI5WSL
The ARISS mentor is VE6JBJ
Contact is for: Mon 2023-09-25 15:08:45 UTC

Amur State University, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Oleg Kononenko
The ARISS mentor is RV3DR
Contact is for: Thu 2023-09-28 08:45 UTC

ARISS planned radio outage next week. In support of the Soyuz undocking planned for Wed. 9/27 the Voice Repeater & Digipeater will be off for the event.
Current Schedule:
Radios off: Tue. Sep. 26 about 12:20 UTC | 8:20 AM ET
Radios on: Thu. Sep. 28 about 07:45 UTC | 3:45 AM ET

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

K5Z will be active on IO-117 from DL88 on September 25-27. See the updated pass schedule at https://www.qrz.com/db/KI0KB/P.

Doug, VA7LM will be active on IO-117 for the final time this year from CO44 on 24th September at 0102z.

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.

+ ARRL Minnesota State Convention
October 14, 2023
Hennepin Technical College
9000 Brooklyn Blvd.
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
http://mnconvention.org

+ 2023 AMSAT-UK Colloquium & RSGB Convention
October 14-15, 2023
Kents Hill Park Conference Centre
Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ, United Kingdom

+ 41st AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting
October 20-21, 2023
Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel
4440 W John Carpenter Fwy, Irving, TX 75063

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Virgin Galactic successfully completed its third commercial suborbital spaceflight, known as “Galactic 03,” on September 8, carrying three private astronauts. The VSS Unity spaceplane, attached to the VMS Eve mothership, took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico and reached an altitude of 88.6 kilometers before landing back at the spaceport. Unlike previous flights, the company kept the identities of the private astronauts secret until after the landing, revealing them as Ken Baxter, Timothy Nash, and Adrian Reynard. Virgin Galactic did not provide a webcast of the mission but updated the public via social media. The company plans to continue its monthly cadence of missions with “Galactic 04” in early October. [ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.]

+ The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced an end of critical phases for two of its recently launched space missions. The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has concluded its critical operation phase, demonstrating the normal functionality of its equipment through telemetry data. SLIM will now transition to an Earth orbit phase, where it will further test its onboard systems before embarking on its lunar journey. Simultaneously, the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) also completed its critical phase, with normal operations in power generation, communication, and attitude control. XRISM is now entering a commissioning period to verify its onboard equipment’s functions. These missions, launched on September 6, 2023, mark Japan’s ambitious foray into lunar exploration with SLIM and its deep space investigations with XRISM, advancing our understanding of both the Moon and the universe. [ANS thanks the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for the above information.]

+ ESTCube-2 is set to launch aboard Vega C flight VV23 in the coming weeks, marking Europe’s final launch of 2023. This 3U CubeSat is a joint project between the Estonian Student Satellite Foundation and UT Tartu Observatory. It will test Coulomb drag propulsion, specifically E-sails, by using a positively charged wire to deflect solar wind protons and generate thrust. Additionally, it will experiment with a plasma brake to accelerate satellite deorbiting. ESTCube-2 will also conduct tests in low Earth orbit (LEO) on an electron emitter to prepare for future deep space missions. The mission includes Earth observation (EO) payloads and materials testing for LEO’s atomic oxygen environment. The team is planning a lunar mission for actual E-sailing. The Vega C launch will carry a Thai EO satellite, a Taiwanese weather satellite, and various smallsats for diverse missions such as water monitoring, tech demonstrations, IoT, and more. [ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information.]

+ NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is gearing up for a historic moment on September 24, 2023, when it will return valuable samples from asteroid Bennu to Earth, with the landing scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT (1400Z) in Utah. Launched in 2016, the mission faced unexpected challenges as Bennu’s surface differed from predictions, requiring reprogramming for a successful sample collection in 2020. Inside the descent capsule is a trove of precious asteroid material. As the spacecraft enters Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, it will deploy parachutes to ensure a controlled landing. This event marks the culmination of OSIRIS-REx’s 7-year mission, promising crucial insights into the solar system’s history and composition. [ANS thanks 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

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