May 25, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine


Via AMSAT: ANS-302 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

In this edition:

* 41st AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting YouTube Videos Available
* ARISS Announces 40th Anniversary Conference at NASA Kennedy Space Center
* Upcoming International Space Station Slow Scan TV Transmission Test
* ISRO’s Gaganyaan Successful Test Flight Sets Stage for Crewed Space Mission
* NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Receive Software Patch to Extend Their Mission
* Satellite Top 100 Rovers October 2023 Rankings
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 26
* 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 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]

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:

ANS-302 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

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

DATE 2023 OCT 29

41st AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting YouTube Videos Available

Did you miss the recent AMSAT Space Symposium in Irving, Texas? Were you unable to participate in the Symposium Livestream event? Perhaps you are eager to rewatch a specific presentation. You’re in luck because AMSAT has shared more than twelve hours of video recordings on their YouTube page. You can easily find these videos by clicking on the Live tab under The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation channel. Furthermore, YouTube offers Closed Captioning for these recordings; just click on the ‘CC’ icon in the video player’s lower right corner. If you’d prefer, you can also enable subtitles in multiple languages by clicking the gear icon, then choosing Subtitles/CC > Auto-translate and selecting your preferred language. To help you quickly access video from the AMSAT Annual General Meeting along with the sixteen presentations given at this year’s AMSAT Symposium, we have included direct links for you below.

AMSAT 41st AMSAT Space Symposium Welcome
Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT President

A Survey of Small Satellite Propulsion Systems
Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, AMSAT Assistant VP Engineering

Microwave Ambitions for GOLF Satellites
Zach Metzinger, N0ZGO, AMSAT Board of Directors

AMSAT Engineering Update
Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP Engineering

ASCENT and Fox-Plus Updates
Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, AMSAT Assistant VP Engineering

PACSAT Update and Demonstration
Bill Reed, NX5R, PACSAT Project Manager

CubeSatSim Update and Demonstration
Alan Johnston, KU2Y, AMSAT VP Educational Resources

ThinSat Project for High Schools
Nick Pugh, K5QXY, and Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD

AMSAT Youth Initiative
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT VP Development

Amateur Radio Spectrum Use in the Lunar Environment
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS-NA Executive Director

Amateur Satellite Secondary Payloads
Drew Glasbrenner, AMSAT Board of Directors/VP Operations

Michael Lipp, HB9WDF, President, AMSAT-HB

David Bowman, G0MRF,

ARISS Update
Dave Taylor, W8AAS, AMSAT US Delegate to ARISS International

40th Anniversary of Hams in Space & 2024 Anniversary Event
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS-NA Executive Director

Planned Non-AMSAT Amateur Satellites
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President

Space Qualified Antennas
Kent Britain, WA5VJB

AMSAT Annual General Meeting & Awards Ceremony
Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT President

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]

ARISS Announces 40th Anniversary Conference at NASA Kennedy Space Center

In recognition of the positive impact of amateur radio on human spaceflight, an exciting celebration is on the horizon. Space enthusiasts, astronauts, educators, and amateur radio operators are coming together to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of a groundbreaking event. This pivotal moment occurred when Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, pioneered amateur radio communication from space during his mission on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia flight, spanning from November 28 to December 8, 1983.

Astronaut Garriott, during his free time on the STS-9 mission, became the first person in space to communicate with amateur radio operators on the ground. Moreover, his radio signals were the first ever to be directly heard from space by the public, using nothing more than simple FM receivers and scanners. This milestone forever changed astronaut communication, opening up interaction with amateur radio operators and the public, who previously had limited access to speak with spacefarers.

Over the past four decades, Garriott’s pioneering mission has paved the way for countless interactions between astronauts and Earthlings through the medium of amateur radio, on the Space Shuttle, Mir space station, and the International Space Station. Over a million people on Earth have directly participated in these astronaut radio contact engagements, with a particular emphasis on educational youth contacts. This initiative, coupled with pre-contact education programs, has ignited the spark of curiosity and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) among youth worldwide.

As the 40th anniversary of human spaceflight amateur radio approaches, the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) team is inviting volunteer teams, astronauts, space agency officials, educators, and space and amateur radio enthusiasts to join them in commemorating and celebrating this inspirational journey. The event, titled the “40th Anniversary Celebration of the Positive Impact of Amateur Radio on Human Spaceflight” is scheduled to take place from February 22 to 24, 2024, at the Center for Space Education: Astronauts Memorial Foundation, located adjacent to the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center in Florida.

The conference promises an array of engaging activities, including tours of the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center, exhibits on human spaceflight amateur radio, networking sessions, STEM education demonstrations, and two days filled with astronaut panel sessions. Attendees can also look forward to presentations by STEM career alumni and recollections shared by educators and volunteer team alumni who supported hardware development, flight operations, and youth STEM engagement for the Shuttle, Mir, and ISS missions.

In a special request, the organizers of the event are seeking the stories of students who participated in the SAREX (Shuttle/Space Amateur Radio Experiment), Mir, and ARISS programs over the last 40 years and have since pursued careers in STEM. These students or those who know them are encouraged to get in touch with the organizers through in-person participation, video submissions, emails, or letters. Additionally, educator testimonials regarding the impact of these programs in schools are welcomed.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a collaborative initiative between international amateur radio societies and space agencies supporting the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors include the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN), and the ISS National Lab—Space Station Explorers. The primary goal of ARISS is to foster exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics through organized scheduled contacts between ISS crew members and students via amateur radio. These contacts are accompanied by hands-on learning activities related to space, space technologies, and amateur radio.

For registration and special event pricing at local hotels for the 40th Anniversary Conference, visit the event website at and select the “40th Anniversary” tab.

[ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations, for the above information]

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!

Upcoming International Space Station Slow Scan TV Transmission Test

The International Space Station (ISS) is set to conduct a Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmission test between October 27 and November 1, 2023. The test will serve to verify the performance of replacement SSTV equipment onboard the station. However, the test will be divided into two windows due to an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) taking place during that time frame.

The first window for SSTV transmissions will open on Friday, October 27, at 12:15 UTC and will run until Sunday, October 29, at 18:50 UTC. The second window will begin on Tuesday, October 31, at 10:05 UTC and conclude on Wednesday, November 1, at 18:10 UTC. During these windows, the SSTV transmissions will take place on 145.800 MHz using the PD120 format.

It’s important to note that, similar to the earlier October test, the SSTV transmissions may not be active at all times within the specified windows. Therefore, enthusiasts and radio operators eager to capture these images should monitor the frequencies and times closely.

The ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) SSTV gallery will be available for individuals to share the images they receive. The gallery can be accessed at For more information on the SSTV images transmitted from the ISS, you can visit the Gallery Website. This website will showcase some of the best SSTV images received during the test period.

No ARISS SSTV awards will be given for this event through the website. Stay tuned for further updates and don’t miss the chance to participate in this unique opportunity to capture images from space. For official updates and notifications related to the SSTV test, individuals are encouraged to follow ARISS on Twitter (@ARISS_Intl).

[ANS thanks ARISS (@ARISS_Intl on Twitter) for the above information]

ISRO’s Gaganyaan Successful Test Flight Sets Stage for Crewed Space Mission

India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has taken a significant step forward in its ambitious Gaganyaan project by successfully conducting the first in a series of test flights. The project aims to send astronauts into space by 2025, making India the fourth country, after the Soviet Union, the United States, and China, to achieve this milestone.

The Gaganyaan spacecraft took to the skies at 10:00 local time (04:30 UTC) on Saturday from the Sriharikota launch site. Notably, this was the second attempt on the same day, as the first launch was put on hold just five seconds before its scheduled liftoff.

The primary objective of this test flight, known as the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), was to ascertain the spacecraft’s ability to safely rescue the crew in the event of a rocket malfunction. This “crew escape system (CES),” a critical component, had to prove its effectiveness during the test.

S Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO, announced the success of the mission, eliciting cheers and applause from his colleagues. The positive outcome of this test flight now paves the way for a series of unmanned missions, including sending a robot into space next year.

The Gaganyaan project, named after the Sanskrit word for “craft” or “vehicle to the sky,” has been developed at a cost of 90 billion rupees ($1 billion; £897 million). Its mission objective is to send a crew of three astronauts into low-Earth orbit, circling at an altitude of 400 kilometers (248 miles), for a duration of three days. Success in this endeavor will position India alongside the elite spacefaring nations.

However, before embarking on this monumental mission, ISRO needed to confirm the safe return of the human-carrying capsule. This crucial safety aspect was addressed in the TV-D1 test flight, where the ability to ensure the crew’s safety by moving them at least 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the rocket in case of an emergency was demonstrated.

As part of the post-launch procedure, a series of parachutes were deployed to guide the module safely to the waters of the Bay of Bengal, approximately 10 kilometers from the Sriharikota coast. The Indian navy, with a ship and a team of divers, was prepared to recover the module and return it to shore.

The Gaganyaan test vehicle, equipped with cameras and instruments, collected valuable data and imagery during the mission. ISRO expects that this data will aid in conducting further tests and preparing for the final Gaganyaan mission.

With the successful completion of this test, ISRO is set to send a humanoid robot, named Vyommitra (Sanskrit for “space friend”), into space within an unmanned Gaganyaan spacecraft next year. The agency has also been diligently preparing Indian air force pilots, selected to be part of the crew, by subjecting them to a battery of tests, including extensive physical exercise, lab investigations, radiological assessments, clinical tests, and evaluations of their psychological fitness.

The Gaganyaan test flight generated substantial interest in India, even though it came more than half a century after astronauts from the Soviet Union and the United States embarked on journeys to low Earth orbit. China became the third nation to achieve spaceflight in 2003. India’s recent historic lunar landing near the Moon’s south pole in August 2023 and the launch of the Aditya-L1, its first Sun observation mission, have also elevated its space achievements.

In a bold vision for the future, India announced plans to establish a space station by 2035 and send an astronaut to the Moon by 2040, reaffirming its commitment to expanding its presence in space exploration.

[ANS thanks Geeta Pandey, BBC News, Delhi, for the above information]


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


NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Receive Software Patch to Extend Their Mission

In an ongoing effort to extend the life of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, a team of dedicated engineers and scientists is working diligently to address the myriad challenges posed by the aging deep-space explorers. Launched nearly half a century ago, these iconic vessels have ventured into the far reaches of interstellar space, where their primary mission is to study cosmic rays, the magnetic field, and the plasma environment.

These missions, despite their age, continue to provide valuable scientific data. Nevertheless, as the years have gone by, the Voyagers have encountered several technical issues that necessitate creative solutions to ensure their continued functionality. Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, emphasized the importance of prolonging the mission’s longevity.

“These are measures that we’re trying to take to extend the life of the mission,” Dodd stated.

One of the primary challenges faced by the Voyager team is the lack of redundancy in the spacecraft. After more than four decades in space, the Voyagers no longer possess backup systems, meaning that a failure of a single component could jeopardize the entire mission.

“Everything on both spacecraft is single-string,” Dodd explained. “There are not any backup capabilities left. In some cases, we powered off stuff to save power, just to keep the instruments on.”

To address recent issues and ensure the continued success of the missions, NASA has taken innovative approaches. Ground controllers at JPL recently uplinked a software patch to Voyager 2, as a test before deploying the same patch to Voyager 1. The patch aims to rectify a computer issue that had persisted since 2022, where the Voyager 1 computer responsible for orienting the spacecraft was sending garbled status reports.

Furthermore, engineers have developed a new strategy for operating the spacecraft’s thrusters. These thrusters are essential for keeping the main antenna on each probe pointed at Earth, and there is a buildup of propellant residue in the narrow lines that feed hydrazine fuel to the thrusters. While this approach may result in occasional data loss, it will significantly extend the overall mission by preventing the complete blockage of the propellant inlet tubes.

“These two spacecraft are still operating, still returning uniquely valuable science data, and every extra day we get data back is a blessing,” Dodd emphasized.

Another pressing issue is the spacecraft’s declining power levels, as they rely on nuclear batteries that gradually produce less electricity each year. The power situation is currently stable and predictable, but as the batteries continue to degrade, NASA anticipates having to deactivate Voyager’s science instruments one by one late in the decade. Once the transmitter’s power requirements exceed the available power, the mission will come to an end.

Nevertheless, the Voyagers continue to push the boundaries of space exploration. Both spacecraft are now in the realm of interstellar space, representing the farthest human-made objects from Earth. These pioneering missions have not only provided an invaluable wealth of scientific knowledge but have also become a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of NASA’s engineering and science teams.

“If you only look at the power situation, the Voyagers should make it until 2030, and maybe slightly longer,” Dodd stated. “But there are a lot of other issues that could pop up and cause a mission to fail.”

With contact still maintained with the Voyagers, albeit with a small team, it is NASA’s hope that these venerable spacecraft will continue their journey and provide insights into the mysteries of the universe for years to come.

“They’ve overcome lots of issues, and the engineers have been very clever in overcoming those issues,” Dodd concluded. “I think the focus now is let’s get to 50 and have the biggest party we can.”

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

Satellite Top 100 Rovers October 2023 Rankings

The October 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 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 in order to provide more accurate data.

Updated: 2023-10-02

1 ND9M 26 KE4AL 51 AD7DB 76 DF2ET
2 NJ7H 27 LU5ILA 52 KE9AJ 77 OE3SEU
3 N5UC 28 VE3HLS 53 VE1CWJ 78 W8LR
5 DL6AP 30 KB5FHK 55 KM4LAO 80 K0FFY
6 HA3FOK 31 F5VMJ 56 N4UFO 81 N0TEL
7 WI7P 32 LA9XGA 57 SM3NRY 82 KB2YSI
8 N9IP 33 N7AGF 58 VA7LM 83 KJ7NDY
9 WY7AA 34 DL2GRC 59 N8RO 84 YU0W
10 N6UA 35 XE3DX 60 KI7QEK 85 VE6WK
11 W5PFG 36 N6DNM 61 PT2AP 86 VE7PTN
12 AD0DX 37 F4BKV 62 W1AW 87 AF5CC
13 K5ZM 38 KE0PBR 63 AA8CH 88 HB9GWJ
14 DP0POL 39 K7TAB 64 VE1VOX 89 PT9ST
15 AK8CW 40 AC0RA 65 M1DDD 90 DK9JC
16 AD0HJ 41 KE0WPA 66 VK5DG 91 VO2AC
17 WD9EWK 42 JO2ASQ 67 FG8OJ 92 DL4EA
18 ON4AUC 43 W7WGC 68 PT9BM 93 KG4AKV
20 KX9X 45 EA4NF 70 LU4JVE 95 JM1CAX
21 ND0C 46 PR8KW 71 XE1ET 96 KC7JPC
22 K8BL 47 AA5PK 72 KI7UXT 97 AB5SS
23 N5BO 48 EB1AO 73 N4DCW 98 A41ZZ
24 DJ8MS 49 SP5XSD 74 WA9JBQ 99 K4DCA
25 UT1FG 50 F4DXV 75 VE3GOP 100 WN9Q

[ANS thanks @GridMasterMap 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


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 26

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

The following satellites have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

Reaktor Hello World NORAD Cat ID 43743 Decayed from orbit on or about 22 October 2023
Astrocast 0.1 NORAD Cat ID 43798 Does not appear to operate in the Amateur Satellite Service
Al Farabi 2 NORAD Cat ID 43805 Probably defunct

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


Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.

+ Recently Completed
A. L. Burruss Elementary School, Marietta, GA, direct via K4RGK
The ISS callsign was NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember was Jasmin Moghbeli, KI5WSL
The ARISS mentor was K4RGK
Contact was successful: Tue 2023-10-24 16:14:50 UTC
Watch the video online at

+ Upcoming Contacts
Walkerston State School, Walkerston, Queensland, Australia, telebridge via K6DUE
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM
The ARISS mentor is VK4KHZ
Contact is go for: Fri 2023-11-03 11:24:58 UTC

ARISS planned radio outage this week. In support of the spacewalk by NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli, KI5WSL, and Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM, planned for Mon. 10/30 the Voice Repeater & Digipeater will be off for the event.
Current Schedule:
Radios Off: Sun. Oct. 29 about 18:50 UTC | 2:50 PM ET
Radios On: Tue. Oct. 31 about 10:05 UTC | 6:05 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

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at

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

Upcoming Satellite Operations

YJ, NEW HEBRIDES: YJ0TT will be the callsign for a contest team effort from Efate Island. Operators will also be active before and after (from Oct. 26 until Nov. 3) as YJ0SR (N7JI), YJ0ET (NG7E), YJ0NA (K6VHF via satellites), YJ0UC (W6UC), and YJ0EE (NJ6P, 6m EME). For more information see:

Ray, KN2K, will be operating in grid square FM27 on November 1st through November 2nd. Watch @KN2K1 on Twitter for rove updates and for pass details.

Jonathan, N4AKV, is planning to operate from the EM82/83 gridline in GA on FM, Linears, and Greencube on November 4th. Passes will be available soon on

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on 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.

+ 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Positive Impact of Amateur Radio on Human Spaceflight
Thursday February 22nd through Saturday February 24th, 2024
Center for Space Education: Astronauts Memorial Foundation
Kennedy Space Center, M6-306 405 State Road, FL 32899

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

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Congratulations the following individuals on receiving the AMSAT Rover Award for their outstanding achievements in portable satellite operating: Manfred Bester, AG7NR (#081) and Jonathan Eernisse, N4AKV (#082). To qualify for this award, they accumulated a minimum of 25 points by activating grid squares beyond their home grid. Points were earned through various achievements, including activating states, provinces, or DX entities outside their home location via satellite, as well as promoting their grid operations through social media and documenting their activations through photographs and published articles. More information about this award can be found on the AMSAT website at Congratulations to our esteemed AMSAT Rover Award recipients! (ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards for the above information)

+ Ray Crafton, KN2K, presents a “Simple, Portable Satellite Tracker” in the ARRL QST November 2023 edition. This tracker utilizes two servo gearboxes, SatPC32 for control, and an Arduino Uno for translation of commands. It is powered by a 13.8 VDC source, typically a 30 Ah lithium iron phosphate battery. The tracker consists of four subsystems: servo mount, adaptable antenna mount, servo control box, and control software interpreting SatPC32 commands. The servo mount includes Stingray-4 and Stingray-9 gearboxes for azimuth and elevation. The antenna mount offers flexibility for accommodating a range of antennas, and the servo control box houses an Arduino Uno along with power converters. For detailed construction notes and updates, the ARRL website provides additional resources and information. (ANS thanks Ray Crafton, KN2K and the American Radio Relay League for the above information)

+ NASA has revealed that it has already processed 70.3 grams of rocks and dust collected by the OSIRIS-REx mission from asteroid Bennu. That means the mission has way exceeded its goal of bringing 60 grams of asteroid samples back to Earth — especially since NASA scientists have yet to open the primary sample container that made its way back to our planet in September. Apparently, they’re struggling to open the container and could not remove two of its 35 fasteners using the tools currently available to them. The scientists are processing the samples inside a specialized glovebox with a flow of nitrogen in order to keep them from being exposed to our atmosphere and any contaminants. They can’t just use any implement to break the container’s fasteners open either: The tool must fit inside the glovebox, and it also must not compromise the samples’ integrity. NASA has sealed the primary container sample for now, while it’s developing the procedure to be able to open it over the next few weeks. (ANS thanks Engadget for the above information)

+ SpaceX will launch four European navigation satellites for the ESA due to delays in European launcher development. The agreement entails two Falcon 9 launches in 2024, each carrying two Galileo navigation satellites, pending approval from the European Commission and EU member states. Europe’s preference was to use its own rockets, like Ariane 6 and Vega-C, but technical issues led them to seek SpaceX’s services. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine ruled out the use of Soyuz rockets. These Galileo satellites are crucial for maintaining an independent European global satellite navigation system, and they contain encrypted communication equipment for European military use. This marks the first time in 15 years that Galileo satellites will launch from outside Europe and the first instance of SpaceX launching European satellites with classified equipment. (ANS thanks TechCrunch for the above information)

+ SpaceX plans to launch 144 missions in the coming year, aiming to increase its already impressive launch frequency. In 2023, the company has already completed 74 orbital missions, breaking its own previous record of 61 set in 2022. SpaceX intends to reach 100 flights this year, requiring a significant acceleration in launch cadence. They aim to achieve approximately 12 flights per month in 2024. Most of these missions will be dedicated to the Starlink internet-satellite megaconstellation. While Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets have dominated SpaceX’s missions so far, they are working on their reusable Starship rocket for future exploration, with a second test flight pending approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. SpaceX aims for rapid hardware development through frequent test flights despite regulatory challenges. (ANS thanks for the above information)

Join AMSAT today at

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] for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

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