• [ANS] ANS-042 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    From Mitch Ahrenstorff (AD0HJ) via ANS@21:1/5 to All on Sat Feb 10 19:04:37 2024
    XPost: rec.radio.info

    AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
    ANS-042

    In this edition:

    * ESA Satellite Communications Group Explores Future Amateur Satellite Payl
    oad
    * GreenCube IO-117 Continues Operations Beyond Expected February 5th Passiv ation
    * JS1YMG: Decoding the First Moon-Based Ham Radio Station's Telemetry Signa
    ls
    * GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers February 2024 Rankings
    * Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 9, 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 se rvice 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 digita
    l Amateur Radio satellites.

    The news feed on https://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur Radio in S pace as soon as our volunteers can post it.

    Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor [at] amsat .org<http://amsat.org>

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

    ANS-042 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 Feb 11

    ________________________________
    ESA Satellite Communications Group Explores Future Amateur Satellite Payloa
    d

    Frank Zeppenfeldt, PDAP, representing the European Space Agency (ESA), p rovided key insights during a presentation on February 4th at the FOSDEM 20
    24 conference held in Brussels, Belgium. The discussion centered around ESA
    's initiative to collaborate with the amateur satellite community in defini
    ng a prospective payload for Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) or Geostationary Orbi
    t (GEO). The ESA's involvement aims to build upon the success of the QO-100
    payload in geostationary orbit, fostering innovation and technological adv ancements.

    During the FOSDEM conference, the ESA Satellite Communications Group outlin
    ed preliminary ideas, stressing the significance of engaging with the Softw are-Defined Radio (SDR) community. The primary objectives include consolida ting requirements, exploring diverse payload options, addressing user segme nts, and thoroughly examining financing, procurement, and operational scena rios for a potential MEO/GEO amateur payload.

    The project's scope encompasses the consideration of various payload option
    s and trade-offs, encompassing aspects such as frequency bands, analog or d igital transmission, on-board SDR/Linux/GPU-box configurations, potential a pplications, technical risks, inter-satellite links, geographical coverage,
    degree of centralization, and educational components. [cid:image001.jpg@01DA5B8E.5A386560]<https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-con tent/uploads/2024/02/Support_for_MEO_GEO_Payload_FOSDEM_Feb_2024.jpg>
    Proposed Planning for ESA MEO/GEO Amateur Payload. [Credit: Frank Zeppenfel
    dt, ESA Satellite Communications Group]

    To ensure a comprehensive and well-informed approach, the ESA plans to acti vely involve the amateur community. This engagement seeks to gather valuabl
    e input on lessons learned from the QO-100 experience, amateur requirements
    and interests, as well as suggestions for payload options. The consultatio
    n process extends to reaching out to AMSAT and other relevant groups, along side dialogues with satellite operators, primes, and various stakeholders.

    Looking ahead, the ESA has outlined a timeline for the project. In March 20
    24, the agency intends to solicit input from the amateur satellite communit
    y and other stakeholders, guided by valuable insights from the AMSAT commun ity. By May 2024, detailed payload options will be presented for discussion
    at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Nether lands, with the support of technical expertise.

    More information from this presentation including the ten page Slide Deck c
    an be found https://fosdem.org/2024/schedule/event/fosdem-2024-2084-design- of-a-follow-up-qo-100-payload-/.

    The culmination of this extensive process is expected in September 2024 at
    the World Satellite Business Week, where dedicated discussions with satelli
    te operators will be organized. The ESA envisions proposing a selection of payload options at a subsequent FOSDEM conference in 2025, further demonstr ating the collaborative commitment of ESA and the amateur satellite communi
    ty to propel advancements in satellite communications and explore innovativ
    e possibilities for future amateur satellite payloads in both GEO and MEO o rbits.

    [ANS thanks Frank Zeppenfeldt, PDAP, ESA Satellite Communications Group,
    for the above information]

    ________________________________
    GreenCube IO-117 Continues Operations Beyond Expected February 5th Passivat
    ion

    GreenCube IO-117 satellite continues to function beyond the initially sched uled shutdown of the amateur radio digipeater on February 5, 2024, at 0000
    UTC. There have been no recent developments regarding the fate of this wide ly-used satellite since AMSAT Italia's announcement on February 2nd that th
    e Italian Space Agency is considering revisiting the decision to decommissi
    on it. Originally designed for scientific purposes and placed in MEO orbit,
    GreenCube satellite has successfully completed its primary mission. The "S
    ave the GreenCube Satellite Digipeater" petition initiated by Peter Goodhal
    l, 2MSQL, has gained significant traction, garnering over 2,000 signatur
    es to date. The petition, accessible at https://www.change.org/p/save-the-g reencube-satellite-digipeater, remains open for further support. [cid:image002.jpg@01DA5B8E.5A386560]<https://www.change.org/p/save-the-gree ncube-satellite-digipeater>
    Save the GreenCube Satellite Digipeater petition continues to gather signat ures. [Credit: Change.org]

    The support from the amateur radio satellite community for the GreenCube IO -117 digipeater has been exceptionally robust. Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR, has i ntroduced significant enhancements to his GreenCube Terminal in the latest Version 1.0.0.88, which can be accessed at https://moonbounce.dk/hamradio/g reencube-terminal-program.html. Notable improvements encompass SatNOGS Inte gration, GPS Integration, "AMSAT Sheriff" Wyatt, and Live World View. The O scarwatch GreenCube Reporter map, developed by Peter Goodhall, 2MSQL, is
    available at https://oscarwatch.org/greencube, serving as a valuable resou
    rce for monitoring real-time activity on GreenCube. The recent success of t
    he TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition, which made numerous GreenCube digipea
    ter contacts, can be attributed to these enhancements and the collaboration
    of operators adhering to the recently released IO-117 Code Of Conduct reco mmendations.

    To get a comprehensive view of the considerable amateur radio activity on t
    he GreenCube digipeater, you can explore the GreenCube IO-117 Users Map cur ated by Doug Papay, K8DP, accessible at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewe r?mid7O-rWll2QHFTjbBa4ThmZ3AG9ls8Io. According to the latest update, G reenCube has facilitated digipeating for 1,576 unique callsigns and 999 uni
    que grids. This encompasses digipeats from 121 DXCC entities, all 50 US sta tes, all 47 JA prefectures, and 36 out of 40 CQ Zones. Since its launch in
    July 2022, 846 ground stations have contributed over 3.4 million telemetry
    and 6.2 million digipeater frames to the SatNOGS database. The top five con tributors to the database, in terms of total submissions, are Doug Papay, K 8DP, with 1.1M submissions; Dave Webb, KB1PVH, with 734k submissions; Dave Fisher, KGD, with 576k submissions; Shige Nasu, JH8FIH, with 507k submis sions; and Jacob Mol III, N8JCM, with 498k submissions. [cid:image003.jpg@01DA5B8E.5A386560]<https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?m
    id7O-rWll2QHFTjbBa4ThmZ3AG9ls8Io&ll>
    GreenCube IO-117 Users Map [Credit: Doug Papay, K8DP]

    GreenCube IO-117 exemplifies the strong backing the amateur radio satellite
    community extends to satellite missions incorporating telemetry data along side communication opportunities for radio amateurs. The forthcoming challe
    nge for satellite missions lies in soliciting input from the amateur radio satellite community and ensuring tools are available prior to launch. Lever aging its unique orbit and capabilities, GreenCube has enabled many to atta
    in challenging awards on satellites, such as ARRL DXCC, ARRL Worked All Sta
    tes (WAS), and the JARL Worked All Japan Prefectures Award (WAJA). AMSAT, a longside thousands of amateur radio operators, remains steadfast in their s upport for the GreenCube mission, with hopes for its sustained success in t
    he future.

    [ANS thanks Doug Papay, K8DP, Peter Goodhall, 2MSQL, and Carsten Groen,
    OZ9AAR for the above information]

    ________________________________
    The 2024 Coins Are Here Now!
    Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus. Join<https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/> the AMSAT Presi dent's Club today!

    [https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/2024-Coin-Both_ 586-300x148.jpg]<https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/2024- coin-both_586/#main>

    ________________________________
    JS1YMG: Decoding the First Moon-Based Ham Radio Station's Telemetry Signals

    JQ1ZVI (JAXA Ham Radio Club, JHRC) recently obtained a radio station licens
    e from Japan for the lunar rover LEV-1, designated JS1YMG, marking a histor
    ic moment as the first amateur radio station on the moon. This milestone ac hievement follows Japan's SLIM lunar mission, which saw the deployment of t
    wo lunar excursion vehicles, LEV-1 and LEV-2.

    LEV-1, designed for hopping mobility, features direct-to-Earth communicatio
    n capabilities via UHF band antennas from the MINERVA and OMOTENASHI projec
    ts. Equipped with two wide-angle visible light cameras, LEV-1 conducts luna
    r exploration while carrying essential science payloads, including a thermo meter, radiation monitor, and inclinometer, providing valuable insights int
    o lunar conditions and terrain. It actively receives data from its companio
    n rover LEV-2, and this information is transmitted to Earth using its 1 Wat
    t UHF circular polarization antenna, employing Morse code on a IARU coordin ated frequency of 437.410 MHz. [cid:image004.jpg@01DA5B8E.5A386560]<https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-con tent/uploads/2024/02/JAXA_SLIM_LEV1_LEV2_Lunar_Rovers.jpg> <https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/JAXA_SLIM_LEV1_ LEV2_Lunar_Rovers.jpg>JAXA's SLIM mission delivered probes, LEV-1 and LEV-2
    , to the lunar surface. [Credit: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency]

    Decoding efforts by Daniel Estvez, EA4GPZ, and others have shed light on
    the telemetry data transmitted by LEV-1. Utilizing captures from the 25-me
    ter radio telescope at Dwingeloo in the Netherlands, Estvez identified t
    he telemetry format as PCM/PSK/PM with a symbol rate of 64 baud and a 2048
    kHz subcarrier. The residual carrier is modulated in amplitude with Morse c ode, introducing an unusual element to the signal. Despite challenges posed
    by amplitude shift keying in the signal, a phase-locked loop (PLL) has pro
    ven effective in tracking the phase of the residual carrier.

    Estvez's decoding journey involved unraveling the CCSDS coding, a task t
    hat posed initial challenges. While the IARU coordination sheet hinted at b itrates and coding specifics, the signal's unique characteristics required
    a thorough investigation. The BCJR decoder, a tool used successfully in pre vious decoding efforts, validated the presence of convolutional coding. The
    output provided log-likelihood ratios, offering confidence in the correctn
    ess of the convolutional code. Further investigations led to the identifica tion of the syncword 0xFAF320, a crucial element in understanding the struc ture of the transmitted frames. [cid:image005.jpg@01DA5B8E.5A386560]<https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-con tent/uploads/2024/02/LEV-1_Demodulator_GUI_Daniel_Estevez.jpg> <https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/LEV-1_Demodulat or_GUI_Daniel_Estevez.jpg>GNU Radio LEV-1 Demodulator GUI displaying Residu
    al Carrier Amplitude from LEV-1 [Credit: Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ]

    One intriguing aspect of the decoded data is the Morse code modulating the residual carrier in amplitude. Despite initial confusion caused by an inver
    ted amplitude representation, subsequent analysis revealed recognizable Mor
    se code sequences. The meaning behind these Morse code transmissions remain
    s a mystery, inviting collaboration from the broader radio amateur communit
    y and the LEV-1 team. As decoding efforts continue, the telemetry data's co ntents remain unknown, emphasizing the need for more documentation from the
    LEV-1 team. The spacecraft's utilization of the amateur satellite service
    and its completion of the IARU coordination process suggest that technical documentation may become publicly available in the future.

    More details on the ongoing efforts to decode LEV-1's amateur radio transmi ssions can be found at Daniel Estvez's website at https://destevez.net/2 024/01/trying-to-decode-lev-1/.

    This achievement in establishing the first amateur radio station on the Moo
    n opens up new possibilities for lunar communications and amateur radio ent husiasts worldwide. The collaborative efforts of radio amateurs contribute significantly pave the way for future advancements in space communication t echnologies.

    [ANS thanks Daniel Estvez, EA4GPZ, and Hackaday for the above informatio
    n]

    ________________________________
    GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers February 2024 Rankings

    The February 2024 rankings for the Top 100 Rovers (Mixed LEO/MEO/GEO) in sa tellite operations, as determined by @GridMasterMap<https://twitter.com/Gri dMasterMap> on Twitter, has been released. The ranking is determined by the
    number of grids and DXCC entities activated, taking into account only thos
    e grids where a minimum number of QSOs logged on the gridmaster.fr<http://g ridmaster.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://gridmaste r.fr in order to provide more accurate data.

    Updated: 2024-02-07
    1
    ND9M
    26
    K8BL
    51
    F4DXV
    76
    DF2ET
    2
    NJ7H
    27
    KE4AL
    52
    KE9AJ
    77
    WA9JBQ
    3
    N5UC
    28
    LU5ILA
    53
    JL3RNZ
    78
    W8LR
    4
    JA9KRO
    29
    DL2GRC
    54
    KM4LAO
    79
    OE3SEU
    5
    DL6AP
    30
    KI7UNJ
    55
    VE1CWJ
    80
    VE3GOP
    6
    WI7P
    31
    VE3HLS
    56
    PA3GAN
    81
    KJ7NDY
    7
    UT1FG
    32
    KB5FHK
    57
    VK5DG
    82
    KB2YSI
    8
    HA3FOK
    33
    LA9XGA
    58
    N4UFO
    83
    K0FFY
    9
    N9IP
    34
    N7AGF
    59
    KI7QEK
    84
    CU2ZG
    10
    N6UA
    35
    F4BKV
    60
    SM3NRY
    85
    N0TEL
    11
    WY7AA
    36
    XE3DX
    61
    N8RO
    86
    DL4EA
    12
    K5ZM
    37
    N6DNM
    62
    PT2AP
    87
    W8MTB
    13
    AD0DX
    38
    KE0PBR
    63
    W1AW
    88
    KG4AKV
    14
    W5PFG
    39
    KE0WPA
    64
    VA7LM
    89
    VE6WK
    15
    DP0POL
    40
    JO2ASQ
    65
    XE1ET
    90
    VE7PTN
    16
    AK8CW
    41
    PR8KW
    66
    AA8CH
    91
    HB9GWJ
    17
    AD0HJ
    42
    AC0RA
    67
    M1DDD
    92
    AF5CC
    18
    WD9EWK
    43
    K7TAB
    68
    VA3VGR
    93
    DK9JC
    19
    ON4AUC
    44
    W7WGC
    69
    VE1VOX
    94
    PT9ST
    20
    KG5CCI
    45
    EB1AO
    70
    FG8OJ
    95
    JM1CAX
    21
    KX9X
    46
    JK2XXK
    71
    PT9BM
    96
    KI0KB
    22
    ND0C
    47
    EA4NF
    72
    KI7UXT
    97
    VO2AC
    23
    N5BO
    48
    AA5PK
    73
    LU4JVE
    98
    LW2DAF
    24
    F5VMJ
    49
    SP5XSD
    74
    YU0W
    99
    N4AKV
    25
    DJ8MS
    50
    AD7DB
    75
    N4DCW
    100
    N6UTC

    [ANS thanks @GridMasterMap for the above information]

    ________________________________
    Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 9, 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 u pdates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. Elements in the
    TLE bulletin files are updated daily. TLE bulletin files are updated to ad
    d or remove satellites as necessary Thursday evenings around 2300 UTC, or m
    ore frequently if new high interest satellites are launched. More informati
    on may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources.

    AO-92 NORAD Cat ID 43137 Decayed from orbit on or about 02 February 2024

    NO-116 NORAD Cat ID 51031 Decayed from orbit on or about 04 February 2024

    Editor's Note: Thanks AO-92 for all the contacts, memories, and friends tha
    t you provided us! Miss you Veronica :(

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

    ________________________________
    Need new satellite antennas?
    Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack from the AMSAT Store!<https://amsat.org/product-cat egory/hardware/>
    When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards Kee ping Amateur Radio in Space.

    [https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/cm/LEO-Pack1-300x298.pn
    g]

    ________________________________
    ARISS NEWS

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

    + Recently Completed

    Lilburn Elementary School, Lilburn, GA, direct via K4RGK
    The ISS callsign was NA1SS
    The crewmember was Jasmin Moghbeli KI5WSL
    The ARISS mentor was K4RGK
    Contact was successful: Wed 2024-02-07 14:24:10 UTC
    Congratulations to the Lilburn Elementary School students, Jasmin, and ment
    or K4RGK!
    Watch the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?vwg2rof0LA

    School of Telecommunications Engineering, ETSIT Valencia (Universitat Polit ecnica de Valencia), Valencia, Spain, direct via EA5RKP
    The ISS callsign was OR4ISS
    The crewmember was Loral O'Hara KI5TOM
    The ARISS mentor was IKUSO
    Contact was successful: Fri 2024-02-09 08:12:46 UTC
    Congratulations to the ETSIT Valencia students, Loral, and mentor EA5RKP!
    Watch for Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?vMdKcM2Fw8

    + Upcoming Contacts

    School TBD, Russia, direct via TBD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSISS
    The scheduled crewmember is Nikolay Chub
    The ARISS mentor is RV3DR
    Contact is go for 2024-02-15 08:20 UTC

    B. Russell High School, Rome, Italy, direct via IKUSO)
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
    The scheduled crewmember is Jasmin Moghbeli KI5WSL
    The ARISS mentor is IKWGF
    Contact is go for: Thu 2024-02-15 11:32:10 UTC

    Baltic Federal University. I. Kanta, Kaliningrad, Russia, direct via TBD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSISS
    The scheduled crewmember is Konstantin Borisov
    The ARISS mentor is RV3DR
    Contact is go for Fri 2024-02-16 09:10 UTC

    The Service Module radio is temporarily 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.

    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 pi
    ck up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeat
    er. So give a listen, you just never know.

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

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

    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 f
    or the above information]

    ________________________________
    Upcoming Satellite Operations

    From Jonathan N4AKV: Next week I am hoping to head to a few of the FM grids
    , namely FM05, 06, 15, 16, 25, and 26. Plans and dates not finalized yet bu
    t will post here and on http://hams.at as usual when I figure them out. Hop efully GC will remain active.

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

    [ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT Rover Page Manager, for the above info rmation]

    ________________________________
    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 Hum
    an 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 https://www.ariss.org/overview.html

    2024 CubeSat Developer's Workshop
    April 23-25, 2024
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    https://www.cubesatdw.org/

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

    AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, says,

    Had a marvelous time last night with the South Pasadena (CA) ARC. BUT -
    I might have to "tighten up" my trivia questions throughout: They knew the answers IMMEDIATELY to all of them!!!

    Twenty-one members joined via Zoom. The rainstorms here made Zoom-ing the best-available option for the show.

    Next up: Bellingham WA, Orange County CA, and Brea CA!

    Think a lively and informative 75-minute presentation on "working the easy satellites" would be appropriate for your event or club? Just let us know!

    Clint Bradford K6LCS
    clint@k6lcs.org<mailto:clint@k6lcs.org>
    909-999-SATS (7287)

    [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<https://ww w.zazzle.com/store/amsat_gear>!
    25% of the purchase price of each product goes towards Keeping Amateur Radi
    o in Space

    [https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/AMSAT-Car-Flag- 252x300.png]



    ________________________________
    Satellite Shorts From All Over

    + The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom successfully concluded its thre e-week private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) b
    y splashing down off the Florida coast on February 9th. Commanded by former
    NASA astronaut Michael Lpez-Alegra, KE5GTK, the Ax-3 mission lifted
    off on January 18 and included pilot Walter Villadei, IURWB, along with mission specialists Alper Gezeravc, KJ5DIY, and Marcus Wandt, KJ5COO, wh
    o represented the European Space Agency. Despite a nearly week-long extensi
    on due to poor weather, the spacecraft's reentry and descent went according
    to plan, marking Axiom Space's third private astronaut mission to the ISS.
    This mission served as a precursor to Axiom's installation of commercial m odules on the ISS, which will form the basis of a future standalone space s tation. Additionally, SpaceX announced plans for five or six crewed mission
    s in 2024, including Ax-4 and NASA's Crew-8 and Crew-9 missions, while the Polaris Dawn mission, led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, is expected to lau
    nch in the summer for a historic Crew Dragon spacewalk. (ANS thanks Jeff Fo ust, SpaceNews, for the above information)

    + NASA's PACE satellite, aimed at studying ocean health, air quality, and c limate change effects, was successfully launched into orbit at 1:33 a.m. ES
    T on February 8th aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space
    Force Station in Florida. Signal acquisition was confirmed five minutes po st-launch, with the satellite performing as anticipated. With instruments t
    o study microscopic life in oceans and particles in the atmosphere, PACE ai
    ms to uncover crucial factors affecting global warming, aligning with the B iden-Harris Administration's climate agenda. The satellite's capabilities i nclude tracking phytoplankton distribution globally and monitoring atmosphe
    ric aerosols and cloud properties. PACE's data will significantly advance u nderstanding of the Earth system, particularly in relation to climate chang
    e impacts on oceans and phytoplankton dynamics, offering valuable insights
    for coastal communities and industries. (ANS thanks NASA for the above info rmation)

    + NASA is preparing for the launch of Intuitive Machines' first lunar lande
    r, Nova-C, as part of the CLPS initiative and Artemis campaign. The launch
    is scheduled for no earlier than 12:57 a.m. on February 14 from Kennedy Spa
    ce Center in Florida. The Nova-C lander is expected to land on the Moon on February 22, carrying NASA science and technology instruments for various p urposes. Live launch coverage will be available on NASA+, NASA Television,
    the NASA app, and the agency's website, starting from February 12. The payl
    oad includes instruments focusing on plume-surface interactions, space weat her/lunar surface interactions, radio astronomy, precision landing technolo gies, and communication/navigation for autonomous navigation technologies. NASA's virtual guest program allows the public to attend the launch virtual
    ly, and social media engagement is encouraged with the hashtag #Artemis. Th
    e CLPS initiative aims to deliver science and technology to the lunar surfa
    ce through partnerships with U.S. companies, with a cumulative maximum cont ract value of $2.6 billion through 2028. (ANS thanks NASA for the above inf ormation)

    + Virgin Galactic has temporarily halted its operations after a small part,
    an alignment pin, unintentionally detached from the mothership of its rock et-powered space plane during the Galactic 06 space tourism flight on Janua
    ry 26. The company assured that the part's loss did not compromise the miss ion's safety. The alignment pin is crucial for pre-flight procedures, ensur
    ing the spaceship aligns with the mothership. Virgin Galactic discovered th
    e issue during routine checks and promptly notified government regulators o
    n January 31. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will conduct a mish
    ap investigation, requiring Virgin Galactic's final report and corrective a ctions approval before resuming flights. The alignment pin's absence did no
    t affect the safety of the successful Galactic 06 mission, and the company plans to provide further updates after the FAA review for the upcoming Gala ctic 07 mission in the second quarter of 2024. (ANS thanks Jackie Wattles,
    CNN, for the above information)

    + Ongoing efforts persist in the bid to resolve the critical computer glitc
    h affecting NASA's Voyager 1, the most distant human-made object in space, which has disrupted telemetry data transmission since November 14. The glit
    ch, impacting the Flight Data Subsystem (FDS) developed five decades ago, h
    as prevented access to vital information regarding the spacecraft's propuls ion, power, and control systems. Suzanne Dodd, the Voyager project manager,
    acknowledges the severity of the situation, emphasizing the urgency of add ressing the issue due to Voyager 1's age and declining nuclear battery powe
    r. A dedicated team of experts is actively crafting a plan to transmit comm ands aimed at isolating and potentially correcting the corrupted FDS memory
    . The unique challenge lies in the absence of simulators for testing comman
    ds, making decision-making a complex process requiring a delicate balance b etween thorough analysis and prompt action. Despite the intricate troublesh ooting process, NASA remains resolute in its commitment to resolving the is
    sue and ensuring the continued success of the historic Voyager 1 mission. (
    ANS thanks Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, for the above information)

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    This week's ANS Editor, Mitch Ahrenstorff, ADHJ
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