Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 17, 1998
by Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-MG (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)
Mir's Random Radio Schedule:
The Mir crew is in the process of moving the Personal Message System (PMS) and the MAREX-MG SSTV Amateur Radio equipment from the Priroda Module to the Mir-Core or Base-Block module.
This move will give the crew better access to the Amateur Radio equipment. And it will give us access to the Mir-Core Antenna. The Mir-Core antenna is a Larsen-Dual band mobile antenna, mounted out side of Mir. The dual band antenna will give us access to 2-meters and 70 cm.
In the Priroda module, we only had access to the 2-meter antenna. The Priroda Module 2-meter access limitations and the power supply limitations caused a little confusion to the a few hams, who did not understand the hardware limitations of the project. I still expect all operations, SSTV and Packet to stay on 145.985 FM simplex, until we are able to run both projects simultaneously. Since we only have enough power to run one project at a time, there is no reason to use the 70cm band at this time.
The Mir Core module is where the crew spends most of their time, this means there will be more opportunity to see and hear the Mir crew from the new location. During the move, we can expect some down time for the Amateur Radio Station.
New Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:
SOYUZ TM-29 arrived at Mir on February 20, 1999. Mir Soyuz TM-29 crew consisted of French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere, Viktor Afanasyev and Slovakian Cosmonaut Ivan Bella
On February 28, some of the crew returned to earth, they were:
Slovak Ivan Bella and Gennadiy Paldalko.
Gennadiys mission lasted approximately 6 months (August 16 1998 – February 28 1999)
The remaining crew consists of:
The French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev. Sergei mission began August 16, and is expected to last a total of 9-11 months.
This will make the Mir crew 27 a three man crew. Energia informed me that the French Cosmonaut Jean-Pierre did receive training on the MAREX-MG SSTV project, and he has already sent a few SSTV images of him self and the rest of the Mir crew.
Current Schedule for Packet PMS and SSTV:
No activity last weekend due to the hardware move.
The crew will do their best to keep the SSTV system active on weekends and packet PMS operational on weekdays.
I am looking for Pictures of the Amateur Radio equipment currently on the Russian Space Station Mir. I have searched a few of the NASA archives, with limited luck. Most of the equipment shots I have received from other sources. This week I received a nice shot from Tony VK5ZAI. The picture shows Astronaut Andy Thomas talking on the 2-meter station from the Pirioda module on Mir. In the back ground you can see good shot of the MAREX-MG DCI filter. The filter was needed to keep the Mir 143 MHz commercial radio from De-sensing the 2-meter station.
Current inventory list of amateur radio hardware on Mir:
SUFAX II Repeater (Icom)
Kenwood TM-733 (for PMS)
Kenwood TM-V7A (for SSTV)
Packcom TNC (old PMS modem)
Kantronics KPC-9612 (current PMS modem)
If you do find a good shots taken from Mir of the Amateur radio hardware, please send the JPG or GIF to my E-mail address. The best pictures will be posted to the MAREX-MG web page.
The best way to track satellites is to get access to a good satellite tracking program. There are numerous programs on the market, both for sale and share ware. The best place for current satellite position date (Kep’) data is at the CelesTrak web page http://celestrak.com/
Copyright 1999 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved. This document may be freely distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers), Usenet, and WorldWideWeb. It may not be reproduced for profit including, but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without prior written consent from the author. Images received from the MAREX-MG SSTV system on the Russian Space Station Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior permission.