Mir Amateur Radio Status: January 19, 2000

By Miles Mann WF1F,

MAREX-MG (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

Mir Status:

The Russian government is meeting this week to discuss the plans to reactivate the Mir Space Station. If the funds are approved a new mission is scheduled to be launched in March /April 2000. New crew members have been chosen (Aleksander Kaleri and Sergei Zalogin (spelling?)).

The Russian Space Station Mir is currently un-manned and is flying on remote control. All of the Amateur Radio experiments are currently disconnected. The tentative plan, is to send a new crew to the Mir Space Station in March 2000. When the new crew moves into Mir, the Packet and SSTV station will be re-activated on 145.985 FM Simplex.


The new MAREX-MG SpaceCam1 software has just arrived in Moscow and is being reviewed. One of the ISS cosmonauts who is familiar with the MAREX-MG projects said he is looking forward to seeing a demonstration of the new SSTV software. The MAREX-MG Group is currently working on our next generation of Slow Scan TV for the International Space station. Work on the SSTV project is well under way. The new SpaceCam1 SSTV system will be a PC (laptop) software based system, with more features than the previous Mir SSTV System.

Mir Crew Suggestions:

1.They wanted to be able to automatically save images received from Earth on a PC disk for viewing at a later date.

2.The ability to transfer images from a Digital Still Image camera into the SSTV system (SLIDE SHOW mode Live Camera or pre save Disk images).

3.The ability to automatically repeat the same image many times (BEACON mode).

The new MAREX-MG SSTV SPACECAM1 system for ISS will have all of these features and more. The hardware configuration of the SSTV system will consist of a VHF/UHF transceiver, a Russian Lap-Top PC and an Audio isolation switch box. The new SpaceCam1 proposal will support both USB cameras and composite RS-170 video input connections. The specific cameras for the project have not been chosen at this time.

Other proposed features:

Repeater Mode

In the Repeater mode, Earth stations will be able to use the SpaceCam1 as a SSTV repeater. You will be able to send SSTV images to SpaceCam1 and then a few seconds later SpaceCam1 will re-broadcast the same image back to Earth. The repeated image, will also be saved to a JPG file on the SpaceCam1 PC.

Digital Camera:

The ISS crew will have Digital Still image cameras. These cameras can store the images in a format which can be read by the SpaceCam1 program. The ISS crew will have the option of coping the images into the SpaceCam1 computer. This will allow the people on Earth to see the crews latest pictures they have taken in

other parts of the space station.

ISS Launch Status:

The next module if the ISS is called the Service Module (Zvezda's). This module is tentatively scheduled to fly next June/July 2000. If this launch is on schedule, then the First ISS crew with Sergei Krikalev U5MIR will fly to ISS in August or September.

Mir QSL Update:

The card proofs have been sent to Energia/MAREX-RU for final approval. A minor typographical error was found on the draft card by the Energia team and we are working on the correction. We hope to send the final card to the printers in January 2000. Note: We are currently out of QSL cards for the Mir Amateur Radio program. The MAREX-MG team has designed a new Mir QSL card which is currently in the hands of the printer. I would like to thank you all for being patient on getting your QSL cards. We hope to begin shipping the new cards in Q1 2000.

The MAREX-MG web page has moved to a new location. We will try to keep the page updated with the latest Mir and ISS amateur radio experiments.

Copyright 2000 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved. This document may be freely distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers), Usenet, and World-Wide-Web. 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.



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