ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS007 (1996)

ARLS007 STS-78 update

Space Bulletin 007  ARLS007
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  June 18, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLS007 STS-78 update

The countdown continues for the Thursday, June 20, launch of space
shuttle Columbia.  Shuttle mission STS-78 will carry the SAREX
payload.  Three amateurs will be among the crew of seven--two
Americans and one Canadian: Susan T. Helms, KC7NHZ, will serve as
the payload commander.  She was a crew member aboard the shuttle
Endeavour during STS-54 in January 1993 and operated SAREX from
aboard Discovery during STS-64 in September 1994, Charles E. Brady
Jr, N4BQW, is a mission specialist on his first shuttle flight.
Canadian Robert Brent Thirsk, VA3CSA, will serve as a payload
specialist.  He's also on his first shuttle flight.

Remaining crew members include Commander Terence T. Henricks, Pilot
Kevin R. Kregel, Mission Specialist Richard M. Linnehan, and Payload
Specialist Jean-Jacques Favier.  During the mission, the shuttle
will carry the Life and Microgravity Spacelab to conduct experiments
in the weightless environment.

SAREX--the Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment--is sponsored by ARRL,
AMSAT and NASA and is supported by the FCC.  Amateur Radio has been
flying aboard the shuttles since 1983.

Launch time for STS-78 is 10:49 AM (Eastern) from the Kennedy Space
Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.  The launch will place the shuttle
into Earth orbit at an altitude of 173 statute miles.  The mission
is planned to run for 16 days and ends July 7.

The SAREX Working Group has chosen 11 schools from around the world
to make scheduled contacts with the shuttle during this SAREX
mission, so students can ask questions of the astronauts during the
contact.  The schools selected for a scheduled radio contact during
this mission are:

Bethlehem Central Senior High School, Delmar, New York

Eisenhower Middle School, San Antonio, Texas

Heritage Middle School, Colleyville, Texas

Anacortes Middle School, Anacortes, Washington

Valley Heights Junior-Senior High School, Blue Rapids, Kansas

Monroe Elementary School, Santa Barbara, California

Maple Grove Education Centre, Nova Scotia, Canada

Saskatoon Public AreospaCe Education (SPACE), Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan, Canada

Toowoomba State High School, Queensland, Australia

Catholic Ladies College, Victoria, Australia

CENG--Nuclear Center of Grenoble, Grenoble, France

During most SAREX missions, crew members also make random contacts
with earthbound hams.  Over the past several years, ham astronauts
have contacted thousands of amateurs around the world and, on many
missions, they have even carried 2-meter packet.  They make these
contacts during their breaks, before and after mealtime, and during
their pre-sleep time.  Innovative computer software allows the crew
to operate the packet gear in an unattended mode, allowing amateurs
to make contacts with the robot station when the astronauts are
working or sleeping.  The call signs to look for on FM voice are
KC7NHZ, N4BQW and VA3CSA.  The FM packet call sign is W5RRR-1.

The crew uses separate receive and transmit frequencies.  Please do
not transmit on the shuttle's downlink frequency.  The downlink is
your receiving frequency.  The uplink is your transmitting
frequency.  The crew will not favor any of the uplink frequencies,
so your ability to communicate with SAREX will be the luck of the
draw.  Transmit only when the shuttle is within range of your
station and when the shuttle's station is on the air.   Here are the
SAREX frequencies:

Worldwide FM Voice Downlink: 145.55 MHz

FM Voice Uplink: 144.91, 144.93, 144.95, 144.97, and 144.99 MHz

Europe-only FM Voice Uplink: 144.70, 144.75, and 144.80 MHz

FM Packet Downlink: 145.55 MHz

FM Packet Uplink: 144.49 MHz

Some SAREX activities will take place on shuttle mission STS-78
during this year's ARRL Field Day, June 22-23.  KC7NHZ, N4BQW and
VA3CSA hope to find enough free time to hand out points from the
shuttle to Field Day ops.

Send reports and QSLs to ARRL EAD, STS-78 QSL, 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111-1494, USA.  Include the following information in
your QSL or report: STS-78, date and time in UTC, frequency and
mode.  If you wish to receive a card, include an SASE using a large,
business-sized envelope.  ''The Net'' in Anacortes, Washington, has
generously volunteered to manage the cards for this mission.

Members of the Goddard Amateur Radio Club in Greenbelt, Maryland,
retransmit live shuttle air-to-ground audio over the amateur
frequencies from club station WA3NAN.  To listen in, tune to 3.86,
7.185, 14.295, 21.395, and 28.65 MHz and in the Maryland/DC area on
VHF at 147.45 MHz.

Listen to W1AW for SAREX information and Keplerian element updates
as they become available.  For more information, check the ARRL
SAREX Web Page, or call the ARRL
Educational Activities Department, 860-594-0301.