Dava Newman KB1HIK Begins Work as NASA’s Deputy Administrator

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Dava Newman KB1HIK started her official duties as NASA’s new deputy administrator on Monday at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Newman was nominated in January by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate in April and sworn in on Friday, May 15. The deputy administrator position had been vacant since the departure of Lori Garver in September 2013.

“I have known and admired Dava for several decades,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB). “Her talents and skills as an educator and technological innovator will bring a new energy to our NASA leadership team, and I’m ecstatic to have her on board.”

Along with Bolden, Newman is responsible to the agency administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for NASA. Newman will perform the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the administrator, assists the administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the administrator in his absence by performing all necessary functions to govern NASA operations and exercises the powers vested in the agency by law. Newman also is responsible for articulating the agency’s vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.

“I’m very excited to be at NASA,” said Newman. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the agency’s work to expand humanity’s reach into space, advance our journey to Mars and strengthen America’s leadership here at home.”

Prior to her tenure with NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering.,

Newman’s research studies were carried out through space flight experiments, ground-based simulations, and mathematical modeling. Her latest research efforts included: advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, mission analysis, and engineering systems design and policy analysis. She also had ongoing efforts in assistive technologies to augment human locomotion here on Earth.

Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, an introductory engineering textbook published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 2002. She also has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences.

As a student at MIT, Newman earned her Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering in 1992 and Master of Science degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy in 1989. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.

Source NASA

Astro Pi, Amateur Radio and ISS at Southend Raspberry Jam May 30

Southend Raspberry Jam 6The free Southend Raspberry Jam #6 event on May 30 will feature amateur radio and the International Space Station (ISS).

Entrants and winners of the Astro Pi competition will discuss their entries, with a recap of the competition before doing the coding later on.

Successful Astro Pi entries will be sent into space in November 2015 with UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI who will run them on a Raspberry Pi computer on board the ISS.

In late 2015 and 2016 UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI will be talking to UK schools direct from the ISS using amateur radio.

Organised by the Southend-on-Sea Linux User Group (http://soslug.org) this Raspberry Pi event takes place on Saturday, May 30 from 10:00 to 17:00 BST at the Tickfield Centre, Tickfield Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6LL.

Among the many activities are:
• Hackathon: Scratch GPIO Electronics
• Talk: How Raspberry Pi changed my life Programming, Robots, and a successful Kickstarter by the age of 14
• Workshop: Learn to program real Apps for your own Android phone using Blockly and App Inventor
• Talk: Life Box A fantastic project, with lots of pretty LEDs, which models population growth in an environment
• Hackathon: Learn to program Minecraft, AstroPi and other hardware
• Talk: Object Orientated Programming

Free tickets and further information are available from http://southendjam.co.uk/

Download a Southend Raspberry Jam leaflet here

Astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI issues challenge for UK students to “make that call”

Send your code into space with astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI

Astro Pi: Your Code In Space http://astro-pi.org/

X-Wing 434 MHz Balloon on BBC Click

X-Wing in Space - Image Credit Essex Space Agency

X-Wing in Space – Image Credit Essex Space Agency

On Sunday, May 17 the BBC TV technology show Click broadcast a report on Essex Star Wars enthusiasts who flew an X-Wing in near-space.

The balloon was launched on April 21, 2015 and reached an altitude of 36,190m before bursting and returning to Earth, landing in a field between Bedford and Northampton. Telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) were transmitted on 434.510 MHz.

Phil St Pier of Romford and Matt Kingsnorth of Brentwood took around six months to complete the project at a cost of about £1,200.

Watch the BBC report with video shot at the “Essex Space Agency” Brentwood branch at

Read the Romford Recorder story at http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/home/romford_star_wars_fans_send_model_plane_towards_space_1_4068369

Project Helium Tears

High Altitude Balloons http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

New NASA Deputy Administrator is a Radio Ham

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator - Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator – Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK was sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator on May 15 from her MIT office.

Her appointment had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB) said, “I am delighted with the Senate confirmation of Dr. Dava Newman to be the deputy administrator of NASA. The strong bipartisan support Dr. Newman received in the Senate is a reflection of her well-earned reputation and renown as a global leader in science and technology research and policy.”

Newman is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and of engineering systems. On the MIT faculty since 1993, she directs the Institute’s Technology and Policy Program and MIT Portugal Program, and is co-director of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Man Vehicle Laboratory. She is a Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology faculty member, and a Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow.

Her research has included modeling human performance in low and micro-gravity conditions, examining the dynamics and control of astronaut motion, and the development of assisted walking devices for the physically handicapped. Perhaps her most prominent project has been development of the BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that would give astronauts unprecedented comfort and freedom in exploration of planetary surfaces and extra-vehicular activity.

After accepting the confirmation, Newman said, “It’s an enormous honor to serve at NASA in times when our country is extending humanity’s reach into space while strengthening American leadership here on Earth. I’m profoundly grateful to President Obama, the United States Senate, and Administrator Bolden — along with everyone at MIT. I can’t wait to come aboard.”

Source MIT

Fox-1 launch September 2015 and Geosynchronous Sat on 5 and 10 GHz 2017

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, reports on Amateur Satellite news from the Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT FOXThe ARRL website reports the launch of the Fox-1 CubeSat has been delayed until late September 2015. Fox-1 will carry a 435/145 MHz FM Voice Transponder, see http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1113

The ARRL story continues: AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said that a geosynchronous satellite, planned to launch in 2017, will offer uplinks on 5 GHz and downlinks on 10 GHz.

Buxton explained that the geosynchronous footprint will not be absolutely fixed; some variation may require some up/down movement of the user’s dish at certain times — although not continuously. He said AMSAT is working on this issue in terms of what to recommend for ground stations, but that even in the worst case, a user with a fixed antenna would still be able to enjoy several hours of access each day.

The transponder for the new satellite will be software defined and capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB.

AMSAT announced in late April that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT has accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. The Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by next spring.

Source http://www.arrl.org/news/dayton-hamvention-2015-day-1-big-crowd-some-rain-satellite-news

A graphic showing an example of a typical Geosynchronous orbit can be seen at

 The 2.325 GHz signals from the Sirius satellites in Geosynchronous orbit over North America have been received in the UK.

Iowa CubeSat students get ham radio licenses

AMSAT FOXThe University of Iowa reports its students will conduct a Van Allen radiation belt experiment with the AMSAT Fox CubeSat

Thanks to a proposal by the UI Department of Physics and Astronomy, a group of senior electrical and computer engineering students will reenact James Van Allen’s original experiment — this time with updated technology. Group members Kevin Klosterman KD9CPF, Bryan Senchuk KD9CPD, Tyler Dunkel KE0CHR, and Patrick Maloney KD9CPD took on the task as a part of their senior design project for the College of Engineering.

The group is trying to figure out how much energy is emanating from the Van Allen belts at a specific altitude. To measure that, they’ve built a radiation sensor attached to a circuit board that will launch into space on a small satellite. There, the radiation sensor will detect energetic particles  from the Van Allen belts. The satellite will sit in a low-Earth orbit and circle the globe every 90 minutes, some data will be transmitted in real time, but all of it is stored for later transmission.

“I feel like we’ve learned something new every day,” Klosterman says.

Not only did the students have to come up with a design concept, write the code to run the device, and build the circuit board by hand, they also had to learn and become licensed ham radio operators as well.

The satellite that the students are using to launch into space is part of the CubeSat program — an initiative supported by NASA to help give students more hands-on experience with space research — and is being constructed by AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, whose mission is to foster amateur radio participation in space technology. The data from a full day of operating the experiment will be transmitted from the satellite as it makes a single pass over the CubeSat tracking station on top of Van Allen Hall.

The final result will be a full mapping of the radiation levels at a low Earth orbit.

It is hoped the Fox CubeSat with an FM voice transponder will be launched later this year.

Read the full story at

Each year 100’s of students are introduced to amateur radio through University CubeSat satellite programs with many going on to get their amateur license.

AMSAT Fox http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1113

Web http://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
Flickr https://flickr.com/groups/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube

Sarah Brightman – Space Flight Postponed

Sarah Brightman Space Flight Training February 2015

Sarah Brightman Space Flight Training February 2015

Sarah Brightman announced Wednesday, May 13, 2015 that she is postponing her plans to launch aboard the upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission expected for September.

Ms. Brightman said that for personal family reasons her intentions have had to change and she is postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time. She would like to express her extreme gratitude to Roscosmos, Energia, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Star City, NASA and all the cosmonauts and astronauts, for their support during this exciting time in her life.

“Since 2012, Sarah has shared her story of a lifelong dream to fly to space. Her international fame as the world’s best-selling soprano has enabled her message to circle the globe, inspiring others to pursue their own dreams,” said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd. “We’ve seen firsthand her dedication to every aspect of her spaceflight training and to date, has passed all of her training and medical tests. We applaud her determination and we’ll continue to support her as she pursues a future spaceflight opportunity.”

Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ@Astro_Andreas tweeted
Sad to lose a fantastic crew mate. Best of luck, Sarah

First all CW 73 on 73 Award

73 on 73 Award #19 - Hideo Kambayashi JH3XCU

73 on 73 Award #19 – Hideo Kambayashi JH3XCU

Congratulations to Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU, for working 73 different stations on AO-73 since September 1, 2014. Notably, he is the first to work all 73 different stations using CW.

For more information on the award see

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

AO-73 was launched on November 21, 2013 and is the first spacecraft to have a primary mission of educational outreach to schools and the smallest ever satellite to carry a linear (SSB/CW) transponder for radio amateurs.

Extreme DX satellite contact between UK and Texas

CO6CBF-FO-29-SATPC32aOn April 27, 2015 at 1901 GMT, Cuban radio amateur Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF achieved a 7537.8 km DX contact with UK amateur Peter Atkins G4DOL via FO-29.

Antennas of Peter Atkins G4DOL near Weymouth

Antennas of Peter Atkins G4DOL near Weymouth

I am pleased to report that Peter G4DOL and I had another extreme QSO on FO-29. It is my furthest contact on the birds!

Back on October 2013, Peter and I had a very nice contact between EL92sd, Cienfuegos, Cuba and IO80so, Weymouth area, UK. It was a 7286 km contact and probably the first contact between UK and Cuba on FO-29!

Peter and I desired to try again on FO-29, this time between EM21hs, Texas, US and his habitual spot in IO80so. We were able to complete a very nice CW contact on the 92319 orbit of FO-29. Peter had just 0.1 degree as maxim elevation while I had 0.8 during the 80 seconds mutual window.

As before, Peter did all the hard work by driving until his habitual spot at a cliff-top and setting up his “portable satellite station” (19 elements Yagi for 435 MHz and 10 elements Yagi for 145 MHz both with horizontal polarization). FO-29 was sounding really good on these orbits. It was a solid 559 satellite contact, we were very impressed.

Antennas used by Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF in Texas

Antennas used by Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF in Texas

We made the calculations using our 10 digit grid squares at http://no.nonsense.ee/qth/map.html

The distance between the stations was 7537.799 km (4683.77 mi). To my knowledge, the longest distance achieved on FO-29 until now had been 7,533.685 km between Frank, K4FEG and Erich, DK1TB http://www.qrz.com/db/k4feg

UPDATE 2015-05-08: K4KEG has now revised his distance to 7,538.685 km. This puts his contact with DK1TB just ahead of that of W5CBF and G4DOL.

It appears that an even longer distance is achievable. It has been reported that FO-29 has a “theoretical maximum range” of 7502 km, but I guess that at least 7600km is doable. We will try to break our own record!

This contact was possible thanks to the great feature implemented on SatPC32 V12.8b. There is an option of seeing the frequency you are at the satellite receiver at any time during a pass. It allows the operators to tune the right frequencies and attempt a contact without having to search for each other.

Thanks very much to Peter for his persistence, effort and all the fun!

Hector, W5CBF/CO6CBF

Listen to a recording of the contact between W5CBF and G4DOL via FO-29

2013 FO-29 satellite contact between Cuba and the UK

FO-29 information http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/two-way-comms-satellites/fuji-oscar-29-jas-2/