Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who holds the amateur radio callsign IZ0JPA, will be heading for space a third time, as part of Expeditions 52 and 53 to the International Space Station. He will be launched on a Soyuz vehicle in May 2017 on a five-month mission.

The new mission is part of a barter agreement between NASA and Italy’s ASI space agency involving ESA astronauts. It will be ASI’s third long-duration flight, following Luca Parmitano’s Volare in 2013 and Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura this year.

Paolo’s first spaceflight was his two-week Esperia mission on the Space Shuttle’s STS-120 in 2007, ASI’s second short-duration flight under the barter agreement. One of his main tasks was to help install the Node-2 module on the Space Station.

He returned to the Station in 2010 for ESA’s 160-day MagISStra mission as part of Expeditions 26 and 27. In addition to his many experiments, he was involved in the dockings of two cargo craft: Europe’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle and Japan’s second HII Transfer Vehicle.

Following his second flight, Paolo worked at ESA’s ESRIN centre in Italy and at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. He recently began training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow, Russia, for his new adventure.

March 2015 Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA at at BBC Solar Eclipse event

434 MHz Balloon Launch at Dorset Rally

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO1 foil balloon

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO1 foil balloons

Jules G0NZO hopes to launch a 434 MHz balloon BONZO8 from the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest on Sunday, August 9 at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3DA.

The Hamfest lecture stream will start at 11am with a talk on Transverter and RXGEN designs by Kevin Avery G3AAF.

At 11:45am Jules G0NZO will be giving a quick overview of High Altitude Ballooning in the UK and an equipment demonstration. Subject to prevailing weather conditions the launch is planned for 12:30pm and listeners across southern England should be able to tune into the signal on 434.650 MHz USB as well as follow the balloon track online.

The balloon launch will be either a 100gm latex balloon, or a pair of 36″ foil balloons, filled for minimal free lift, to attempt to get the payload to float for the maximum distance. If a latex balloon is used, a simple polythene parachute will be attached, for safety.

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO3 Latex Balloon

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO3 Latex Balloon

The payload is a basic tracking beacon. Radiometrix NTX2 licence exempt transmit module, modulated with RTTY, by a PIC processor and Ublox GPS receiver. Powered by 3xAAA lithium batteries.

BONZO8 Frequency 434.650 MHz USB, ASCII 7 bit RTTY at 50 bps. Approximately 350 Hz shift.

Depending on altitude the 434 MHz transmitter may have a range of around 250 km.

At 1:30pm Essex radio ham Justin G0KSC (InnovAntennas / Force 12) will give a talk on Antennas and at 2:30pm Colin G4KLB will be talking about HamTV from the International Space Station (ISS).

Talk In to the Hamfest will be on 145.550 MHz FM and the gates are open from 10am to 4pm. There is disabled access from 9.30am. Admission is £3.50 and there will be trade stands, a car boot sale, licensed bar as well as lectures. Details from Tony G3PFM on 07743 475018.

Hamfest information

High Altitude Balloon links for online tracking, UKHAS mail list / chat room, WebSDR

HD videos of AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC of the Surrey Space Centre - Credit DK3WN

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC of the Surrey Space Centre – Credit DK3WN

High-definition videos of presentations given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2015 are now available on YouTube.

The colloquium took place July 25-26 in Guildford and attracted attendees from Europe, the USA, Middle East and Japan.

Thanks to the cooperation between the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) and AMSAT-UK, over 6 hours of presentations from the 2015 Colloquium are now available to view on the AMSAT-UK YouTube account.

Videos from the 2014 Colloquium are also available on the site.

See the AMSAT-UK YouTube Playlists



FUNcube Certificate of Achievement and QSL Card

FUNcube Certificate of Achievement

FUNcube Certificate of Achievement

As announced at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2015, a ‘Certificate of Achievement’ and/or an amateur radio style ‘QSL’ card are now available online. Only those who have successfully received telemetry from FUNcube-1 and uploaded it to the Data Warehouse are able to download these documents.

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) – Credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The Certificate of Achievement is aimed at educational establishments such as schools, and the QSL card at radio amateurs who would like confirmation of their report. However, station operators are welcome to download both if they wish.

Each is personalised with the callsign/name which has been previously registered with the Warehouse, and the date and time of the first packet to be uploaded by the requesting station is also added.

Download your Certificate or QSL card from

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) Telemetry:
• Dashboard App
• Data Warehouse Archive
• Whole orbit data

BBC News video about FUNcube-1

FUNcube website

FUNcube Yahoo Group

Dr Helen Walker – UKube-1 presentation video

Dr Helen Walker at the AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium - Credit DK3WN

Dr Helen Walker at the AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium – Credit DK3WN

AMSAT-UK was privileged to have a presentation about the UKube-1 spacecraft by Dr Helen Walker of RAL Space at the International Space Colloquium held in Guildford, July 24-26.

Helen is an astronomer, working in the Satellite Operations Group at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She has around thirty years experience of working with astronomical satellites, both as researcher and planning specialist.

For five years she helped ESA plan science observations on the Mars Express satellite since then has worked with the four Cluster satellites. She is Test Team Leader for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) which will fly on the James Webb Space Telescope.

Her research interests focus on planets, and the material around stars which might form planets.

Helen is Mission Manager for the UKube-1 CubeSat which was launched on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 1558 UT from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. It carries a 145.840 MHz beacon and a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which provide an educational beacon on 145.915 MHz for use by schools and a 435/145 MHz linear transponder for amateur radio SSB/CW communications.

Watch UKube-1: technology, mission and operations – Dr Helen Walker

The presentation slides are available here


Dr Helen Walker on Twitter @SheAstronomer

She is an astronomer

Dr Helen Walker was kept busy answering questions after her presentation

Dr Helen Walker was kept busy answering questions after her presentation

New UK CubeSat Regulations Proposed

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The UK Space Agency has conducted a review to evaluate how its regulatory approach might be tailored for CubeSat systems, they require responses to the proposals by September 1.

The UK’s Outer Space Act 1986 places a significant burden on small educational satellites such as CubeSats and other formats with the builders facing charges of up to £65,000 each year for insurance. These charges stop educational organisations building and launching CubeSats putting the UK at a significant disadvantage.

The UK Space Agency says:

Recognising the common aspects of such missions, there is an opportunity for the UK Space Agency to exploit a range of pre-determined technical assessments and associated likely regulatory outcomes for a range of likely CubeSat systems, presented in the form of a traffic light system.

The outcome of the internal review conducted by the UK Space Agency is a series of recommendations. The UK Space Agency invites responses from the space community on these proposals.

Comments on the recommendations and associated observations/suggestions relating to the regulation of CubeSats should be sent to Ryan King ( by September 1, 2015.

Submissions will be duly considered by the UK Space Agency and reflected accordingly in future implementation plans to address the regulation of CubeSats.

The two documents can be downloaded from

It is suggested those in the UK with an interest in small satellites, be it CubeSat, PocketQube or the other formats, provide feedback to Ryan King to help ensure the future regulatory environment does not place any undue restrictions on small satellite developers.

See the UK CubeSat Forum at

Video of P3E Satellite Announcement

This BATC video shows the P3E satellite announcement made on July 25 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford.

Drew KO4MA and Peter DB2OS were happy to be able to announce a cooperation between AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL and Virginia Tech to try and get Phase-3E launched!

Watch AMSAT-DL and AMSAT-NA announce a potential Phase-3E launch opportunity

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite.  During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on July 4, 2015, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.

Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.

Video streaming and production by the BATC (

Satellite demonstration at AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium

Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA working FO-29 at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2015

Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA working FO-29 at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2015

On July 25 Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA gave a demonstration at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford of working the amateur radio satellite FO-29

His portable station comprised two FT-817’s with an Arrow 145/435 MHz antenna.

Watch Drew KO4MA satellite demo at AMSAT-UK Colloquium

Thanks to Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG for the video.

Further information on the SSB linear transponder satellite FO-29 is at

Also see the RadCom article Getting started on satellites

Live Streaming for International Space Colloquium

BATC Logo SmallThanks to the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) the presentations at this weekend’s AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford will be streamed live.

This year to provide an enhanced streaming experience, the webstream of the AMSAT-UK Colloquium, kindly provided by the BATC team, will be available at this NEW location:

Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

Trade Stands at the Space Colloquium Guildford

A delegate from the University of Surrey at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, Guildford

A delegate from the University of Surrey at a previous AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford

In addition to the AMSAT-UK shop there will be several traders at the International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 25-26. The RF Design stand of Kevin Avery G3AAF is a regular feature and there will also be stands from both Dave Powis G4HUP and Sam Jewell G4DDK.

Among the items available from G4DDK will be DG8 SK for the GM3SEK 144MHz masthead preamp, WA5VJB PCB antennas, connectors and leads. Also horn antennas that might be of interest to satellite enthusiasts.

RF Design StandThe RF Design stand is well known for precision calibrated noise sources, low noise amplifiers, noise gain analysers and other equipment for frequencies up to 11 GHz.

The company also specialises in
● High power RF generation, e.g. CO2 laser plasma power supplies
● Solid state RF power amplifiers to 10kW from LF through UHF
● Short range wireless devices, e.g. Social Alarms

RF Design Amateur Radio and Radio Astronomy products

RF Design

Dave Powis G4HUP products

Sam Jewell G4DDK products

The Colloquium is open to all. Admittance is £10 each day and parking is free. Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

RF Design Table