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SSETI Express Launch on Web

Discussion in 'Contests, DXpeditions and Special Events' started by M5AKA, Aug 29, 2005.

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  1. M5AKA

    M5AKA Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is just 4 weeks until the launch of SSETI Express.

    The launch will be carried live on the Internet at


    courtesy of the Home Counties Amateur Television Club who operate the ATV Repeater GB3HV.

    The launch date of September 27th and a lift-off time of 06:52:26 UTC now looks pretty certain for the Cosmos 3 rocket carrying SSETI Express with its three cubesat passengers and four other satellites into orbit.

    Updated pre-launch keps will be made available shortly and there are a number of web pages being developed to enable amateurs to locate SSETI Express, receive and download the telemetry and to forward it to Mission Control for their evaluation. Later in the mission it will also be possible for amateurs to transmit so called "friendly" commands to request particular telemetry or thumbnail pictures.

    The receiver part of the onboard 70cms transceiver and the S band transmitter will be available to Amateurs as a single channel FM U/S transponder.

    The SSETI team and ESA - The European Space Agency, are very keen to recruit as many radio amateurs as possible around the world to capture the telemetry. Our worldwide "virtual groundstation network" is a unique facility which we can use to our benefit as well as theirs. By showing how well our network can substitute for their expensive professional one, we will really encourage them to include amateur transponder systems in their future missions.

    ESA will be offering a very significant prize for the Amateur who sends them the largest amount of telemetry during the mission and is also offering a unique "I heard it first" T shirt to the station that sends them the first report. This is actually likely to be one of the three Stations that we hope to having listening for SSETI Express in Antarctica - an ideal item of clothing for their forthcoming winter season!

    The main mission site is being finalised and can already be accessed at - click on the "express mission operation website" link. This has full details of the mission, the software, present orbital position and a host of other information.

    There is also a Mission Control website at
    which will include a webcam of the control room and eventually the antennas and radio equipment.

    AMSAT-UK will shortly be publishing the first edition of the SSETI Express Handbook which has been kindly edited by Richard G3RWL . This will be available as a downloadable pdf file or, for a small fee, in a full colour
    printed version by post.

    The SSETI Express launch campaign team will be setting off for Russia on Sept 5th and will try to keep a good flow of up-to-date information flowing from the launch site.

    Meanwhile there are two possibilities for joining the excitement of the Sept 27th

    THE LAUNCH ON ASTRA 1G which has coverage of most of EUROPE

    The launch will be broadcast via ESA Television on Astra 1 G at 19.2 degrees east:

    Transponder:                          1.108
    Reception frequency:              12551.50 MHz
    Polarization:                            Vertical
    Symbolrate:                             22Msymb/s
    FEC:                                        5/6
    TS_ID:                                     1108
    ON_ID:                                    1
    Service Name:                        ESA
    Service provider:                     ASTRA
    Service_ID:                             12140
    TXT:                                        none

    This is always on and will transmit an ESA logo starting three days before the launch.
    The programme is expected to run for approximately 30mins and will include the launch sequence live from the Plesetsk launch site. The final programme timing will be announced by ESA nearer to the time.


    The ESA launch programme on ASTRA 1G will also be available as a webstream on the internet. The Home Counties Amateur Television Club operate an amateur television repeater (GB3HV) at High Wycombe in the UK and the output of this repeater is usually streamed onto the internet. They have kindly agreed to make this webstream service available to us for the launch period.

    The webstream runs at about 210Kbits/sec so a broadband internet connection will be required for a reliable relay. To access this webstream you need to have Windows Media Player and connect to mms://
    This service should be capable of serving a large number of users without difficulty.

    This webstream operates on a 24/7 basis so it can be checked at anytime. Before the launch it may be displaying a variety of test cards, amateurs or other pictures. The display may take up to 30secs to appear and during the second half of every hour (from 30 mins to 59 mins after the hour) it will display a blank screen unless GB3HV is actually in use.

    AMSAT-UK produce a newsletter "Oscar News" full of satellite information.
    For membership details contact the secretary Jim Heck G3WGM
    Tel: +44 (0)1258 453959
    Online Satellite Pass Predictions:
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