AO-21 has finished it's life.
R:941114/1233Z @:RK3KP.RUS.EU #:11276 [Moscow] FBB5.15c $:11276_RK3KP


                   AO-21/RS-14 HAS FINISHED ITS LIFE !!!

     The Space  Flight  Control  Centre  in  Golitsino-2  near  Moscow  has
   informed the AMSAT-R Group that since September  16,  1994  the  command
   radioline  of  INFORMATOR-1 is to be switched off and the ground control
   system  of  the  regimes  of  the  on-board   equipment   finishes   its
   functioning.  Several  other  space  objects that are of non-profitable
   character but that create only a headache for the  Military  Department
   have  the  same destiny.  Thus the financial difficulties of the Defense
   Ministry have influenced in their turn the radioamateurs.
     Previously there  was  an  agreement  between  AMSAT-R and Golitsino-2
   according to which the control of the satellite was done by the  jointly
   worked out programme.
     INFORMATOR-1 - an experimental artificial Earth satellite made by  the
   production amalgamation "POLYOT" by the order of the Ministry of Geology
   according  to  routine  technology  similar  to  those  satellites  that
   launched RS3-8, RS10/11, RS12/13, Cospas and many others. The geologists
   could not find  a professional organization  to make the transponder fit
   to  their  requirements  and the question has not been settled until the
   radioamateur  group  AMSAT-U-ORBITA  (Molodechno,  Byelorus)  took   the
   responsibility.  As  a payment for their work the geologists have agreed
   to install the radioamateur equipment on board the satellite.
     The design  of  the  radioamateur  equipment  consisted of two sets of
   linear transponders of Mode B (70 cm uplink,  2 m downlink),  CW, packet
   telemetry  and  the  command  radioline  equipment,  the secondary power
   supplies. At the same time since the spring of 1989 by the initiative of
   the  German side the "secret" talks between the RUDAK AMSAT-DL group and
   the Moscow AMSAT  group  have  been  carried  out  without  telling  the
   leadership  of  DOSAAF about a joint project of a radioamateur satellite
   with the use of the most advanced methods of digital signal  processing.
   A similar system called RUDAK-1 was worked out and installed in OSCAR-13
   satellite but it did not operate because of the technical defects.
     This idea   has   found   a   good   response  at  the  AMSAT-U-ORBITA
   designers.  The preliminary  minutes on  the joint project  were  signed
   during Amsat-UK Colloquium  at  the University of Surrey in August 1989.
   Their final version was agreed and singed in the autumn of the same year
   when the considerable  part of the  equipment  has  already  been  made.
   According  to  the  minutes   AMSAT-U-ORBITA is to work out and make the
   linear transponder,  receiver,  transmitter,  command  link,  telemetry,
   secondary power supplies and to settle  with the  authorities  all   the
   questions   concerning   the   installation  of  the  equipment  and the
   launch of the satellite to the   orbit.  RUDAK AMSAT-DL group is working
   out and making the digital part called  RUDAK-2 which includes a digital
   transponder, AX25 mailbox and its own command link.   The  equipment has
   large  possibilities for various  experiments  that   finally  made  the
   satellite one of the  most  popular  radioamateur   satellites  and gave
   the opportunity to make a series  of important  experiments  of  testing
   new  ideas  for the "satellite of the century"  Phase-3-D.
     The ground  control stations were organized in Molodechno (UC1CWA) and
   in Moscow (RK3KP).  The command stations of RUDAK  were  established  in
   Munich  (DG2CV)  and  not  far  from Hannower (DB2OS).  The Space Flight
   Control Center in Golitsino-2 made the general control of  the  on-board
   systems.  Some  of  the  life  important  commands  of  the radioamateur
   equipment were also duplicated there.
     The agreement  was signed on behalf of AMSAT-U-ORBITA by the technical
   head of the project called RADIO-M1  (also  RS14  and  AO-21  )  Mr.  V.
   Chepyzhenko  (RC2CA)  and  on  behalf  of AMSAT-DL it was signed by its
   President Mr. K. Meinzer (DJ4ZC).  Mr. G.Kuhlen (DK1YQ) was appointed as
   a technical head  of the equipment for RUDAK-2. The coordinators of the
   project were Mr. P.Gultzow (DB2OS) and Mr. L.Labutin (UA3CR).
     Here I would like to sing the praises of the packet communications. In
   those years (1989) the facsimile communications, the means of copying, the
   "non-sanctioned"  telephone  talks with the foreign colleagues have been
   strictly prohibited in this country,  there were also much  difficulties
   with  the use of the e-mail.  The radioamateurs of the USSR have not yet
   lived up to that day when it was permitted for them to  use  the  packet
   communications.  But  to  coordinate  all technical questions,  to solve
   hundreds of schematic  and  construction  problems,  to  coordinate  the
   actions  of  the  sides  were possible only by means of regular,  almost
   daily,  intercourse with the people  involved.  And  such  a  means  was
   finally   found   between   DB20S   and   UA3CR.  That  was  the  packet
   communications under the disguise of the third countries (the  socialist
   countries). With the help of the packet exchange not only texts but also
   drawings  have  been  sent.  In  short,  if   there   were   no   packet
   communications  there would be no the satellite AO21/RS14.  At first the
   launch was scheduled for the beginning of 1990.  There  was  too  little
   time  left  and  only  the  radioamateurs   enthusiasm  let  finish  the
   fantastic amount of work in  time.  Our  German  friends  even  had  to
   postpone the Christmas for further time...
     The equipment  RUDAK-2  was  delivered  first  to   Moscow   then   to
   Molodechno.  The  designers  of  the  AMSAT-U-ORBITA  group headed by V.
   Chepyzhenko (RC2CA),  L.  Maksakov (RA3AT) and L. Labutin (UA3CR) of the
   Moscow AMSAT group and S.Eckart (DL2MDL) of AMSAT-DL  took  part  in the
   adjustment  and complex testing of the equipment in Molodechno.
     But as it often happens in space mazes after the equipment was sent to
   the PA "POLYOT" it appeared that the production  of  a  non-radioamateur
   equipment  was  delayed  and  thus the launch of the satellite had to be
   postponed for an indefinite period of time.
     On the 29-th of January 1991 the first international satellite created
   in cooperation with the Soviet and German radioamateurs was successfully
   launched  to  the  orbit  from  the  Northern  space  launching  site of
   Plesetsk.  After launching to  the  orbit  it  was  given  the  name  of
   AMSAT-OSCAR 21 in commemoration that it was created by the radioamateurs
   of different countries.  We have experienced many dramatic moments.  But
   all that was to the good. And not only from the technical point of view.
   May be the most important result of it was the establishing  of  durable
   international    contacts   between   the   enthusiasts   of   satellite
   communications of Russia and many other countries.
     The AMSAT-groups are continuing their cooperation.

                                        73 L.Labutin, UA3CR

Return to the History of Amateur Satellites