ARISS Radio Telebridge Stalwart Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, SK


When the International Space Station (ISS) orbit is not favorable for a direct Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with a particular school or location scheduled to speak with an astronaut, ARISS radio telebridge stations bridge the gap. Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, of Parklands, South Africa, one of the “regulars” during the earlier years of the ARISS program, died on February 1 at age 95.

Klatzko served as an ARISS radio telebridge station in South Africa for many years until he retired. ARISS telebridge stations establish the direct ham radio link and feed two-way audio into a telebridge line for delivery to the contact site. John Sygo, ZS6JON, described Klatzko as “always bright and cheerful and a great operator,” who made major contributions to the amateur service.

“He was one of the first to experiment with slow-scan television,” Sygo said. “For many years, he assisted NASA to link astronauts with their families using amateur radio links from Mir, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. For over 2 decades he was the co-producer and presenter of Amateur Radio Mirror International.”



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