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Danish Astronaut is Among Latest Group of Space-Bound Radio Amateurs


Only one radio amateur — Samantha Cristoforetti, IZØUDF — now is aboard the International Space Station, but five more astronauts -- including one from Denmark -- have passed the US Technician license exam, and three of them will be among those heading to the ISS this year and next. The newest licensees are Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG; Jack Fischer, KG5FYH; David Saint-Jacques, KG5FYI; Kathleen Rubins, KG5FYJ, and Andreas Mogensen, KG5GCZ.

Pesquet joined the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut corps in 2009. Starting in November 2016 he will serve as a flight engineer on ISS Expeditions 50 and 51. Fischer was selected in 2009 as a member of the 20th NASA astronaut class, while Saint-Jacques, selected in 2009 by the Canadian Space Agency, and has moved to Houston to join the 20th NASA astronaut class. Rubins, also selected in 2009 as a member of NASA’s 20th astronaut class, will serve as a flight engineer for ISS Expeditions 48 and 49, which heads to the ISS in May 2016. Mogensen, who also joined the ESA astronaut corps in 2009, has been training in Texas. When he heads to the ISS this September for a 10-day mission, he will become the first Danish astronaut to go into space. Accompanying Mogensen on the Soyuz spacecraft will be British soprano Sarah Brightman — who has paid $52 million to be a “spaceflight participant” for 10 days — and cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, RU3DIS.

The ISS ham radio population will grow this spring. Later this month, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, RN3BF, and Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, will head to the ISS, and Kelly and Kornienko will remain onboard for 1 year — the longest space mission ever assigned to a NASA astronaut. Cristoforetti will head back to Earth in May, after Kjell Lindgren, KO5MOS; Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, and Kimiya Yui arrive at the ISS as part of a scheduled crew rotation.

Space veteran and NASA astronaut Michael Fincke, KE5AIT, recently renewed his Amateur Radio license. Fincke served on Expedition 9 in 2004 and was ISS Commander for Expedition 18 in 2008/2009. Fincke holds the US record for the most time in space — 381.6 days.




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