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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS006 (2000)

ARLS006 ISS ham gear cleared for takeoff

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 006  ARLS006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  August 3, 2000
To all radio amateurs

ARLS006 ISS ham gear cleared for takeoff

The way has been cleared for the Amateur Radio gear destined for use
aboard the International Space Station to be launched into space.
The initial amateur gear is scheduled go up to the ISS on mission
STS-106 aboard the shuttle Atlantis on September 8. As part of the
multinational Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
project, the gear will be stowed aboard the ISS for use by the
Expedition 1 crew, set to come aboard in late October.

''We have been working for years to bring the first ISS hardware to
fruition,'' ARISS Administrative Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said
this week. ''It looks like the final issues that have held us back
are now over, and we are moving ahead toward the launch of the
initial hardware on STS-106.''

Bauer said three events over the past couple of weeks were key to
moving the ARISS project forward. The first was the launch and
docking of the Russian-built Zvezda Service Module that eventually
will house the ARISS gear. In addition, Bauer said, a series of RF,
power-up and other tests on the amateur equipment were successfully
completed in Russia, thanks to Lou McFadin, W5DID, of ARISS and
AMSAT and Carolynn Conley, KD5JSO, of NASA. He said NASA also signed
off on the required flight safety package, giving the go-ahead to
release the amateur hardware for flight aboard the upcoming shuttle

The Expedition 1 crew will consist of three amateurs: US astronaut
Bill Shepherd, KD5GSL, and Russian Cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev,
U5MIR, and the recently licensed Yuri Gaidzenko, whose call sign was
not available.

To be available to the first crew, the ARISS initial station gear
will be installed temporarily aboard the ISS Functional Cargo Block.
It will use an existing antenna that's being adapted to support FM
voice and packet on 2 meters but not on 70 cm. Eventually, the ARISS
gear will find a more-permanent home aboard the Zvezda Service

A Russian call sign, RZ3DZR, has been issued for the ISS ham radio

The ARRL and AMSAT have been providing leadership and consulting
services for ARISS. ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager
Rosalie White, K1STO--a member of the Space Amateur Radio EXperiment
Working Group--says this is an exciting moment for the project,
which has one goal of letting students on Earth communicate with the
ISS inhabitants via Amateur Radio.

''All of the hard work from the many volunteers is starting to pay
off,'' she said. ''We have so many people to thank--all of the AMSAT
volunteers, ARRL people, the NASA folks--so many of whom are hams.
But seeing the youth of the United States and other countries
benefit is our reward.''

Bauer says the astronauts and cosmonauts plan to take some time off
for educational outreach contacts with schools, even during the busy
years of ISS construction that lie ahead. Bauer says access to
Amateur Radio also is considered a morale booster for ISS crew
members who will be in space many weeks at a time.

As the International Space Station takes its place in the heavens,''
Bauer said, ''the Amateur Radio community is prepared to do its part
by helping to enrich the experience.''


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