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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS007 (2008)

ARLS007 Garriott Gears for Space Journey

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 007  ARLS007
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  October 9, 2008
To all radio amateurs

ARLS007 Garriott Gears for Space Journey

On Sunday, October 12, Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, is scheduled to
begin his journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as he
blasts off into space via a Russian Soyuz and dock with the ISS two
days later; he is due to return to Earth on Thursday, October 23.
Richard, the sixth private citizen to be accepted by the Russian
Federal Space Agency (RKA) for a short-term mission on the ISS, is
the son of Owen Garriott, W5LFL.

In 1983, Owen was the very first ham to make QSOs from space.
Richard said he plans to build on his father's legacy by also making
QSOs from the ISS: He plans to perform several school contacts and
downlink SSTV images during his flight, as well as contact the
general ham community in his free time and perform random scout
contacts during Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).

According to ARRL Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, excitement is building
for this launch.  "Richard and Owen have been working as a team to
plan how to cram in all of the objectives Richard hopes to achieve
in space, including scientific experiments."

Through White, Richard and Owen sent this message for all hams:

"We are both very pleased and appreciative of the ARISS and ARRL
support in making the voice and SSTV ham operations more fun,
interesting to the public, and valuable for research on Richard's
flight this October. One of the most exciting aspects of living and
working in space is the chance to look back at the Earth. Owen had
one of the first opportunities to do this 35 years ago on Skylab. e
also had the first opportunity to talk with the ham community from
space 25 years ago aboard [NASA shuttle mission] STS-9. Richard now
has the opportunity to connect with the ham community almost exactly
25 years after his father's shuttle flight and 35 years after
Skylab. One of Richard's primary objectives with his flight is to
photograph the Earth 35 years after the first orbital laboratory and
look for changes on the Earth in the intervening time. While
Richard is at the ISS window, he will be operating the amateur SSTV
equipment and sending its images down to hams around the world.
These downlinks can then be sent to an ARISS central repository for
delayed and wider use. We further expect to be able to compare many
of the images with near simultaneous, handheld, high resolution
digital photo images. We are very excited to share this experience
with the Amateur Radio community, and thank our fellow hams for
their support of this project."

According to White, AO-51 will be operated in a special mode to the
ISS this weekend in preparation for Richard's Slow Scan Television
(SSTV) operations. "Since Richard wants to experiment with the SSTV
equipment on the ISS, a test will take place with AO-51 configured
with dual repeaters. This will be during October 11 and 12," White

"The primary repeater on AO-51 will be configured with an uplink on
1268.700 FM and downlink of 435.300 FM, and will be designated for
this period as an SSTV repeater," reported ARISS Team Member Drew
Glasbrenner, KO4MA. "Users are encouraged to exchange SSTV images in
ROBOT 36 mode, as an opportunity for others to practice receiving
SSTV images from space before the ARISS activity."

The ARISS Team requests that the images hams transmit be related to
space and to the ROBOT 36 mode. As always, White said, "good Amateur
Radio practice -- including cooperation in sharing the uplink -- is
crucial to the success of this test mode." Glasbrenner said that
there will be a QRP voice repeater running concurrently on 145.880
FM uplink and 435.150 FM downlink. Users are asked to use 10 W or
less, and omnidirectional or handheld antennas only.

As Richard gets ready for his voyage, he only had kind words to say
about the amateur community: "I am very impressed with the ham
community and ARISS and how well it puts together such complicated
activities! I am very excited about my ham radio part -- I hope to
perform well."


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