ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS012 (1997)

ARLS012 SAREX/ARISS attempt to reschedule missed QSOs

Space Bulletin 012  ARLS012
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  April 11, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS012 SAREX/ARISS attempt to reschedule missed QSOs

When the space shuttle Columbia prematurely came back to Earth April
8, so did the soaring hopes of students and teachers at 18 schools
that had been scheduled to talk via Amateur Radio with the
astronauts aboard the shuttle as part of the Shuttle Amateur Radio
EXperiment, or SAREX.  Three hams were aboard STS-83: Jim Halsell,
KC5RNI, the mission commander, Janice Voss, KC5BTJ, and Donald
Thomas, KC5FVF.  The SAREX schedule had included contacts with
schools in the People's Republic of China and Japan (Okinawa).

It's not yet known if or when any of the SAREX contacts might be
rescheduled on other missions, although NASA has indicated it would
like to ''refly'' the entire STS-83 mission--with the same
crew--possibly as early as July.  The SAREX/ARISS Working Group
(SAWG) has requested that SAREX be included if the mission is
reflown.  In the meantime, the SAWG will be in contact with NASA to
find ways to give each school every possible chance to be assigned
to future flights.

NASA Payload Specialist Ron Parise, WA4SIR, took time out from his
work schedule April 7 at Goddard Space Flight Center to speak with
some 300 thrilled students at the County College of Morris in New
Jersey, one of the schools on the STS-83 SAREX schedule.  Other
schools might get a chance at special QSOs with the STS-83 crew
members once the crew is back at Johnson Space Center.

At least one of the hams aboard STS-83 managed a few spare moments
to turn on the ham gear aboard the shuttle.  Al Lark, KD4SFF, of
Greenville, South Carolina, was able to chat with Don Thomas,
KC5FVF, aboard Columbia on April 5.  Rusty Hack, NM1K, in Enfield,
Connecticut, also reported hearing KC5FVF aboard the shuttle on the
same day, apparently a few minutes after the QSO with KD4SFF.  April
5 QSOs also were reported by KA3HPQ and N1JEZ.

In the meantime, four out of a scheduled round of ten MIREX school
contacts have taken place so far with ham-astronaut Jerry Linenger,
KC5HBR, aboard the Russian Mir space station.  At least three more
contacts remain on the schedule, with Alaiedon Elementary School in
Mason, Michigan, Holy Angels School in Dayton, Ohio, and Jerling
Junior High School in Orland Park Illinois.  The remaining QSO
schedule may be pared back in deference to Linenger's heavy research
workload, but efforts are under way to carry out as many of the
previously schedule school contacts as possible.