Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS023 (1997)

ARLS023 SAREX contacts successful

Space Bulletin 023  ARLS023
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  July 11, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS023 SAREX contacts successful

Ham radio has had a very prominent role in the shuttle Columbia
mission STS-94, which continues until July 17. So far, the STS-94
crew--which includes three hams--has racked up 13 successful SAREX
contacts with school groups as well as random QSOs with earthbound
hams. Aboard the shuttle are Jim Halsell, KC5RNI, the mission
commander; Janice Voss, KC5BTK; and Donald Thomas, KC5FVF, who set
up the orbiting ham shack and completed 19 random contacts before
the ''official'' scheduled test pass.

Seventeen schools, including one in the People's Republic of China,
are scheduled to talk with the astronauts via Amateur Radio. So far,
all SAREX contacts have been successful.

On Thursday, July 3, students at Edgewater High School in Orlando,
Florida, spoke with the astronauts. Later the same day, the
Lexington Traditional Magnet School in Lexington, Kentucky, made
contact with Columbia after a frustrating initial attempt. All of
the students asking questions are recently licensed amateurs.

On Friday, July 4, the students of Crittenden Middle School of
Mountain View, California quizzed Commander Jim Halsell, KC5RNI, via
the AMSAT Telebridge Network through Gordon Williams, VK6IU, in
Western Australia. In closing, the students chanted ''Happy
Independence Day, Columbia.''

On Monday, July 7, the Columbia crew spoke with students at the S.
J.  Davis Middle School in San Antonio, Texas (via Steve Cerwin,
WA5FRF).  Fourteen students at the school got to chat with Halsell,
and the school district taped the event.

Also on Monday, pupils at Burch Elementary School in Tyrone,
Georgia, (via Bob Watson, KN4HH) got to ask the astronauts an even
dozen questions. Teacher Kathy Akins reported an ''excellent'' contact
with astronaut (payload specialist) Greg Linteris aboard the
Columbia.  Later on Monday, a crowd of 600 was in the audience as
youngsters at Artesia Public Schools in Artesia, New Mexico, (via
Bob Perkins, KU5J) put 18 questions to the astronauts. ''It was
great.'' said teacher Camille George.

On Tuesday, July 8, pupils at Mountain View Elementary in Dewey,
Arizona, started their day with a very nice chat with Halsell, via
the station of Dave Boone, AB7JA. For most of the pass, signals were
quite strong. Approximately 100 people were in attendance, and six
students got to ask 11 questions. Later on Tuesday, Jenny Dunklee's
summer astronomy class at the Ione Junior High School in Jackson,
California, was excited to be able to include a contact with Janice
Voss on their second day of summer classes. Dunklee spoke
enthusiastically about this ''great opportunity for my students'' to
learn firsthand about space exploration.

On Wednesday, July 9, students and members of the Foursquare Radio
Amateur Youth club, KE6SWH, were excited to complete a contact with
Halsell aboard Columbia. A number of the students had recently
obtained ham tickets in preparation for the shuttle contact.
Students were from Oxnard High School and Hale Middle School of
Woodland Hills. Oxnard High Principal Daisy Tatum said the students
were very enthusiastic and excited about completing the contact.
Also on Wednesday, students at Lawrence Intermediate School,
Lawrenceville, New Jersey, enjoyed a chat with Halsell. Students
asked 11 questions as an audience of 450 looked on.

On Thursday, July 10, Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute,
Jamestown, Tennessee, had what was described as ''a difficult
contact'' with Jamestown native (and payload specialist) Roger Crouch
at the mike of KC5RNI. Despite the very rough copy, the school
reported five questions were answered. Crouch's mother was in

On Friday, July 11, successful SAREX contacts took place with Dunn's
Corners Elementary School, Westerly, Rhode Island, and Center Street
School, El Segundo, California. A SAREX contact with Tsinghua
University in the People's Republic of China is set for Monday, July

The STS-94 crew will use KC5RNI, KC5BTK, and KC5FVF on FM voice and
W5RRR-1 on packet. They'll be available for random QSOs during their
breaks, before and after meal time, and during their pre-sleep time.
The astronauts also have activated the robot packet system. (Do not
be surprised if you see ''STS-83'' in its beacon.) Edward Chuang,
BV1AF, reported hearing the STS-94 packet signal July 10, at 0057
UTC from his QTH in the northeastern part of Taiwan, although he did
not connect.

Additional STS-94 mission information is available from NASA at the
NASA Shuttle Web site,

Thanks to Charlie Sufana, AJ9N; Tim Bosma, W6ISS; Pat Kilroy,
WD8LAQ; Frank Bauer, KA3HDO; and Rosalie White, WA1STO, for their
assistance in compiling this bulletin.


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn