ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX004 (2008)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX004
ARLX004 Ronald A Parise, WA4SIR, SK

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Special Bulletin 4  ARLX004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 12, 2008
To all radio amateurs 

SB SPCL ARL ARLX004
ARLX004 Ronald A Parise, WA4SIR, SK
 
Dr Ronald A. Parise, PhD, WA4SIR, passed away Friday May 9, 2008
after a very long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 57.

Parise flew as a payload specialist on two space shuttle missions:
STS-35 on Columbia in December 1990 and STS-67 on the Endeavour in
March 1995. These two missions, ASTRO-1 and ASTRO-2 respectively,
carried out ultraviolet and x-ray astronomical observations, logging
more than 614 hours and 10.6 million miles in space.

Parise was one of the first astronomers to operate a telescope from
space, making hundreds of observations during the mission.  Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank H.
Bauer, KA3HDO, said Parise's personal contributions to these two
missions provided scientists with "an unprecedented view of our
universe, expanding our understanding of the birth, life and death
of stars and galaxies."

First licensed when he was 11, Parise kept Amateur Radio at the
forefront of everything he did, including his operations from space.
During his two shuttle flights, he spoke with hundreds of hams on
the ground. He was instrumental in guiding the development of a
simple ham radio system that could be used in multiple
configurations on the space shuttle; as a result, his first flight
on Columbia ushered in what Bauer called the "frequent flyer era" of
the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) payload.

Parise was the first ham in space to operate packet radio. "His
flight pioneered the telebridge ground station concept to enable
more schools to talk to shuttle crew members despite time and orbit
constraints," Bauer said. "In his two shuttle flights, he inspired
countless students to seek technical careers and he created memories
at the schools and communities that will never be forgotten. Ron was
also the ultimate ham radio operator -- in space and on the ground."

Bauer said that Parise's love for Amateur Radio and his love of
inspiring students continued well beyond his two shuttle flights:
"During the formation of the ARISS program, Ron was a tremendous
resource to the newly forming international team. I know of many
instances where Ron's wisdom and sage advice was instrumental in
helping our international team resolve issues when we reached
critical technical or political roadblocks. He was a key volunteer
in the development of the ham radio hardware systems that are now
on-board ISS. The ARISS team is deeply indebted to WA4SIR for his
leadership, technical advice and tremendous vision."

Parise worked hand-in-hand with the students at the US Naval Academy
and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on the development of their
student satellites. He helped develop Radio Jove, a student
educational project to listen to the radio signals emanating from
Jupiter. Parise spoke at numerous schools over the years, inspiring
students to pursue careers in science, math and technology.

"Ron Parise was--and continues to be--an inspiration to countless
students, ham radio operators, and friends the world over. His
accomplishments were many, including space explorer, pioneer,
astrophysicist, pilot, ham radio operator, avionics and software
expert, inspirational speaker and motivator, student satellite
mentor, husband, father and friend. While he certainly did some
truly extraordinary things in his lifetime, Ron Parise is best known
and cherished for keeping family and friends first, and for this, we
will miss him most," Bauer said.

In an effort to continue Parise's work to inspire the next
generation, his family has set up a scholarship fund in Parise's
honor for students pursuing technical degrees at Youngtown State
University, Parise's alma mater. In lieu of flowers, those
interested are welcome to send donations to the Dr Ronald A.  Parise
Scholarship Fund, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza,
Youngstown, OH 44555.
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