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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS008 (2008)

ARLS008 ARISS to Celebrate 25 Years of Amateur Radio in Space 
with Special Events

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 008  ARLS008
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  December 2, 2008
To all radio amateurs

ARLS008 ARISS to Celebrate 25 Years of Amateur Radio in Space 
with Special Events
Twenty-five years ago this week, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, made history
by being the first Amateur Radio operator to talk to hams from
space.  His historic flight on STS-9 on board the Space Shuttle
Columbia was launched on November 28 and landed on December 8, 1983.
Garriott's ham radio adventure on that mission ushered in a host of
what Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, called "outstanding outreach
activities that continue today with the ARISS program."

Bauer said that many hams still remember that first set of contacts
and downlinks with Garriott: "Those first contacts allowed each of
us to share the excitement of space exploration through Owen's
first-hand eyewitness accounts.  Owen's ham radio legacy enabled
space travelers that have flown on the space shuttle, the space
station Mir and now the International Space Station (ISS) to share
their journey of exploration."

Just last month, Garriott's son Richard, W5KWQ, became the first
second generation Amateur Radio operator to travel in space and
speak with hams. "What other hobby, except Amateur Radio," Bauer
wondered, "could or would open the communications lines of space
travelers beyond that of the space agencies or international heads
of state?"

To celebrate 25 years of Amateur Radio operations from space, ARISS
has planned a set of special event opportunities for December and
part of January. According to Bauer, a special certificate will be
available for those who communicate with the ISS, either two-way
direct (with the ISS crew, the digipeater or cross-band repeater) or
one-way reception of SSTV or voice downlink. "Several 'surprises'
are planned over the month-long celebration," he said, and will be
announced soon.

Bauer said that in addition to school contacts and APRS
digi-operations, ARISS will configure the radio system for
cross-band repeater operations to utilize the standard ultra-violet
operations in low power mode during the first week of December.

Starting December 7, ARISS will then run a test of 9600 baud packet
operations on 145.825 MHz. "Given that PCSat should be in full Sun
starting December 9," Bauer explained, "we will switch to 1200 baud
packet on 145.825 on December 14-19 to support double hop
opportunities. At times, especially during the weekends, you might
see some SSTV operations if the crew is available." Bauer reminded
hams that due to ISS flight requirements related to spacewalks and
vehicle activity, the radio onboard the ISS may be off for some
portion of this schedule. School contacts and general QSO
opportunities by the crew will also preempt this schedule for short
periods of time. "But remember that if you hear these," Bauer said,
"you still qualify for a commemorative certificate!"


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