[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Amateur Radio operations on ISS expected to commence in November.

Launch of the first ISS crew,  Expedition One, is set for the morning of
October 31st, on a
Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  William Shepherd, KD5GSL, is
the expedition commander.  Yuri Gidzenko is the Soyuz vehicle
commander.  Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, is the flight engineer.  NASA
Television plans
extensive coverage, beginning at 0200 EST on that date.

The flight to the ISS will take approximately two days, with a docking
expected on November 2nd. The crew has expressed a high level of
interest in 
beginning amateur radio operations early in their mission but it may be
several weeks 
before they can setup the amateur radio station and begin operations
(probably no earlier than
November 14).

The crew may be using their own callsigns (KD5GSL, U5MIR) or they may be
using one of the club stations allocated to the ISS: DL0ISS, NA1SS, or

The Expedition One crew's activities are being scheduled around the UTC
timeframe.  It is expected that their working day will start around 0800
UTC and end near 1900 UTC.  There may be a lunch break near 1200 UTC. 
Passes near the beginning, lunchtime, and end of the crew day might be
good times to find a crewmember relaxing with amateur radio activities. 
The crew also has a "weekend" off from 1200 UTC on Saturday until the
end of the day on Sunday.  This might be another good time to listen for
crewmembers using the amateur radio equipment.  Please remember that the
crew is using ham radio to relax from a very difficult job.  They may,
or may not, be interested in working a pile-up.  They might be more
interested in "rag chewing" with one or two hams on a given pass. 
Please respect each crewmembers different operating style.

It is not known yet how much power on board the ISS will be available
for leaving the packet rig powered during times when the crew cannot
perform voice contacts.  We continue to request that the packet rig be
left on as much as possible.  The crew has been trained in the use of
the beaconing capabilities, and we hope that they will use that to share
their experiences as the first permanent crew on the ISS.  This is a
"standard" AFSK AX.25 "terrestrial packet" rig, so it can be used for
APRS and email can be sent to the crew.  Please do not use the system to
leave email for other hams on the ground.  Use the mailbox to leave
email for the crew.  

Initial operations will only take place on the 2m band.  The tentative
frequencies are:
Worldwide downlink for voice and packet: 145.80
Worldwide packet uplink: 145.99
Region 1 voice uplink: 145.20
Region 2 & 3 voice uplink: 144.49

Please remember to practice good operating practices and remain
courteous and patient with this crew while they establish their ham
operations preferences.  Listen before transmitting, to make sure you
don't step upon another QSO.  Wait for the crew to call for contacts
before transmitting.  Please let others have a chance with a rare
contact, don't monopolize the crew or the packet rig.  Please do not ask
the crew to schedule school contacts or other schedules: this puts them
in an awkward and uncomfortable position.  Information about requesting
dedicated contacts will be available on the ARISS web pages
(http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/) shortly.

QSLs and SWLs will be accepted and can be processed through Radio
Amateurs of Canada or the American Radio Relay League.  The card design
is being finalized, but should be ready for distribution early next
year.  Details can be found on the ARISS web page.  

The planning for school operations is actively underway, and efforts are
being made to have the first several school contacts before the end of
the year.  It is hoped that several school contacts can be accommodated
each month, but the crew will be exceedingly busy and everyone must be
prepared to support more, or possibly, fewer school contacts.  The
initial schools have been contacted and efforts are underway to finalize
the details of their contacts.  The ARISS organization is beginning to
accept applications for school contacts; however, the crew workload will
determine the amount of time that passes between accepting an
application and when a contact is scheduled.  We must all remember that
these are very early times for the ISS and we need to remain flexible in
pursuing amateur radio operations with the crews.  

Please stay tuned to the ARISS web pages (http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/)
for the latest information about frequencies and other operational

Will Marchant
marchant@ssl.berkeley.edu       http://chips.ssl.berkeley.edu/~marchant/
kc6rol@amsat.org          New==>http://home.earthlink.net/~willmarchant/
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org