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Re: ISS Transmissions



All,

Arthur has introduced some very important points.  The crew has been *very* 
busy.  I think I finally got it when I saw an item that said they are 
getting about 4 hours or less sleep a night.

One analogy that I heard from one of our team members from the Johnson 
Space Center struck a chord with me.   The analogy is remembering when I 
moved into my new home.  As you know, moving in is a very busy time.  But 
the ISS crew has some additional challenges.  They have "inherited" the 
shell of a house and it is their job to install the equipment and prepare 
the house for a long, fruitful future.

The ISS crew has the equivalent of a Ryder truck pulling up to their 
doorstep every 7 weeks.  The Ryder truck is actually the Progress module 
which is full of new items that need to be moved in and installed.  In many 
cases, it takes hours or days to install a piece of ISS hardware.  While 
they are doing this, they have Shuttles arriving every 3-4 weeks, providing 
more equipment.  Just the task of "cleaning the place up" before the 
Shuttle guests arrive would seem like a big job to us.

The crew on-board are very interested and enthusiastic amateur radio 
operators.  Many of you remember Sergei, U5MIR, from his two visits on 
Mir.  In both, he was very active on the radio.  When I saw him in Houston, 
he and Bill Shepherd were very supportive of the ham equipment and are 
genuinely interested in operating.  But, as you can see, they have been 
overwhelmed with work.  I assure all of you that the ARISS team is working 
closely with the US and Russian space agencies to make sure they know that 
the amateur radio community would like to have general QSOs with the 
crew.  But many of the work items on NASA's and Energia's lists are behind 
too.

The equipment in the FGB is certainly a factor--although I think it is 
minor.  If the ham equipment was in the Service Module next to the eating 
table (where it ultimately will reside) they probably would be able to pick 
up the mic more often.  FYI, for those who haven't ready the STS-106 
briefing on the ARISS web page, we expect to install the Service Module 
antennas mid-next year.

The ARISS team is working to get the packet module turned on.  We now are 
better positioned to ask for this now that the new solar arrays are in 
place.  When this occurs, you will be the first to know.  When packet is 
turned on, I would suggest that we start with some APRS ops, since the digi 
will be on.  I am not sure how much the crew will be able to answer the 
mail from the e-mailbox--just an advanced warning

I encourage those of you who do not have the frequencies or callsigns to 
refer to the ARISS web page, to reduce bandwidth on the reflector.

The web page address is:

http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/

As the crews settle into space station, I am certain that several crew 
members will pick up the mic (or keyboard) and talk to us.  We need to 
continue to be patient as they construct the home of the future.  As the 
successful school contact last week illustrates, we (amateur radio) are now 
a permanent fixture on the ISS.  Congratulations to the worldwide team that 
made this possible.

Happy Holidays to All!

73,  Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs


At 06:31 AM 12/27/00 -0500, Arthur z Rowe wrote:
>Lets all remember that while Amateur radio might be important to our
>community, it  is a very low priority
>to the persons on board ISS. In the first place, presently they are using
>a temporary setup and it will be another year or more before permanent
>equipment will be installed. Arthur N1ORC
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