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SPACEWALK TO HELP HAM IT UP



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR Z. ROWE-N1ORC

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington                        Jan. 11, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Ed Campion
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
(Phone: 301/286-0697)

RELEASE: 02-07

SPACEWALK TO HELP ASTRONAUTS HAM IT UP IN COMFORT

     As astronauts and cosmonauts have adapted to home life on 
the International Space Station, they have found amateur 
radio, often referred to as ham radio, and its electronic 
connection to life here on Earth to be a constant companion. 

During a spacewalk planned for January 14, the crew will 
install an antenna system that ultimately will enable a key 
facet of the ham radio station to move into much more 
comfortable and convenient surroundings inside the station's 
living quarters.

Since November 2000 amateur radio equipment has been used by 
Expedition astronauts and cosmonauts to talk to hundreds of 
kids in schools around the world, as well as to friends, 
family and others on Earth.

During the spacewalk, Expedition Four Commander Yuri 
Onufrienko and Flight Engineer Carl Waltz will venture outside 
the station and install the first of four antennas built by 
the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) 
team.

"The installation of this first antenna on the outside of 
Zvezda will allow the crew to set up ham radio equipment in 
their living quarters," said Frank Bauer, chief of the 
Guidance, Navigation and Control Center at NASA's Goddard 
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The Zarya location 
worked well, but this new setup is much more comfortable and 
convenient and should allow for more contact between the crew 
and amateur radio operators and schools on Earth."

The Russians designed Zvezda with four special ports for 
installation of antennas that serve two functions: amateur 
radio and a Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) -- or 
spacewalk --television system. The antenna will support 
Russian video transmission during Russian spacewalks, and 
during normal operations will support amateur radio 
activities. The other three antennas will be installed later 
this year.

Like the space station itself, these new antennas are the 
result of an international team effort. The Italian partners 
provided one portion, the Russians designed the system and 
provided the EVA handling and attachment hardware, and NASA 
performed the assembly and tests to qualify the units for use 
in space.

In 1996, delegates from eight nations involved in the space 
station project, representing major national radio 
organizations and The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation 
(AMSAT), signed an agreement forming ARISS to design, build 
and operate amateur radio equipment.

In the United States, the American Radio Relay League and 
AMSAT provide leadership and consultation. They donate and 
build hardware and make sure safety and qualification tests 
are successfully completed.

"Astronauts and cosmonauts are ardent supporters of 
educational outreach contacts with schools," said Bauer, who 
in addition to his NASA duties serves as vice president for 
AMSAT's human space flight division. "They have made contacts 
with hundreds of school children at more than 40 schools 
around the world."

In the future, ARISS hopes to fly a slow-scan television 
system on the International Space Station.

More information about amateur radio on the space station is 
available at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/reference/radio/index.html

                       -end-


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