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Spacewalk to install HAM antenna

 Jan. 11, 2002

 Dwayne Brown 
 Headquarters, Washington
 (Phone: 202/358-1726)

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

 RELEASE: H02-07


 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:


       Alan. (ZL2VAL)
-- Arachne V1.67, NON-COMMERCIAL copy, http://arachne.cz/

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