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Space Tourist arrives on ISS



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

REPRINTED FROM THE WEEKLY ARRL NEWLETTER OF 4/26/02

VISITORS HAVE ARRIVED ON THE ISS

==>SECOND "SPACE TOURIST" EN ROUTE TO ISS; AMATEUR CONTACTS PLANNED
 
Space tourist and amateur researcher Mark Shuttleworth this week
journeyed
to the International Space Station. The South Africa native, who now
lives
in London, and his two crewmates--Russian cosmonaut and ISS veteran Yuri
Gidzenko and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori, IZ6ERU,
blasted off April 25 from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz
vehicle. They were scheduled to arrive at the ISS April 27. During their
eight-day stay, Shuttleworth and Vittorio are scheduled to speak via
Amateur Radio with youngsters at schools in South Africa and Italy.
 
"This live communication represents a major turning point for the image
of
South African education," Shuttleworth said in a statement released by a
South African marketing firm he's hired, "and puts a group of our school
learners uniquely into the global spotlight of space exploration."
Shuttleworth, 28, has been issued a "temporary, honorary Amateur Radio
station license" by the Independent Communications Authority of South
Africa. The license, good for three months, bears the call sign ZS
RSA--not an amateur configuration.
 
If successful, the contacts will mark the first ARISS QSOs with schools
in
Africa. The initial contact is set for Monday, April 29, with
Shuttleworth's alma mater, Bishops in Cape Town. Students in three South
African provinces submitted questions, the best of which will be posed by
winners of a nationwide competition. Additional contacts are on the ARISS
roster with three other South African schools. Vittorio is scheduled to
attempt a direct 2-meter ARISS contact with a school in Italy on May 4.
 
Shuttleworth's adventure, which NASA calls "a private commercial
agreement
with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency," is costing him an estimated
$20 million. After the visit of the first space tourist, businessman
Dennis Tito, KG6FZX, almost a year ago, NASA, Russia and the other
international partners established some guidelines for future visits of
this type. As did Tito, Shuttleworth says space travel has been a
lifelong
dream.
 
According to media accounts, Shuttleworth has rankled at being described
as a "space tourist." He points out that he's trained eight months for
the
mission. In addition, Shuttleworth says, he and Gidzenko have been
trained
by Russian and South African biologists in how to carry out genetic
engineering studies using animal stem cells while aboard the ISS.
 
The crew's primary mission is to deliver a fresh Soyuz spacecraft to the
ISS, where a Soyuz craft remains available as a lifeboat. The trio will
return to Earth in early May aboard the Soyuz spacecraft now attached to
the station. Gidzenko, a veteran of the ISS's first resident crew, will
become the first former resident to revisit the complex.
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