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

ARISS Update 7/9/02


A number of you have sent me e-mail requesting information on what is 
happening on ISS.  I thought I would follow-up on these individual e-mails 
with an e-mail to all those interested in ISS operations.

It is great to see an active Russian ham on-board ISS!  Some are call him 
"the man"---but one thing is sure....Valery, RZ3FK, has been very active on 
the ISS ham radio system.  Both on voice as well as packet.

We haven't gotten his field day logs yet (we have requested them from him), 
but Valery's QSO's during field day appear to be comparable to the 202 
individual contacts that Susan Helms made last year.  Valery was on the air 
during just about all the passes we provided to the ISS crew prior to field 

One exciting thing that Valery did was to hook a computer up to the ISS Ham 
packet radio system.  As you are aware, the packet system was down for 
several weeks near the end of the Increment 4 crew's tour of duty.  On two 
separate occasions, the ARISS team worked with the ISS Increment 4 crew to 
reactivate the packet system.  After these two attempts, it became 
abundantly clear that the issues with the packet module could not be 
cleared without some insight into the packet system by hooking it up to a 
computer.  As you have witnessed, shortly after Valery arrived on ISS, he 
attached a computer and quickly got the packet module up and running 
again.  His quick actions on this were a testament to three 
things:  1)  His previous ham radio experience on MIR  2) His outstanding 
ham radio training with the ARISS equipment in Russia and 3)  The 
international coordination of the ARISS team members.

The computer that is currently being used for the packet system is the IBM 
Thinkpad A22P that Mark Shuttleworth left on-board the ISS after his 
flight.  We are working to try to keep this unit on the ISS Ham Radio system.

I have received several complaints about my recent statement regarding the 
BBS/Packet Mailbox.  Let me clarify what I was trying to say.  There are 
two primary ways to use the packet system---unproto operations and using 
the Packet Mailbox System (PMS).  Given that only one person can use the 
Packet Mailbox System at a time, I tried to remind everyone that unproto 
mode allows more to participate in the use of the packet system than the 
Mailbox System.  I realize that many of you would like to get an e-mail 
from Valery.  We understand that.  But as I said before, when you have 
thousands trying to connect up to the Mailbox and only one can connect and 
send their message, this can sometimes lead to frustrations by others on 
the ground.  The most important thing to remember....if you use the PMS, 
keep your messages short and pre-developed.  Other things to consider:  Be 
surprised when the ISS crew responds to your message because they are quite 
busy up there.  Please don't resend the same message to the crew if they 
haven't responded to your first message.  Also, please don't put the crew 
in a bad position by asking them to set up a schedule with you.  This would 
be unfair to all the hams and school children around the world.  We want 
all to participate, not just a select few.  Stick with unproto ops whenever 
possible to maximize the packet throughput and send short PMS messages only 
on occasion.

We still have two antennas that need to be installed on the ISS.  An EVA 
(Space Walk) is currently planned for mid-August.  We are working with 
Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, on the EVA procedures to install these last two 
antennas on the mid-August EVA.  We will keep you informed on the status of 
this in the near future.  Once these antennas are installed and some tests 
planned for September are completed in Russia, additional ISS Ham radio 
equipment will be installed in the Service Module.  We will continue to 
keep the equipment in the FGB operational.  This will provide multi-band 

Several individuals have asked about receiving a QSL card.  A valuable 
resource to all those interested in Amateur Radio on the ISS is the ARISS 
web page.  This web page is located at:


Specific information on receiving a QSL card is located at:


The international ARISS team is committed to making sure we are fair and 
acommodating to all---the hams on the ground, the ISS crew, the national 
radio organizations, those organizations interested in supporting ham radio 
on ISS, and the school children.  The international Space Agencies have 
allowed ham radio on ISS for a reason....it provides a great psychological 
boost for the crew and it is an outstanding educational outreach tool.  We 
are guests on ISS.  Our operation on ISS is a privilege just like our ham 
radio license is a privilege.  The ARISS team will continue to balance the 
needs of all for the long-term betterment of amateur radio in space.

Thanks for all the ideas and inputs.  And thanks for all your interest in 
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.


Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Chairman, ARISS-International

Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org