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VOSS CITES ARISS' VALUE IN SENATE TESTIMONY



Excerpt taken from:
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 28
July 19, 2002

 
International Space Station Expedition 2 crew member Jim Voss got in a
few
good words for Amateur Radio when he appeared June 19 before the US
Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. A retired US Army
colonel, Voss cited the value of the Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) program in helping to inform and educate youngsters
about space exploration and life aboard the ISS as well as to demonstrate
scientific principles. ARISS is an international project, with US
participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.
 
Voss said ARISS "offers the opportunity for students to experience the
excitement of space flight by talking directly with crewmembers of the
ISS
via Amateur Radio." Voss also cited the enthusiastic comments of Allen
White, WB4MIO, who helped to coordinate Voss' ARISS contact with Admiral
Moorer Middle School in Alabama. "There is no way I can adequately
describe the excitement this created in our school and community," White
wrote in a letter to Voss. "I think this was the most exciting
educational
event of the year for these students."
 
Although not an amateur licensee, Voss participated in several ARISS
school QSOs from the controls of NA1SS, the ARISS station, during his
duty
tour aboard the ISS. The other Expedition 2 crew members were Crew
Commander Yury Usachev, RW3FU, and Susan Helms, KC7NHZ. The crew spent
167
days in space aboard what Voss called "a permanent orbiting classroom
that
brings education and research out of textbooks and into real life."
 
Voss said the in-flight education programs like ARISS "use the unique
environment of space to inspire the next generation of explorers." Taking
advantage of technological tools that include Amateur Radio, he
concluded,
"students are able to study and explore Earth from space, learn about
life
aboard an orbiting laboratory, and conduct demonstrations that illustrate
scientific and mathematical concepts."
 
==>POP STAR LANCE BASS OF 'N SYNC GETS SET FOR SPACE
 
According to media accounts, a deal has been struck with Russian space
officials to put 'N Sync pop singing star Lance Bass aboard the
International Space Station this fall. MSNBC reports that the 23-year-old
singer now is in training at Russia's Star City cosmonaut facility near
Moscow. Russian space agency officials reportedly are seeking formal
approval from the ISS partners. One topic still at issue is whether
there's enough time for Bass to undergo the requisite training--typically
at least six months. At best, Bass will get somewhat more than three
months to wrap up his training regimen.
 
The arrangement, which followed months of negotiations, would mark the
third visit by a paying guest to the ISS. Millionaire businessman Dennis
Tito, KG6FZX, and South African entrepeneur Mark Shuttleworth each paid
some $20 million for the privilege of spending about 10 days in space. A
similar price tag is being suggested for the Bass journey.
 
While in space, Tito and Shuttleworth made use of the Amateur Radio on
the
International Space Station's NA1SS to communicate with family and
friends
and with schools on Earth.
 
If all goes as planned, Bass would travel to the ISS aboard a Soyuz
vehicle in October. He would become the youngest person ever to travel
into space--and the first entertainer. Media deals--including a TV series
covering Bass' space adventure--already are in the works. MSNBC says a
formal announcement is pending.
 
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