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Thomas Kieselbach, DL2MDE silent key

On behalf of the ARISS International team, I would like to  express my 
sadness in the loss of a true friend and outstanding technical ham, Thomas 
Kieselbach, DL2MDE.   I have included an e-mail I received from Gaston 
Bertels, ON4WF announcing Thomas' passing.

Personally, I first learned of Thomas' outstanding technical abilities in 
1985 during the STS-61-A German Spacelab-D1 space shuttle flight.  During 
this mission, he flew the first set of German amateur radio hardware on a 
human spaceflight.  The Germans called this system SAFEX.  This was a 
system he personally built and it had outstanding capabilities.  One of the 
most impressive parts of this system was the external antenna that was 
mounted on the outside of the spacelab module.  Only Thomas, with his 
intense drive, could break through the human spaceflight barriers to get an 
antenna feedthrough.  He was the first to fly an external antenna on a 
human spaceflight program.  Through his efforts, he blazed a trail for Mir 
and ISS.

He then extended his work to the first Shuttle flight to have U.S. built 
and German built amateur radio hardware on-board.  This was the STS-55 
German Spacelab-D2 space shuttle flight in 1993.

As one of the founding delegates of ARISS--Amateur Radio on the 
International Space Station, he challenged our team to push the technical 
limits of amateur radio in space.  We thank him for his technical ideas and 
vision.  His vision to have a full-duplex radio system that transmits both 
the radio uplinks and downlinks to the ground will be on ISS in the future.

To all Thomas' friends and family and especially his wife Gaby, we extend 
our condolences.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS Chairman

Thomas Kieselbach, DL2MDE silent key

We have sadly to report the passing away of Thomas Kieselbach, DL2MDE 
October 8th, 2002.
Thomas was sailing on his yacht with his wife Gaby, when he suffered a 
fatal heart attack. They were in the Aegean, near the island Kos. Gaby 
managed to steer the yacht safely to harbour.
Thomas Kieselbach was retired from an engineering carreer in the space 
industry. His amateur radio activities were centered on satellites and 
manned space flight. He managed SAFEX in the days of MIR and participated 
to the foundation of ARISS.
Within ARISS-Europe, Thomas was Technical Director and he was the delegate 
for Europe in the ARISS Technical Committee. Thomas developed a project for 
phase 2 of the ARISS station, supporting basic functionalities for its 
further implementation.
Having been struck by a heart attack while participating to the ARISS 
meeting at ESTEC, in the Netherlands March 2000, Thomas had been forced to 
reduce his activities. March 2002, he asked to be gradually discharged from 
his task as Technical Manager. Consequently, Florio Della Vedova, IW2NMB, 
on request of the delegates participating to the ARISS-Europe meeting at 
ESTEC, accepted to assist him.

ARISS has lost a prominent member and a dear friend. To his wife Gaby, and 
to his family, we extend our condolences. We feel very near to them in 
these days of grief.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
ARISS Vice chairman

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