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RE: ISS Commemorative Event

The sad fact is that even if the ISS crew was on the air and talked to one
ham, there would still be 99 hams complaining they did not get a QSO.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-SAREX@amsat.org [mailto:owner-SAREX@amsat.org]On Behalf Of
Frank H. Bauer
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 6:10 PM
To: sarex@amsat.org
Subject: [sarex] ISS Commemorative Event


The ARISS team has had several inquiries on what happened regarding crew
operation of the ISS Ham radio system during the start of the ISS
Commemorative Event this past weekend.  With this e-mail I intend to give
you all as many facts as we have at this time.  As we get more information,
we will pass it along.

To our knowledge, it appears that the ISS crew was not on the air this
weekend.  This is based on a number of reports from hams all across the
world.  I would like to thank all that took time out to report what
happened during the ISS passes in their part of the world.  It is helping
us convey solid information to our home organizations and to the space

Several of you were questioning whether the ARISS team did, in fact, get a
message to the crew on this weekend's plans.  I can tell you that I am
certain of this.  As was mentioned in my last e-mail, after communications
were sent to Mike Foale regarding the special event (through the NASA
channels), Mike Foale had responded back that he would support on the order
of about 2 passes per weekend.  As I stated, the ARISS team got this
information through NASA and directly from Mike.  Also, today I got
confirmation that final information regarding this weekend's event (pass
times that we shared with you on the 26th of November) was uplinked to the
ISS crew on Friday.  So our information was there and the crew knew about
the event.

Now, what happened?

We have discussed this with the NASA folks and there are two events that
potentially could have impeded on Mike's ability to get on the air.  The
first is that the ISS crew have had some serious issues with the Treadmill
and it is understood that Mike put a bunch of time (his own time) this past
weekend working on this important device that is critical for the crew's
health and well being.  The other event is the "crushing" noise heard at
the aft end of the Service Module this past week.  It has been reported in
the press that the crew heard this noise and then initially thought that
the Service Module was hit with debris.  At this point, this is not
believed to be the case, however, the ISS International partners have asked
the Russian team to look into the matter further since it occurred in their
segment.  It was speculated that Mike and Sasha might have gotten
instructions from the Russian team to scour the Service Module in an effort
to determine the cause of this odd noise.

Some have stated this but I will reiterate it.  The Expedition 8 crew are
truly die-hard hams.  Those of you who have been around a while know that
Mike Foale was extremely active on the bands during his flights on the
Space Shuttle and on Mir.  Sasha Kaleri was also a very active ham on
Mir.  We have two great hams on board.  We also have two guys running an
entire space station with a large cadre of  scientific experiments.  A year
ago, that took 3 people.  So you can imagine that they are quite
busy.  This makes ISS Ham more vulnerable when issues occur on ISS.  As we
continually state, operation of the ISS Ham radio is "completely contingent
upon the crew schedule and other duties or issues that might crop up on
ISS."   We are impressed that the crew agreed to support the ISS
Commemorative event.  And we hope that they will be on the air in the very
near future.

So, where do we go from here?

Well,  we have a request into NASA to ask the Expedition 8 crew more
details on what occurred this past weekend and, more importantly, if they
will be will and able to support some (probably 2) passes this weekend.  As
we get more information, we will share it with you.

I hope this helps explain what we know at this time.  The ARISS team
recognizes that it is very frustrating to get expectations up and then not
meet expectations.  It is never our intent to do this to the world-wide
amateur radio community.  But we do want to alert you of potential
opportunities as they become available.  We will continue to do this, as
long as you all remember that these contacts are contingent upon the crew


Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chairman

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