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> Recent meetings with NASA officials have laid the foundation for the 
> future
> of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program
> <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> and, at the same time, garnered accolades for
> Amateur Radio. Sponsorship of the ARISS program is moving from NASA
> Headquarters to Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC) in Houston, and ARISS
> International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and ARISS International
> Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, recently held planning sessions
> with various JSC offices. White described the sessions as "stepping 
> stones"
> to the realization of future ARISS projects and programs.
> "The ARISS Team continues to be on a roll with new and exciting 
> aspects to
> plan and develop," White said. "It isn't just daydreaming. It is 
> dreams that
> turn into reality for hundreds of thousands of youths, thousands hams and
> even most astronauts!" Accompanying Bauer and White on the visits were
> Bauer's deputy, Mark Steiner, K3MS, and NASA ISS Ham Radio Project 
> Engineer
> Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO.
> The ARISS team's first stop was the ISS Program Office to review a new,
> nearly completed NASA-ARISS charter. The ISS Program Office's Carlos
> Fontanot confirmed that the ARISS team will be charged with overseeing 
> all
> Amateur Radio-in-space activities, no matter what ham radio group 
> initiates
> them, White said.
> At the JSC Education Office, the ARISS delegation discussed the 
> transition
> of ARISS sponsorship from NASA Headquarters to JSC. They met with 
> Education
> Leader Cynthia McArthur -- wife of astronaut and ISS Expedition 12 
> Commander
> Bill McArthur, KC5ACR. Bauer and White asked McArthur to thank her 
> husband
> for thrilling thousands of hams by getting on the air so often during his
> ISS mission. McArthur said she was impressed by the number of 
> Expedition 12
> Google hits that mentioned Amateur Radio.
> The ARISS delegation also met with ISS Expedition 9 astronaut Mike 
> Fincke,
> KE5AIT. "He made it very plain that he truly enjoyed getting on the 
> air for
> ragchew QSOs and being interviewed by school children about the ISS," 
> said
> White. "He expressed the hope that all astronauts will earn their ham
> licenses and be able to realize the same pleasures he got from hamming."
> Fincke told the ARISS team that he found ARISS to be both exciting 
> and, as
> an educational outreach program, a great global teaching tool. He 
> recounted
> that when he missed his family and friends while on orbit, he'd grab the
> NA1SS mike and call CQ, finding hams all over the world just waiting 
> to make
> a contact with him. "ARISS lets the ISS crew make contacts with unknown
> citizens. A crew member needs that," he told Bauer and White.
> Huddling later with Al Holt of the JSC Space Operations Sponsored
> Experiments Office, Bauer and White said they'd like to an ARISS role 
> in the
> "Moon, Mars and Beyond" initiative. They cited Amateur Radio's 
> potential as
> a valuable tool to people living on the moon for several months at a 
> time.
> "Moon-base hamming could be similar to hamming in Antarctica," White 
> said.
> "ARISS is the foundation for worlds of opportunity. The ARISS Team is
> cautiously optimistic that it will be supporting Moon, Mars & Beyond."
> The ARISS Team also consulted with Steve VanderArk, KC5WKH. He heads the
> Wyle Labs team of contractors that schedules the astronauts' workdays. 
> Once
> the exploration initiative ramps up, he said, the ISS Program Office will
> schedule many construction-related flights. He pointed out that while the
> busy crews may not have as much time for Amateur Radio, more of them 
> will be
> available to do ARISS QSOs. "ARISS makes a huge impact on the crew and on
> education," Vanderark said.
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