AMSAT Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Amateur Radio Involvement in Human Spaceflight, Owen Garriott, W5LFL to Speak

The 31st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting takes place 1-3 NOV 2013 at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport.  Deadline for reserving rooms under the AMSAT Block is Wednesday, 16 OCT 2013.  Time is running out;  reserve your room directly with the hotel and register for the Symposium, the banquet, and special tours on the AMSAT Store!  Note: the special tour of Johnson Space Center scheduled for Monday, 4 NOV 2013 is booked and reservations are closed.  All Symposium activities online reservations will close 25 OCT 2013.

A special highlight of this year’s Symposium is the celebration of the 30th anniversary of amateur radio involvement in human space flight and the evolution of amateur radio into a successful program on board the International Space Station. ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS) is an international program that supports educational outreach as well as provides an opportunity for informal contacts between astronauts/cosmonauts and amateur radio operators around the world.  The recent delivery of “Ham TV” equipment to the Columbus module by the European Space Agency is a reflection of the continued support that amateur radio holds for communicating with students.

Dr. Owen K. GarriottAstronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL on STS-9 in November 1983 was the first astronaut to utilize amateur radio to communicate with personnel on the ground, allowing the general public to speak with US astronauts from space, outside the communication channels of NASA’s Mission Control.  In recognition of the 30th anniversary of this historic event, a multi-media panel featuring Owen and other key individuals who initiated this amazing program will take place on Saturday evening as part of the banquet, moderated by AMSAT VP-Human Space Flight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO.  The presentation includes not only remarks by Owen and others in response to Frank’s questions, but video highlights of amateur radio participation in STS-9 and other Shuttle flights will be shown.  Having such a celebration take place in Houston makes it more special as it allows us to have non-AMSAT personnel involved with placing amateur radio on the Shuttle and ISS participate in our special program.

Those that attended the 29th AMSAT Space Symposium that took place in San Jose, CA in November 2011 were treated to an amazing presentation as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of OSCAR-1 (launched on 12 DEC 61), with Project OSCAR and AMSAT member Lance Ginner, K6GSJ telling the story of the development and launch of OSCAR-1 with slides and his recollections of how OSCAR-1 was built and installed on the launch vehicle. Likewise, this year’s banquet provides a special opportunity to “meet history” as attendees hear directly from those that initiated amateur radio into human space flight.

Come to Houston and help celebrate a significant event in amateur radio history!