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STS 106

(NOTE:  The following report is intended to give you background
information on the flight of STS 106.  It has been written without date
or time, to hold up if the flight is delayed.  Operating frequencies and
calls will be covered  just before the NEXT mission, when they will be

A number of inquiries have asked for information about when schools will
be back on the schedule for the astronauts and cosmonauts.  As soon as
the teams can take time from their schedule of station assembly, that
will be announced well in advance.  As also will the schedule for
amateur TV, including slow scan.

Roy, K6DUE, Chairman SAREX Working Group)

    Space Report

The Space Shuttle Atlantis carries the key that will open the door to
human space flight on the International Space Station.  Its seven member
crew will prepare the ISS for its first residents.  They will begin
outfitting the Zvezda, the Service Module that will provide living
quarters for the first teams of astronauts and cosmonauts.

Atlantis carries more than 5 thousand pounds of hardware and one of the
major items is the first ISS amateur radio station.  The STS-106 crew
will not fire it up.  Instead it will be stored in the Zarya, called the
F G B module, awaiting arrival next month of the Expedition one crew.

Astronaut William Shepherd will command that crew, all licensed
amateurs.  Cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev will round out
the team.  They plan to spend four months in orbit, ushering in the new
era of permanent human presence in space.

Initially they will operate only voice and packet.  Later plans call for
amateur TV, slow scan and ATV, a digipeater and relay stations.
Frequencies and operating plans, including call signs, will be announced
well in advance of their use.

A new, international organization called ARISS…amateur radio
international space station…was formed to design and develop ham gear
for the station and training the crews to operate it.  It truly is an
international operation.

The United States Space Administration and Russia’s Energia have signed
agreements, outlining the installation and use of amateur radio on the
station.  A technical team called ISS HAM was formed as an interface to
support hardware development, crew training and on-orbit operations.

The United States has provided hand held equipment for 2 meters and 70
centimeters.  The Russians have provided ports so that antennas can be
mounted outside the Service Module.  An Italian team designed and built
the antennas and a German team built sophisticated repeater stations
that will allow crews to make daily reports on their activities, while
also improving the quality of contacts with the men and women aboard the
station. U S and Russian teams have trained the astronauts and
cosmonauts in operating the equipment.

ARISS…Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station…has a bright
future. More than a million and a half licensed hams worldwide will
share in the fun of living and working in space.

RN, K6DUE, for Newsline

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