Longtime AMSAT Area Coordinator, Net Control Operator, and ARISS Mentor Keith Pugh, W5IU, SK

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ARISS team member Keith Pugh, W5IU. Keith spent his life on Earth as a true gentlemen…serving others, enjoying friendship and relationships, and supporting his passions…amateur radio, flying and most importantly his love of God and all the great things on this Earth.

Those that knew Keith considered him a Texan through and through. But truth be told, he was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas. After college, he left Kansas and settled permanently in the Fort Worth, Texas area where picked up that Texas accent and welcomed us into his world. And it is in Texas where he passed away on May 24, 2019.

Active with AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellites since the 1980’s, Keith jump-started his passion for amateur radio on human spaceflight missions in 1991, when the Space Station Mir was in orbit and Soviet ham radio operators were talking to the world-wide amateur radio community. Keith helped install a Soviet Space Exhibit in Fort Worth in 1991 and he hosted Musa Manarov U2MIR’s visit to the USA. Ultimately, Keith joined the ARISS team in 2004, where he has provided support as one of our operations leaders, technical mentoring numerous schools and ARISS contact organizations and providing his warm friendship and guidance to all in our team. Keith also attended several of our ARISS International meetings, including our 2008 ARISS-I meeting in Moscow and Kaluga.

Keith Pugh. W5IU, conducting a satellite demo

Many of us were aware of Keith’s cancer. But, Keith being Keith, he kept most of his pain and suffering to himself. He remained joyful and humble until his death. In fact, just a few days before his death–this past Tuesday, Keith signed into the ARISS International teleconference, apologizing that he came in late. None of us knew this would be our last dialog with such a close friend and outstanding member of our team.

As I stated, one of Keith’s passions was flying as a private pilot. In fact for one of his vacations he flew a Cessna aircraft around Australia. As a fellow pilot, I know that Keith must have been an avid fan of the poem “High Flight” written by John Gillespie Magee Jr. Paraphrasing this poem:

While we mourn the loss of our good friend, Keith Pugh, let us joyfully reflect on the fact that Keith has

Slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Topped the windswept heights with easy grace

And, while with silent lifting mind, Keith has trod

The high unsurpassed sanctity of Space,

Put out his hand and touched the face of God.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Keith Pugh, W5IU SK as he touches the face of God.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, in the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church with a reception following. First Presbyterian Church is located at 1000 Penn St, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Keith operating the AMSAT demo station at the Dayton Hamvention

 

Keith manning an AMSAT booth at a hamfest
Keith with AMSAT Vice President of Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY

First Ham in Space, AMSAT Life Member, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK

It is with great sadness that the ARISS team recognizes the passing of our great friend and colleague Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL (SK). Owen Garriott died at his home in Huntsville, Alabama on April 15, 2019.

A passionate amateur radio operator and ionospheric physics researcher, Owen inspired the amateur radio community to reach for the stars. His multi-decade vision to bring amateur radio with him as part of his journey in space was realized in 1983 on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission, where hams the world over for the first time heard a fellow ham call CQ from space. As the first to operate ham radio in space, Owen blazed a trail that has enabled countless people from around the world to experience what it is like to journey into space and explore our universe. As a result, he inspired the international amateur radio community to extend his modest ham station on STS-9 into an international human spaceflight ham radio program that has spanned the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station, and International Space Station.

Owen Garriott, W5LFL, aboard Columbia

A member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Owen Garriott was a pioneer and innovator in all his endeavors…including amateur radio. Selected as a NASA scientist-astronaut in 1965, Garriott was the science-pilot for Skylab 3, the second crewed Skylab mission. Skylab was the first U.S. space station, housing 3 different crew expeditions from May 1973-February 1974. Owen spent approximately 60 days on Skylab, doing solar physics research, human physiological research and conducting 3 spacewalks to repair Skylab and extend its research capabilities.

Owen’s next flight into space, as part of an international crew on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission, cemented amateur radio’s future as part of the human spaceflight experience. STS-9 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on November 28, 1983. Onboard Columbia was an internationally developed space laboratory, Spacelab-1, which pioneered international spaceflight research with over 70 separate experiments—a precursor to the research currently being accomplished on the International Space Station (ISS). Onboard also was a Motorola 2-meter handheld radio with a window mounted antenna to facilitate ham radio contacts between W5LFL and hams on the ground. On December 1, the third day of his mission, Owen donned his headset and made history by communicating with Lance Collister, WA1JXN, in Frenchtown, Montana. In W5LFL’s own words, here is an excerpt of his first contact: “W5LFL in Columbia is calling CQ and standing by. Go ahead. Hello WA1JXN, WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, this is W5LFL. I picked up your signals fairly weakly. I think our attitude is not really the best as yet, but you’re our first contact from orbit. WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, how do you read? Over.”

STS-9 Launch – From the cover of AMSAT’s Orbit magazine No. 17, January/February 1984

Owen’s ham contacts on STS-9 were trailblazing for many reasons. They represented the first ham radio contact from a human in space to someone on Earth. They allowed the general public to directly listen and communicate with an on-orbit crew where, prior to this, only NASA mission control personnel or heads of State (U.S. Presidents, etc.) could talk to astronauts from space. And the mission also demonstrated that a group of volunteers could successfully build a ham radio station for a human spaceflight vehicle and get it formally approved by a space agency.

The first draft of the W5LFL Log (from AMSAT’s Amateur Satellite Report, No. 69, Jan. 9, 1984)

Owen spent decades attempting to carry out ham radio on one of his missions, employing gentle assertiveness and steadfast patience to realize his dream. In 1965, when NASA was considering Owen for a planned lunar flight on Apollo 18, 19 or 20, Project MOONRAY was proposed by the Project OSCAR team. Project MOONRAY would support amateur radio operations from the surface of the moon. This initiative was scuttled when Apollo lunar expeditions ended at Apollo 17. Prior to his flight on Skylab, AMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA called SKYLARC (Skylab Amateur Radio Communications). Unfortunately, this proposal was turned down. But, as they say, the 3rd time was a charm on STS-9 and ham radio is now a human spaceflight reality. Also, it should be noted that an AMSAT/ARISS International team is pursuing Owen’s plans to fly ham radio to the moon via several lunar proposal initiatives, including the Lunar Gateway.

Owen inspired legions of amateur radio operators, world-wide, to support human spaceflight amateur radio endeavors and for countless individuals to become ham radio operators. This includes his son, Richard, W5KWQ, who together with Owen became the first multi-generational American ham radio operators to communicate from space.

On behalf of the ARISS International Team, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Garriott family, including Owen’s son Richard, W5KWQ and Owen’s wife Eve. As Owen has inspired the amateur radio community to reach for the stars may we wish Owen Garriott Godspeed and a wonderful journey amongst the stars.

Ad Astra!

73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs

Owen Garriott, W5LFL, AMSAT Life Member #2030, SK

Out of This World Auction Sponsored by ARISS

The ARISS-US team (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) will auction two very unusual items in its first-ever auction!  Picture yourself as the winning bidder and proud owner of a unique JVC Kenwood TS-890S signed by astronauts!  Or, you could be top bidder on a special astronaut-signed 6-volume boxed set 2019 ARRL Handbook!

Bidding starts April 8th at 12:00 UTC and ends April 14th at 22:00 UTC.

You could own this one-of-a-kind beautiful Kenwood TS-890S; your ham station would boast the only Kenwood in the world showcasing astronaut signatures.  Your top bid on the limited edition boxed-set 2019 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications would mean your bookshelf includes astronaut signatures among your book collection.

JVC Kenwood, a proud supporter of ARISS, generously gave a brand new TS-890S for ARISS to auction.  They first offered the radio for sale in the US in the last half of 2018.  Kenwood has been a super supporter of ARISS for years, and it was the company’s idea for this radio, with astronaut signatures, to be an exclusive that just one ham operator could own! The company hopes you’ll be a bidder who wants to support ARISS.

The limited edition 2019 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications sold out fast once ARRL posted their ad.  It was the first time that ARRL divided the Handbook into volumes, which nestle in a hard slipcase.  ARRL, an ARISS sponsor along with AMSAT and NASA, saved back one boxed set to give ARISS for the fund-raiser auction.

When you bid in this auction you could be the crucial person who helps ARISS launch its new custom-built higher-power radio system in 2019 with its voice repeater and improved packet APRS and SSTV capability that thousands of hams enjoy. The new system will replace the aging, problematic units currently on the ISS.  You may be the winning bidder who helps ARISS continue introducing ham radio to thousands of students, teachers, parents, and whole communities—and inspiring students about science, technology, engineering, math, and radio!

Don’t forget; set yourself a reminder: bidding starts April 8th at 12:00 UTC and ends April 14th at 22:00 UTC.

Be the winning bidder for one or both of these two exclusive offerings and you’ll own a rare article that makes your ham station a classic!  More auction details will soon be posted at www.ariss.orgincluding that winning bidders will be responsible for shipping costs and for handling any required customs paperwork.  ARISS thanked JVC Kenwood and ARRL for their generous support.

And if you don’t do auctions, please contribute a donation to help ARISS launch its new radio system into space—look for the Donate button near the top right corner of the www.ariss.org page. Thank you!                                                                                                                      

About ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS).  In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.

Also join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS PR

aa4kn@amsat.org

ARISS Joins NASA On-The-Air for a Special SSTV Event October 27-29

Amateur Radio On The International Space Station (ARISS) is planning a very special Slow Scan TV event currently scheduled to start Saturday, October 27th about 10:00 UTC.  Transmissions are scheduled to continue until around 19:30 UTC on October 29th. Helping to support the event will be NASA’s Space, Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Department.

The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program manages NASA’s three most important communications networks: The Space Network (SN), Near Earth Network (NEN), and the Deep Space Network (DSN).

Just as in past ARISS SSTV commemorations, twelve images will be downlinked, but this time with six featuring the SCaN educational activities while the other six images will commemorate major NASA anniversaries, ie., when NASA was established, astronauts first landing on the moon, etc.

In addition to the fun of receiving these images, participants can qualify for a special endorsement for the NASA On The Air (NOTA) celebration event. To learn more about NOTA visit https://nasaontheair.wordpress.com.

Once received, images can be posted and viewed at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php. The transmissions are expected to be broadcast at the usual frequency of 145.800 MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode.

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time.

More information will follow soon, so please continue to check for  news and the most current information on the AMSAT.org and  ARISS.org websites, the AMSAT-BB@amsat.org, the ARISS Facebook at Amateur Radio On The International Space Station (ARISS) page and ARISS Twitter @ARISS_status.

ISS SSTV Image (Courtesy M0AEU)