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2011 News Releases




Amateur Radio in Space

Date : 11 / 02 / 2011
Author : Phil Wait - VK2ASD

ARISSat-1 is to be deployed from the ISS Next Week, watch it live on NASA TV. Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka, RN3FU, will step outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, February 16. While in space, they will install and retrieve experiments on the Russian segment of the complex and deploy ARISSat-1 Link, a small ham radio satellite. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:45 AM (CST), while the extra-vehicular activity -- commonly called a spacewalk -- will begin about 30 minutes later. The spacewalk will be the second for Kondratyev, who will wear the spacesuit marked with red stripes, and the third for Skripochka, who will wear the suit with blue stripes.

Members of the ARISSat-1 team prepare the satellite for vibration testing at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. For more on ARISSat-1, check out the February 2011 issue of QST.

During the nearly six hour spacewalk, Kondratyev and Skripochka will deploy an experiment called ARISSat-1, a boxy 57-pound nanosatellite that houses congratulatory messages commemorating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch to become the first human in space. The ham radio transmitter will enable communications with Amateur Radio operators around the world for three to six months. It is the first of a series of educational satellites being developed in a partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp, the NASA Office of Education International Space Station National Lab Project, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station ARISS Link program and RSC-Energia.

The two cosmonauts will also install two experiments: One will collect information useful in seismic forecasts and earthquake predictions, and the second will look at gamma splashes and optical radiation during terrestrial lightning and thunderstorms. The spacewalkers also will retrieve a pair of panels exposed to space as part of an experiment to identify the best materials for building long-duration spacecraft.

You can watch live online via the following Linkon the NASA TV Public and Media channels, or on your television set. Contact your local provider for the NASA TV channel in your area.

Thanks to NASA for the information


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