Archive - Jul 2006 - Story
The International Space Station's Expedition 13 crew members are a
week away from their first U.S. spacewalk. They spent much of this
week preparing themselves and their gear, and they activated a new
laboratory super deep-freezer.
Retired space shuttle astronaut and DXer Chuck Brady, N4BQW, of Oak Harbor, Washington, died July 23 following a lengthy illness. He was 54. During his years as an active astronaut in the 1990s, Brady was among the pioneers of SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment). An ARRL member, he was active on ham radio during the 16-day STS-78 shuttle mission in 1996, then the longest ever. In 1997 he became NASA's chief for space station astronaut training. ARRL Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program liaison Rosalie White, K1STO, says Brady was a radio amateur long before he took part in SAREX.
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program reports that ISS Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, has set up a camera to use for slow-scan television (SSTV) from the ISS. Vinogradov plans to soon test the system over Moscow on 144.49 MHz -- perhaps as early as this weekend -- and radio amateurs within range are encouraged to receive the SSTV images. For now, the SSTV system will only be used to transmit. Due to various issues with 144.49 MHz in Europe, the European and US ARISS teams will be recommending frequencies for use over other countries. Responding to a request from the European Space Agency (ESA), ARISS has scheduled school group contacts at three ESA-organized events for new Expedition 13 astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR (photo). The Greek Minister of Education asked for a QSO with Reiter during the ESA Space Camp in Greece July 29. This is expected to be a major event, with the minister asking an interview question, and Greek national TV covering the occasion. A second QSO will be with visitors at the Museum of the Swiss Air Force. A third contact with visitors to Germany's Mannheim Museum is set for July 31. Reiter, the first German astronaut to be a part of an ISS crew, likely will use the space station's German call sign, DP0ISS.
Students from Robinson Elementary School, Anderson, Indiana, USA (www.acsc.net) will have the opportunity to speak with Expedition 13 Flight Engineer/NASA Science Officer Jeffery Williams, KD5TVQ via NA1SS onboard the International Space Station.
The contact is currently sceduled for Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 1416 UTC. This will be a direct contact via W9VCF who will be operating directly from the school site. With the assistance of the ARISS Audio Distribution Project the ground station will be providing a "live" audio feed of this event to "Discovery" Reflector 9010. Streaming audio will also available through www.discoveryreflector.ca:8000/listen.pls (expect a 2 to 3 minute delay on this stream).
Childern participating in the European Space Agency's "Childrens Club Camp", Patras, Greece, are scheduled to take part in an ARISS contact with NA1SS. This telebridge event is planned to take place on Saturday, July 29, 2006 at 1227 UTC and will be supported by ground station WH6PN located in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Live audio will be available on IRLP and EchoLink as part of the ARISS Audio Distribution Project.
IRLP users can connect to the main channel of "Discovery" Reflector 9010. The audio feed will begin approximately 10 minutes before the scheduled contact time. Streaming audio is also avaliable through www.discoveryreflector.ca:8000/listen.pls (expect a 2 to 3 minute delay on this stream).
Today the German Federal Chancellors Angela Merkel had during an attendance with the ESA a contact with ISS. She conversed thereby with Thomas Reiter. Mrs. Merkel inquired about the life on board ISS and about the continuation of the experiments. Mrs. Merkel assured a heightening of the budget for the space research.
Yesterday as temperatures in the UK soared into the thirties the International Space station zipped quietly across the Sun at 17 km per sec.
Aboard the station it was back to normal with Discovery safely on the ground , but down below the camera was running to capture the fourth in a series of solar transits over North west England.
The first three featured both Discovery and the station , the latter showing them very soon after undocking with a separation of just 2 seconds.
Positioning on the ground is critical when planning to image transits . At times precision to within 50-100 metres is required.This can be difficult when travelling up to 100km , to a remote site. its not advisable to try and set up a telescope on the hard shoulder of a motorway !
The orbiter touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1314 GMT.
Mission control had raised concerns about weather conditions, but gave the go-ahead shortly before the ship began its hour-long descent.
Nasa hopes the mission's success has drawn a line under doubts over the shuttle programme's safety.
"Welcome back Discovery and congratulations on a great mission," mission control told shuttle commander Steven Lindsey, as the orbiter came to a halt on the runway after deploying its parachute.
"It was a great mission. A really great mission," Lindsey replied.
Discovery was cleared for re-entry over the weekend when inspections revealed no signs of damage to the craft.
The six-member crew of STS-121 has left Discovery. The astronauts took
their first steps out of the orbiter at Kennedy Space Center to move
into the Crew Hatch Access Vehicle, where they were given a brief
medical exam to ensure they're healthy. After receiving a clean bill of
health by doctors, Commander Steve Lindsey and his crew took a walk
around Discovery to examine the orbiter. The seventh crew member, Thomas
Reiter of the European Space Agency, remained at the International Space
European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, has been settling in as part of the International Space Station Expedition 13 crew. At the ESA's request, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) international team is lining up a schedule of school QSOs for Reiter, seen left in photo with crewmates Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS (center), and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. So far, the schedule calls for Reiter to make his first ARISS contact July 29 with youngsters at an ESA space camp in Greece. Reiter, whose name now appears on the mission logo, joined Expedition 13 earlier this month after arriving aboard the shuttle Discovery, marking the first time since May 2003 that the station has had a three-member crew. Reiter is working on a contract between the ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos. He'll remain aboard the ISS through part of Expedition 14. The 48-year-old Frankfurt, Germany, native spent 179 days aboard the Russian Mir space station a decade ago. Meanwhile, the ARISS equipment on the ISS has been powered up again after being shut down per standard operating procedure to accommodate this week's three spacewalks (EVAs), and the RS0ISS packet station is active again. The next ARISS school contact is planned for the week of August 7. Mission STS-121 shuttle crew members this week conducted three spacewalks to perform station maintenance and to test on-orbit heat shield repair techniques. Both crews cooperated in transferring cargo this week. Discovery is scheduled to leave the ISS Saturday, July 15, and return to Earth Monday, July 17.