Archive - Jun 21, 2006
Unlike any other FM satellites that operate in Mode V/U (Mode J) the ISS is operating in Mode U/V (Mode B). While this seems to be of little consequence to most owners of dualband handheld transceivers, mobile rigs and base stations, some important factors can spell the difference between success and failure. Let's consider these.
The ISS repeater downlink is 145.800 MHz, which is the normal FM voice and the RS0ISS packet system downlink worldwide. (The non-repeater FM voice uplink frequencies are 144.49 MHz in Regions 2 and 3 and 145.20 MHz in Region 1. The packet uplink frequency is 145.99 MHz worldwide.)
NASA senior managers over the weekend cleared the shuttle Discovery for a July 1 flight to the International Space Station. Three radio amateurs will be among the seven crew members, and one of them, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and Mission Specialist Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, will stay on the ISS as part of the Expedition 13 and 14 crews, marking the first three-person crew since NASA grounded the shuttle fleet in 2003. The announcement followed a lengthy flight readiness review. Discovery will carry no Amateur Radio equipment when Commander Steve Lindsey and his six crewmates lift off to begin the 12-day STS-121 mission. Others on the flight include Pilot Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak, KC5ZTB, Stephanie Wilson, KD5DZE, and Piers Sellers. The shuttle is the only vehicle capable of transporting the components remaining to complete the ISS, including the ESA's Columbus module, which has been outfitted to house Amateur Radio equipment. The Discovery crew will test new hardware and techniques to improve shuttle safety, as well as deliver supplies to the ISS and make repairs. Now aboard the ISS are Expedition 13 Commander and cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Flight Engineer and NASA Station Science Officer Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, who arrived in late March.
Youngsters in New Jersey and Michigan recently had a chance to learn firsthand about life in space when they spoke via ham radio with astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, aboard the International Space Station. Both contacts were arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Using the ARISS station NA1SS, Williams chatted June 5 with pupils at Salt Brook Elementary School in New Providence, New Jersey, and June 6 with students at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.