With the resumption of US Government activities, the upcoming tour of Johnson Space Center as part of 31st AMSAT Space Symposium is back on schedule. JSC was closed to visitors during the recently concluded partial federal government shutdown and if the US Congress had not acted to pass a Continuing Resolution, the JSC Tour was threatened.
The tour is scheduled for Monday morning, 4 NOV 13 and we are once again accepting reservations for individuals to participate in the JSC tour. However, given the maximum number of participants that JSC can handle, there are only four slots that are currently open. Anyone signing up for the tour once those slots are filled will be placed on a waiting list in the event an existing participant cancels. Continue reading
The 31st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting takes place 1-3 NOV 2013 at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport. Deadline for reserving rooms under the AMSAT Block is Wednesday, 16 OCT 2013. Time is running out; reserve your room directly with the hotel and register for the Symposium, the banquet, and special tours on the AMSAT Store! Note: the special tour of Johnson Space Center scheduled for Monday, 4 NOV 2013 is booked and reservations are closed. All Symposium activities online reservations will close 25 OCT 2013.
A special highlight of this year’s Symposium is the celebration of the 30th anniversary of amateur radio involvement in human space flight and the evolution of amateur radio into a successful program on board the International Space Station. ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS) is an international program that supports educational outreach as well as provides an opportunity for informal contacts between astronauts/cosmonauts and amateur radio operators around the world. The recent delivery of “Ham TV” equipment to the Columbus module by the European Space Agency is a reflection of the continued support that amateur radio holds for communicating with students.
Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL on STS-9 in November 1983 was the first astronaut to utilize amateur radio to communicate with personnel on the ground, allowing the general public to speak with US astronauts from space, outside the communication channels of NASA’s Mission Control. In recognition of the 30th anniversary of this historic event, a multi-media panel featuring Owen and other key individuals who initiated this amazing program will take place on Saturday evening as part of the banquet, moderated by AMSAT VP-Human Space Flight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. The presentation includes not only remarks by Owen and others in response to Frank’s questions, but video highlights of amateur radio participation in STS-9 and other Shuttle flights will be shown. Having such a celebration take place in Houston makes it more special as it allows us to have non-AMSAT personnel involved with placing amateur radio on the Shuttle and ISS participate in our special program. Continue reading
E. Mike McCardel, KC8YLD, new AMSAT-NA VP-Educational Relations
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW has accepted the resignation of Mark Hammond, N8MH as VP-Educational Relations and appointed E. Michael McCardel, KC8YLD as his replacement.
Mark Hammond, N8MH of Coats, NC has served as VP-Educational Relations since December 2011. During his tenure, Mark established a team focused on educational issues and supporting the educational objectives of AMSAT. A highlight for the team was the ARISS contact conducted during the 2012 Pacificon Convention in October 2012 in Santa Clara, CA that provided an opportunity for a group of selected young people from the Santa Clara area to ask questions directly to an astronaut on board the International Space Station with an audience of the participant’s family members and amateur radio operators in attendance. Managing a school contact during an ARRL Convention provided a unique opportunity to highlight ARISS before a much wider audience that appreciated both the technical details of communications technology and the wonder of students speaking to an astronaut. Members of Mark’s Education Team, including Joe Spier, K6WAO, Dale Hunzeker, KJ6VUC and E.Mike were all involved in the management of the ARISS contact at Pacificon.
This year’s Symposium commemorative shirts are now available for order. Orders must be placed by October 1, 2013. Shirts ordered will be available for pickup at the Symposium, but will not be sold at the Symposium or on the AMSAT Store. Please order using the Symposium Shirt Order Form.