Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Radio System Slated for Launch to Space Station

Speaking of the International Space Station, the ARRL Letter reports that the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is "one giant step" closer to sending a whole new ham station up to the ISS. The plan is to eventually install a Kenwood TM-D7100GA-based system on the station as part of an effort to permit greater interoperability between the two separate ham stations currently on board, one on the Columbus module and the other in the Russian service module. The recent step was successful preliminary test of the breadboard version of a custom-designed multi-voltage power supply at the Johnson Space Center's Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab. The next steps will be to build prototype and flight units. ARISS is seeking contributions to help cover the costs of building the new station for the ISS.
On the topic of radios in space, there's been another schedule shift and "gate change" for AMSAT's Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D satellites. Both had been slated to be launched together later this year by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Now, according to the AMSAT News Service, Fox-1D has been rebooked on an Indian launch vehicle scheduled to lift off late this year; Fox-1Cliff will ride a different Falcon 9 scheduled for launch from California either late this year or early next year. AMSAT is also waiting for upcoming launches of the RadFxSat and RadFxSat-2 satellites.