Thursday, October 24, 2013

AMSAT Celebrates 30 Years of Hams in Space

It was 30 years ago this coming November that Owen Garriott, W5LFL, became the first person to operate a ham radio station from space, aboard the Shuttle Columbia. The AMSAT News Servie reports that the anniversary will be a key element of AMSAT's 31st annual Space Symposium and annual meeting, being held - appropriately - in Houston on November 1-3. 
Garriott's contacts were the first time that an astronaut in orbit was able to communicate with people back on earth without going through NASA's communication system. His operation led to what is now the ARISS program, in which astronauts on the International Space Station use amateur radio for school contacts as well as occasional personal operation.