|The International Space Station (NASA photo)
The amateur radio station aboard the International Space Station is once again fully operational. The ARRL says a March 13 spacewalk to swap out an antenna cable put the ham station in the Columbus module back on the air. That station had been off since a January 27 spacewalk that included replacing an 11-year-old feedline segment. That cable apparently had problems since the Columbus ham rig could neither transmit nor receive using it.
The original feedline was re-installed during the March 13 spacewalk and APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) signals were once again monitored from the ISS the following day. The station in the Columbus module, generally operating as NA1SS, is the primary station for school contacts and other ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) activities. While it was off the air, ARISS contacts continued, using the second ham station in the Russian service module.