Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Is MEM in Ham Radio's Future?

Artist's conception of the NASA Gateway station
in lunar orbit (NASA image)

That would be Moon-Earth-Moon. If you're old enough to remember the film version of "2001: A Space Odyssey," you'll probably remember that the movie opened in a transfer station orbiting the moon. Well, that is exactly what NASA and other space agencies are planning with the Gateway Project, a lunar-orbiting jumping off point for trips to the moon and to deep space. And, according to Newsline, a group of hams is working to make sure that amateur radio is aboard as well. 

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Chairman of ARISS International (which coordinates amateur radio activity on the International Space Station), is also co-leader of a separate group called AREx, or the Amateur Radio Exploration Team. AREx is working with NASA to secure a place for amateur radio aboard the Gateway station, whose initial modules are scheduled for launch next year. Those first modules will carry equipment that is essential to life in lunar orbit, but it is hoped that a ham station can be included on future modules that have a good Earth view and a good supply of solar energy for power. The goal is to make a ham station available for communication between Gateway and hams back on Earth.