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The Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment...
SAREX MISSIONS ARISS
In U.S. space shuttle lingo, a ham radio station aboard a shuttle in space is the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) – a joint effort of NASA, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and the Radio Amateurs Satellite Corporation (AMSAT).
It turns out that amateur radio has been a great hobby for men and women in space. Numerous American astronauts, who also are licensed amateur radio operators, have taken ham gear along on U.S. space shuttle flights. In fact, the entire five-person crew of shuttle Atlantis flight STS-37 in 1991 was licensed and on the air from outer space.
In the beginning. U.S. astronaut Owen K. Garriott, amateur radio callsign W5LFL, was the first to chat with his fellow hams on Earth while orbiting the globe. He flew aboard Columbia in flight STS-9 in 1983.
The second ham in space was astronaut Anthony W. "Tony" England, WØORE. (The number Ø is pronounced zero.) England made his trip to space in 1985 aboard shuttle Challenger flight STS-51F. He not only had amateur radio voice capability, but also took along ham TV gear to transmit pictures down from the spacecraft. More than 6,000 young people, taking part in his SAREX operation through school and scouting clubs, were thrilled to see the first-ever amateur pictures beamed down from space. In addition, the TV signals beamed up to WØORE from the Johnson Space Center ham station, callsign W5RRR, were the first live TV pictures ever received aboard a shuttle.
Atlantis flight STS-37 in 1991 was the first shuttle voyage in which the entire crew was composed entirely of licensed amateur radio operators. The five astronauts together in space for six days were crew commander Steven R. Nagel, N5RAW; pilot Kenneth D. Cameron, KB5AWP; and mission specialists Jerome "Jay" Apt, N5QWL; Linda M. Godwin N5RAX; and Jerry L. Ross, N5SCW.
Hams aboard American space shuttles also have used their amateur radio gear to chat with cosmonauts aboard the USSR's Mir space station at times when it has been orbiting nearby in space.
For instance, during shuttle flight STS-93 in 1999, Mir station cosmonauts used ham radio to contact shuttle Columbia and congratulate Eileen Collins on her first mission as a shuttle commander. MORE ASTRONAUT HAMS >>
Gear. Amateur radio clubs and individuals around the globe help the SAREX program's equipment needs – especially the local ham groups at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.
Cost of designing and building SAREX equipment for space shuttles and ARISS equipment for the International Space Station, as well as amateur radio communications satellites, is borne by hams. The equipment has been put to educational use many times during live communications between astronauts in space and children in schools around the world.
ISS. Amateur radio in space is so useful that amateur radio operators have built a "ham shack" for recreational use aboard the International Space Station. That program is called ARISS for Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station.
Mir. Most cosmonauts in the last years of the USSR's orbiting Mir space station also whiled away countless hours during their six-month-and-longer assignments in space by chatting with fellow amateurs on the ground via ham radio.
Year Individual SAREX Missions
click flight number for information
1983 STS-9 1985 STS-51F STS-61A 1990 STS-35 1991 STS-37 1992 STS-45 STS-47 STS-50 1993 STS-55 STS-56 STS-57 STS-58 1994 STS-59 STS-60 STS-64 STS-65 1995 STS-63 STS-67 STS-70 STS-71 STS-74 1996 STS-76 STS-78 STS-79 STS-80 STS-81 1997 STS-94 1999 STS-93
What is ham radio? Amateur radio is the global fraternity of licensed non-commercial communicators advancing the radio art and promoting experimentation. Hams are well known for their networks of stations which handle messages in disasters, emergencies and public-service events. HOW TO GET A HAM LICENSE >>
Learn More About Amateur Radio in Human Spaceflight Amateur Radio On Board:
Space Shuttles STO
Mir Space Station STO
International Space Station STO
Piloted Spacecraft STO
International Space Station:
Construction Launches STO
Overhead Pass Schedules Heavens Above
Visual Reality Tour NASA
Mir Space Station:
Amateur Radio On Board STO
Amateur Radio Links During Crisis STO
Students Chat With Cosmonauts STO
About the Station STO
Highlights of 15 Years in Orbit STO
Americans Who Lived Aboard STO
NASA and Goddard Space Flight Center:
ARISS NASA GSFC
SAREX NASA GSFC
ISS Ham Radio NASA ISS Reference
SAREX NASA ISS Reference
Amateur Radio Satellites:
Names and Frequencies STO
Space & Beyond ARRL
Agencies and Organizations:
NASA U.S. HQ
American Radio Relay League ARRL ARISS
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation AMSAT
HOW TO GET A HAM LICENSE WITH YOUR OWN CALLSIGN
ARISS sites: FAQ ARRL NASA Europe Canada Japan Germany ARISS sites: STO Schedule Past Schools Mir Hams Astronaut Hams SAREX sites: STO Past Flights Past Schools Hamsats: History Names Frequencies Amateur Radio on Piloted Spacecraft STO: Search Cover Questions
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