From AMSAT-bb and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS International Chair, AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
Included as part of today's successful launch of the SpaceX Dragon vehicle to ISS is an ARISS Ericsson 2 meter VHF radio. This radio will replace the Ericsson radio that failed a few months ago. The VHF radio is used for school group contacts and amateur packet radio in the Columbus module. Once the Dragon vehicle is berthed to ISS, the Ericsson will be unstowed and, at some point, installed in Columbus, replacing the UHF radio that is now supporting APRS packet and some school contacts.
Our thanks to SpaceX on an outstanding and historic flight from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, where many Space Shuttle missions and nearly all the Apollo moon missions were launched. We also would like to thank our ARISS benefactors-NASA and CASIS, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. And, of course, our amateur radio long-time sponsors-our national amateur radio organizations around the world, including the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) in the US, and our international AMSAT organizations, including AMSAT-NA.
Before closing, I want to let you know that ARISS is making great progress on the development of the new interoperable radio system that we hope to use to replace our aging radio infrastructure in the Columbus module and the Service module. The hard (and expensive) part of this effort is just beginning, with testing and human certification on the horizon. We thank all that have donated to the cause thus far. We hope you continue to help ARISS move forward through your support, including your volunteer time and talent and, of course, financial contributions through the AMSAT web site