An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) NA1SS special event to commemorate Roy Neal, K6DUE (SK), gets under way Saturday, November 29, with an ISS pass over the US West Coast. ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, says ARISS has provided ISS Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, with a list of potential passes for the November 29-30 weekend. (See the ARRL Web site for frequencies and pass times.)

“It is our expectation that Mike will probably concentrate on a couple of passes over North America and/or Europe this weekend, but we cannot be sure of this,” Bauer said. “So our advice is to be listening wherever you live in the world.” ARISS requests that special event participants keep all contacts short.

Bauer said Foale hopes to be on the air from NA1SS for the special event for about two passes per weekend through December. “This, of course, is completely contingent upon his schedule and other duties or issues that might crop up on ISS,” he cautioned. Those contacting the ISS by voice (NA1SS) or packet (RS0ISS) through the end of December will be eligible for a special anniversary event certificate.

Born Roy N. Hinkel, Neal–a former NBC News correspondent and executive–chaired the Space Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX)/Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Working Group and moderated many of its meetings. Through his extensive NASA contacts, he was instrumental in the 1980s to convince NASA management to fly Amateur Radio onboard the space shuttle.

November 28 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Amateur Radio operation from space by astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, from the shuttle Columbia. Amateur Radio communication from the ISS began three years ago this month, when Expedition 1 crew members Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, and Bill Shepherd, KD5GSL, spoke with R3K, the Energia amateur station in Russia, and with NN1SS, the ISS ground station at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Bauer advised those working NA1SS to not request a certificate until ARISS releases QSL instructions. Additional information may be available on the ARISS Web site

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