January 11, 2002

New ARISS antenna to be installed next week

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, has announced that one of the four new ARISS antennas could be installed as soon as next week. It's anticipated that the ''WA3'' VHF-UHF flexible tape antenna will be installed on one end of the ISS Service Module during a scheduled January 14 spacewalk--or EVA.

''The Russian team is able to deploy this particular antenna sooner than the others because it is located very close to where the four RF connections go into the Service Module,'' Bauer said.

Expedition Four Commander Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, and flight engineers Carl Walz, KC5TIE, and Dan Bursch, KD5PNU, are beginning their second month in orbit aboard the ISS. They have not yet been active on Amateur Radio, although several ARISS school contacts are pending. Onufrienko and Walz will carry out the EVA. NASA says the two will move a Russian cargo crane to the Russian Functional Cargo Block for future assembly work. Bursch will operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm from inside the space station.''

Installation of the new antenna on the Service Module paves the way for two separate ham stations aboard Space Station Alpha. Plans call for a 2-meter station to remain in the Functional Cargo Block using the Russian antennas that had been used to dock the FGB but now used for ARISS. A second 70-cm station will be set up in the Service Module using the new antenna.