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Are We There Yet?

All-Ham Crew Settles In Aboard ISS

NEWINGTON, CT, Nov 2, 2000--The all-ham crew of US astronaut and ISS Expedition 1 Commander William "Shep" Shepherd, KD5GSL, and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, now is aboard the International Space Station. After blasting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan October 31, the crew arrived at the ISS earlier today aboard a Soyuz vehicle that remains docked with the space station.

The Expedition 1 crew's four-month stay in the station will begin the permanent human habitation of space. NASA says that for the remainder of the day, the crew will activate the station's food warmer, set up the sleeping quarters and perform communications checks with flight controllers in Houston, Texas, and Korolev, Russia.

"This is a huge, huge event," said US Astronaut Frank Culbertson, who directed the joint US-Russia program to put American astronauts aboard the Russian Mir space station in the 1990s. Culbertson is set to command a space station mission of his own next year.

Yuri Semenov, who heads the Russian Energia company that built the Russian ISS modules, called it "a historical, remarkable day."

The crew has a busy schedule during its four-month stay that primarily involves getting the ISS up and running for future research activities. Amateur Radio operation is not expected to commence until mid-month, although the crew is said to be enthusiastic about firing up the initial Amateur Radio on the International Space Station--or ARISS--gear. Once installed temporarily aboard the Zarya module, the equipment will provide FM voice and packet capability on 2 meters.

Tentative operating frequencies are: Worldwide downlink for voice and packet, 145.80 MHz; worldwide packet uplink, 145.99 MHz; Region 1 (Europe) voice uplink: 145.20 MHz; Region 2 and 3 voice uplink, 144.49 MHz.

Crew members may use their personal call signs or one of the "club station" call signs issued for ISS use--NA1SS, RZ3DZR, or DL0ISS.

The Keplerian elements bulletin from ARRL now includes data for the International Space Station.

Expedition 1 is scheduled to leave the station next February, when the three-member Expedition 2 crew arrives on STS-102.