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Astronaut Owen Garriott W5LFL SK

Owen Garriott W5LFL SK
I have a cassette tape of W5LFL from space on that first mission 
I went home from work to be ready for the pass
* First Ham in Space, AMSAT Life Member, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-107.01
ANS-107 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin
AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin 107.01
DATE April 17, 2019
BID: $ANS-107.01
It is with great sadness that the ARISS team recognizes the passing of
our great friend and colleague Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL (SK).
Owen Garriott died at his home in Huntsville, Alabama on April 15,
A passionate amateur radio operator and ionospheric physics re-
searcher, Owen inspired the amateur radio community to reach for the
stars.  His multi-decade vision to bring amateur radio with him as
part of his journey in space was realized in 1983 on the STS-9 Space
Shuttle Columbia mission, where hams the world over for the first time
heard a fellow ham call CQ from space.  As the first to operate ham
radio in space, Owen blazed a trail that has enabled countless people
from around the world to experience what it is like to journey into
space and explore our universe. As a result, he inspired the inter-
national amateur radio community to extend his modest ham station on
STS-9 into an international human spaceflight ham radio program that
has spanned the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station, and International
Space Station.
A member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Owen Garriott was a
pioneer and innovator in all his endeavors…including amateur radio.
Selected as a NASA scientist-astronaut in 1965, Garriott was the
science-pilot for Skylab 3, the second crewed Skylab mission.  Skylab
was the first U.S. space station, housing 3 different crew expeditions
from May 1973-February 1974.  Owen  spent approximately 60 days on
Skylab, doing solar physics research, human physiological research and
conducting 3 spacewalks to repair Skylab and extend its research cap-
Owen’s next flight into space, as part of an international crew on
the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission, cemented amateur radio’s
future as part of the human spaceflight experience.  STS-9 was
launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on November 28, 1983.
Onboard Columbia was an internationally developed space laboratory,
Spacelab-1, which pioneered  international spaceflight research with
over 70 separate experiments---a precursor to the research currently
being accomplished on the International Space Station (ISS).  Onboard
also was a Motorola 2-meter handheld radio with a window mounted
antenna to facilitate ham radio contacts between W5LFL and hams on the
ground.  On December 1, the third day of his mission, Owen donned his
headset and made history by communicating with Lance Collister,
WA1JXN, in Frenchtown, Montana. In W5LFL’s own words, here is an
excerpt of his first contact: “W5LFL in Columbia is calling CQ and
standing by. Go ahead.  Hello WA1JXN, WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, this
is W5LFL. I picked up your signals fairly weakly. I think our attitude
is not really the best as yet, but you're our first contact from
orbit. WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, how do you read? Over.”
Owen’s ham contacts on STS-9 were trailblazing for many reasons. They
represented the first ham radio contact from a human in space to
someone on Earth.  They allowed the general public to directly listen
and communicate with an on-orbit crew where, prior to this, only NASA
mission control personnel or heads of State (U.S. Presidents, etc.)
could talk to astronauts from space. And the mission also demonstrated
that a group of volunteers could successfully build a ham radio
station for a human spaceflight vehicle and get it formally approved
by a space agency.
Owen spent decades attempting to carry out ham radio on one of his
missions, employing gentle assertiveness and steadfast patience to
realize his dream. In 1965, when NASA was considering Owen for a
planned lunar flight on Apollo 18, 19 or 20, Project MOONRAY was
proposed by the Project OSCAR team. Project MOONRAY would support
amateur radio operations from the surface of the moon.  This init-
iative was scuttled when Apollo lunar expeditions ended at Apollo 17.
Prior to his flight on Skylab, AMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA
called SKYLARC (Skylab Amateur Radio Communications).  Unfortunately,
this proposal was turned down.  But, as they say, the 3rd time was a
charm on STS-9 and ham radio is now a human spaceflight reality.
Also, it should be noted that an AMSAT/ARISS International team is
pursuing Owen’s plans to fly ham radio to the moon via several lunar
proposal initiatives, including the Lunar Gateway.
Owen inspired legions of amateur radio operators, world-wide, to sup-
port human spaceflight amateur radio endeavors and for countless
individuals to become ham radio operators.  This includes his son,
Richard, W5KWQ, who together with Owen became the first multi-
generational American ham radio operators to communicate from space.
On behalf of the ARISS International Team, we would like to extend our
sincere condolences to the Garriott family, including Owen’s son
Richard, W5KWQ and Owen’s wife Eve.  As Owen has inspired the amateur
radio community to reach for the stars may we wish Owen Garriott God-
speed and a wonderful journey amongst the stars.
Ad Astra!

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