Amateur Radio in Space pioneer astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Apr 16, 2019.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio in Space pioneer astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK

    ARRL reports the US astronaut who pioneered the use of Amateur Radio to make contacts from space — Owen K. Garriott, W5LFL — died April 15 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88


    The ARRL news story reads:

    Garriott’s ham radio activity ushered in the formal establishment of Amateur Radio in space, first as SAREX — the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, and later as ARISS — Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.

    “Owen Garriott was a good friend and an incredible astronaut,” fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin tweeted. “I have a great sadness as I learn of his passing today. Godspeed Owen.”

    An Oklahoma native, Garriott — an electrical engineer — spent 2 months aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 during a 1983 Space Shuttle Columbia mission. It was during the latter mission that Garriott thrilled radio amateurs around the world by making the first contacts from space. Thousands of hams listened on 2-meter FM, hoping to hear him or to make a contact. Garriott ended up working stations around the globe, among them such notables as the late King Hussein, JY1, of Jordan, and the late US Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA. He also made the first CW contact from space. Garriott called hamming from space “a pleasant pastime.”

    “I managed to do it in my off-duty hours, and it was a pleasure to get involved in it and to talk with people who are as interested in space as the 100,000 hams on the ground seemed to be,” he said in an interview published in the February 1984 edition of QST. “So, it was just a pleasant experience, the hamming in particular, all the way around.”

    Although Garriott had planned to operate on ham radio during his 10 days in space, no special provisions were made on board the spacecraft in terms of equipment — unlike the situation today on the International Space Station. Garriott simply used a hand-held transceiver with its antenna in the window of Spacelab-1. His first pass was down the US West Coast.

    “[A]s I approached the US, I began to hear stations that were trying to reach me,” he told QST. “On my very first CQ, there were plenty of stations responding.” His first contact was with Lance Collister, WA1JXN, in Montana.

    ARISS ARRL Representative Rosalie White, K1STO, met Garriott when he attended Hamvention, “both times, sitting next to him at Hamvention dinner banquets,” she recounted. “Once when he was a Special Achievement Award winner, and once with him and [his son] Richard when Richard won the 2009 Special Achievement Award. Owen was unassuming, very smart, kind, and up to date on the latest technology.” Garriott shared a Hamvention Special Achievement Award in 2002 with fellow Amateur Radio astronaut Tony England, W0ORE.

    Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, was a private space traveler to the ISS, flown there by the Russian Federal Space Agency, and he also carried ham radio into space.

    Source ARRL

    NA1S, KN4LGM and AC7DD like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Chip..
    I always check before posting, that there is not already a posting on the same subject.
    In this case, I did check first and could not find any other posting on the same subject.
    However, I now note that your post is timed as being posted ahead of mine.
    I'm not sure how this has happened , but please accept my apologies for the double posting
    73 de Richard g4tut
    AK5B likes this.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Richard,

    Keep on posting!

    Chip W1YW
  5. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's with deep regards that I hear about Owens passing, the first ham in space.
    His dad was one of my Elmer's, he was a old-time ham.
    I was able to talk to him on his first pass in the space shuttle Columbia, and I cherish the qsl card. And I still have the recording, of his first pass over the United States on the "Spaceship Columbia" as he called it.
    The main street in Enid Oklahoma where Vance air force base is is named Owen K Garriott.
    His son is also a ham and an astronaut
    They were the first American father-son astronauts.
    They were both together at Dayton a few years ago.
    Three generations of amateur radios come from this family.
    He held the record for longest space flight for quite a number of years being in the Skylab program.

    AK5B and W1YW like this.
  6. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Spacecraft Columbia from W5LFL
    I also talked to his son from the International Space Station from my V31KW station in Belize Central America.
    A true Ham family, three generations of very knowledgeable and successful people.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    K3SZ, N0DET, AK5B and 1 other person like this.
  7. AF7EC

    AF7EC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have seen a few forum postings that have the time out-of-order. QRZ must be having issues.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The time was in order, QRZed just held up the posting, and then picked G4TUT's post for the main page.

    I am AOK with that, as the news got across. And that was the point.
  9. KI6PMD

    KI6PMD Ham Member QRZ Page

    A great lost of another astronaut & another ham! wonderful achievements both in space & on the air. Truly a lost for us all God Speed indeed ! see you on the "Next Pass" Phil..
  10. NY2NY

    NY2NY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A great pioneer in space communication - I was so lucky to be one of the stations that worked Owen during that first Shuttle 2m activity. His QSL card is proudly displayed on my wall. GodSpeed Owen.
    Jay NY2NY (ex K2OVS).
    NL7W and K0UO like this.

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