CQ Amateur Radio


December 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of ham radio aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Coincidentally, NASA celebrates 20 years of “continuous human presence” on the ISS. I did not realize it had been that long. An infographic summarizes some events over the last two decades (Figure 1).

But I would like to celebrate this event by recognizing the first ham operation in space, by Dr. Owen Garriott, W5LFL, aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-9/Spacelab1 (Photo A). Owen passed away on April 15, 2019, but he will always have a special place in my heart and mind, since I played a small part in this historic space travel — and ham radio — event.

Owen earned his ham license when he was 15 years old, many years before he became an astronaut.

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Our Readers Say…
Editor, CQ: I enjoyed the “Hams – Past – Present – Future” article (CQ Classics, December 2020) but I take issue with the parenthetical remark “Judy Garland is a ham.” Where did that come from? I’m clearly not an expert on Judy Garland but nothing I