CQ Amateur Radio

THE HAM NOTEBOOK

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