Since Space Shuttle mission STS-9 in 1983, amateur radio and NASA have been closely linked through the SAREX (Space Amateur Radio Experiment) and ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) programs. On 1 February 2003, the shuttle Columbia crashed during re-entry from mission STS-107 killing all seven crew on board. Three of the crew were amateur radio operators: David M. Brown – KC5ZTC, Kalpana Chawla – KD5ESI and Laurel Clark – KC5ZSU. Kalpana Chawla had also previously served as Astronaut Liaison with the ARISS program. This weekend a special event station remembers them and recognizes the amateur radio operators who put in many hours of work during the recovery process.
1/2 Feb, 1300Z-2100Z, W5NAC – Shuttle Columbia 10 Year Anniversary Memorial Event Station: The Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station on or near 28.300, 21.300, 14.260, and 7.250 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia during re-entry over Texas on 1 February 2003 and to recognize the volunteer efforts of amateur radio operators during recovery efforts. Columbia disintegrated during re-entry after receiving damage to protective thermal tiles on the wing leading edge from a piece of foam that fell off its external tank during launch. Debris subsequently fell to earth along a line stretching from near Fort Worth, TX to Tyler, TX as well as part of Louisiana. Lost in the crash were astronauts Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown, and Laurel Blair Salton Clark. QSL for certificate & QSL via Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club, 167 CR 2093, Nacogdoches, TX 75965. Website: w5nac.com
1-4 Feb, 0400Z-1500Z, W5B – Buddy Holly Memorial, 54th Anniversary of the Death of Buddy Holly: The Lubbock Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station on or near 18.150, 14.260, 7.260, and 3.860 to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the death of Rock and Roll pioneer Buddy Holly. Holly was killed on 3 February in a plane crash near Mason City, IA. The crash also claimed the lives of Richie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson along with the plane’s pilot. QSL via W5B, 109 N Pontiac Ave, Lubbock, TX 79416. Website: www.amcrc.com/w5b
2 Feb, 1700Z-2200Z, WE7GV – 19th Annual Santa Cruz Valley Collector Car Show: The Green Valley Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Valley Collector Car Show (Tubac, AZ) on or near 14.246, 14.244, and 14.242. The show will be attended by over 500 collector cars and is sponsored by the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts. QSL for certificate & QSL via Green Valley Amateur Radio Club, 601 N La Canada Dr (SAV), Green Valley, AZ 85614. Website: gvarc.us
2 Feb, 1400Z-2100Z, K3HWJ – Commemorating Groundhog Day: The Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club will be operating a Groundhog Day special event station on or near 14.330, 7.138, and 3.845 as well 147.390 PL 173.8 if you’re close by. QSL for certificate via Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club, PO Box 3, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Website: www.punxyclub.com
For more information on special event stations over the weekend, check out Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK’s Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Each week he presents info on various special event stations that will be active over the coming weekend. There’s lots of good info in Jerry’s podcasts in addition to the special event station info, give them a listen!