ARISS / ISS Equipment UPDATE 03/02/2021

Clint Bradford



The ARISS team has been working very closely with NASA and ESA to identify potential ARISS radio anomaly causes and resolve the radio issues that were observed after the EVA (spacewalk) conducted on January 27.  During this spacewalk, cabling was installed to support the commissioning of the Bartolomeo attached payload capability mounted on the Columbus module.  Part of this cabling rerouted the cabling of the ARISS antenna on Columbus to the ARISS radio system.  


Through a great deal of coordination with NASA and ESA, ARISS will be conducting a set of APRS tests to determine the operational use of the ARISS radio system in Columbus through employment of three different cabling configurations.  Over the next couple of days, ARISS will be performing a series of tests using our APRS capability through the standard 145.825 MHz APRS frequency.  The crew will be periodically shutting down the radio and swapping cables so ARISS can troubleshoot the radio system and the cabling.  ARISS is unsure of the exact swap times as it will be dependent upon the crew’s availability.  We expect these tests to start no earlier than 1600 UTC on March 2 and run through sometime on March 3.  We cannot guarantee that these troubleshooting tests will resolve the radio issue.  But we encourage ARISS APRS operations in this time span.  Additionally, a contingency task has been approved for an EVA planned for this Friday March 5 if these tests are unsuccessful. This EVA task would return the ARISS cabling to the original configuration prior to the January 27 EVA. Being a contingency task means the crew  will only be perform the activity if time allows.  So there is no guarantee that this EVA will be conducted on Friday.


We ask to please not send any “No contact” e-mails or social media responses as this will overwhelm the ARISS team.  But if you definitely hear the packet system working or are able to connect through it, let us know the Date, Time and Grid Square of the occurrence.  


We thank you for your patience as we work through this somewhat complex anomaly.




Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

ARISS, International Chair

Executive Director, ARISS-USA

Clint Bradford

Press conference 3/9/2021 -

Clint Bradford

That was an extraordinary press conference ... Watch the ISS' EVA this Saturday ... close to 1500UTC - and watch for cable removal and replacement.

More later.


PS Contrary to popular rumor, it is a little more involved than a jumper available at Ham Radio Outlet ... (g)

Dan Romanchik KB6NU

Frank said it would be posted on ... or here on YouTube -

> ... Was the press conference recorded? Is it online anywhere?

Clint Bradford

Clint Bradford

A spacesuit anomaly causing 30-minute delay ...

Clint Bradford

MOST DEFINITELY on the Agenda!!

Clint Bradford

DATE 2021 Mar 14

Spacewalk Addresses ARISS Equipment Issue

International Space Station Expedition 64 U.S. Spacewalk #73 to Continue Station Upgrades took place on Saturday, March 13 beginning at approximately 12:30z. Astronaunts Victor Glover, KI5BKC, and Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, undertook a number of tasks left incomplete when a previous spacewalk had to be terminated early.

One of those tasks was a re-connection of four cables on the Bartolomao platform which is attached to the Columbus Module of the space station. Columbus is the home of the primary ARISS amateur radio station, which is used for school contacts and other ARISS activities.

After an extended effort to complete some cable connections on the Bartolomao platform, Hopkins moved on to the ARISS VHF/UHF antenna on the “Earth side” of the Columbus Module at approximately 18:15z, roughly five hours into the spacewalk, and successfully removed a jumper cable between Columbus and the antenna. Hopkins raised a question concerning a sharp bend in the cable near the connector. However, no adjustments were possible.

Because NASA safety protocols require the ARISS radios to be powered down during spacewalks, there will be no opportunity to check the success of the cable re-configurations until Sunday, March 14. The Columbus Module ARISS radios are expected to be powered up in the VHF packet mode at about 12:00z on that day.

-My earlier screenshot courtesy of NASA TV. And Frank Bauer KA3HDO, ARISS International Chair, supplied the media alert. THAT was TRUE "reality TV!"