Amateur radio in the news: SuitSat, Poway (CA), radio and aviation

Gravity becomes a reality: Watch the terrifying moment an ‘astronaut’ spins out of the ISS (…but don’t worry, there’s no one inside the suit). As the International Space Station spins around the Earth, a door unexpectedly opens and a figure in a Russian spacesuit is thrown out. It looks like something from the film ‘Gravity’, but the chilling scene happened in real life less than a decade ago. Back in 2006, Nasa astronauts launched one of their ‘colleagues’ from the International Space Station to orbit Earth seven times before burning up in the atmosphere. Fortunately, their colleague was an out-dated empty spacesuit dubbed SuitSat-1 redesigned to be one of the most bizarre satellites ever launched. The makeshift satellite was thrown from the space station by crew members Bill McArthur and Valery Tulare as they began a six-hour spacewalk.

The video that accompanies the article shows SuitSat1 spinning away from the ISS.

The video that accompanies the article shows SuitSat1 spinning away from the ISS.

Ham radio: a hobby and public service. When the lights go dark, telephones are silenced and disaster is in the air, Charlie Ristorcelli is the guy you want to know. The 67-year-old Poway resident is a ham-radio enthusiast whose passion for that old-school but increasingly high tech form of communication provides him a with front-row seat, and potentially an important voice, in any catastrophe.

Expert: Radio, aviation complemented each other. Radio and aviation complemented each other’s growth and development, made possible in part by the financial backing of a well-known Saratoga figure. Clifton Park resident Jim Silva outlined this history during his recent presentation, “Flying the Beam: Early Air Navigation,” to the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association.

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