Amateur Radio News

Ham Radio Operator Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, and Doug Hurley Launch Commercial Crew Program into Space

NASA astronaut and Ham enthusiast Colonel Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, and fellow astronaut Colonel Doug Hurley made history on May 30 as the astronauts aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on its launch into space, where it docked at the International Space Station (ISS) in low-Earth orbit.

Behnken, a veteran of two space shuttle flights, is just one of an impressive number of astronauts who have earned Ham Radio licenses. You’ll find a complete list at the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) website.

The launch is the first of many planned for NASA’s new Commercial Crew Program. The program is designed to develop and operate spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews into low-Earth orbit and to and from the ISS from American soil. NASA and the American aerospace industry will collaborate to accomplish this task—a task possible for nearly a decade only with the use of Russian Soyuz vehicles.

NASA’s Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, explained the historical significance of the recent launch: “This represents a transition in how we do spaceflight from the United States of America. NASA is not going to purchase, own, and operate rockets and capsules the way we used to; we’re going to partner with commercial industry.” American industry, to be exact, as emphasized by Bridenstine. “It’s a new era in human space flight, with American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil.”

For crew bios and in-depth coverage of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, visit NASA’s website.

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