For Immediate Release
March 24, 2009
Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO to Step Down from ARISS and AMSAT Duties
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO, announced today that, effective immediately, he will be stepping down from all his Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) duties. This includes his contributions to NASA Education as the ARISS program leader, his support as the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International Working Group Chair, his appointment as one of two ARISS USA delegates, and as the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation's (AMSAT) Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs.
Mr. Bauer cited personal and professional reasons for his departure. He is currently the Chief Engineer for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. This directorate is developing the next generation human spaceflight vehicles that will take NASA to the International Space Station and then to the Moon, Mars and beyond. He is also providing some backup support to the Space Operations Chief Engineer who supports the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs. "Work responsibilities, which have increased substantially over the past couple of years, coupled with some recent health issues within my immediate family, led me to the conclusion that I could not continue to provide the leadership and passion that has been characteristic of my past support to these amateur radio endeavors," Mr. Bauer said. "This was a very hard decision. I will certainly miss the phenomenal ARISS international team and our mission to inspire the next generation of space explorers using ham radio as our platform. But I thought it would be best to step down at this juncture," Bauer explained. KA3HDO continues, "Over the past 12 years, we have developed, mentored and matured an outstanding volunteer team with a wide breadth and depth. I am fully confident that they will keep the ARISS program running smoothly without missing a beat."
AMSAT-NA President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, has tapped Will Marchant, KC6ROL, to become the next AMSAT Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs and the AMSAT USA delegate of the ARISS International Working Group. Barry Baines stated that "AMSAT is fortunate that we have a very capable leader in Will Marchant who is intimately familiar with ARISS, our extensive human spaceflight program, and is well respected internationally." Barry observed, "Frank's leadership has left a significant mark on the overall ARISS program and the cooperative relationship between amateur radio, NASA and other governmental space agencies. However, Frank also ensured that his team evolved to the point where the work that he pioneered will be carried on by those that he mentored and encouraged to take on greater responsibility."
In his new role, Will Marchant will work with the other ARISS USA delegate, Rosalie White, K1STO, from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the other ARISS International Delegates and the ISS Space Agencies to coordinate the development and operations of the amateur radio systems onboard the ISS. Rosalie stated that "I look forward to working with Will in his new role. He has provided outstanding leadership and support to ARISS from its very beginning, most recently as an Operations team leader. And he helped pioneer the school group mentor role as part of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) program in the early 1990's." She continued, "Frank will be missed tremendously. It is incredible how much volunteer time and effort he put into ARISS educational activities; it was easy to see it was his passion."
With Mr. Bauer stepping down from the ARISS International Chairman role, the ARISS International Vice Chair, Mr. Gaston Bertels, ON4WF will become the ARISS International Chairman effective immediately. Mr. Bertels has been a leader of ARISS from its inception and serves as the Chairman of the ARISS-Europe team. Mr. Bertels has established a close relationship between ARISS and ESA, the European Space Agency. This resulted in the development and the installation of ARISS L- and S-band antennas on the nadir of Columbus, the European Space Laboratory. Mr. Bertels also chairs the ARSPEX (Amateur Radio Space Exploration) working group of the International Amateur Radio Union, Region 1. Mr. Bertels stated: "We can understand the reasons of Frank Bauer's resignation, but we also feel how difficult this decision has been. Frank has inspired a worldwide group of passionate radio amateurs, working together to a common goal. Now it is up to us to continue in the same direction and with the same spirit. That's the best farewell present we can offer Frank".
Mr. Bauer's departure today represents the culmination of over 25 years of leadership and support to amateur radio activities on human spaceflight vehicles, including NASA sponsored ham radio activities on the Shuttle, Space Station Mir, and the International Space Station. Starting in 1983, he led the Goddard Amateur Radio Club team that provided around-the clock Space Shuttle retransmissions from the WA3NAN club station. These retransmissions provided the international ham radio community up-to-the-minute information during the flight of Owen Garriott, W5LFL on STS-9 and subsequent SAREX flights. These real-time bulletins and frequent orbital element updates could only be obtained through amateur radio in the days prior to the internet. In 1991, AMSAT then President Bill Tynan, W3XO tapped Frank to be the AMSAT VP for Human Spaceflight, a position he has held until today.
In 1996, when the International Space Station design development was well underway, NASA Headquarters Education Office executive Pam Bacon (Mountjoy) requested that the amateur radio community form a single, international team to provide one voice for all ham radio development and operations on the ISS. The SAREX Working Group, led by Roy Neal, K6DUE, was tapped to turn this vision into reality. In November 1996, Roy (ARRL), with the other SAREX working group members Frank Bauer, KA3HDO (NASA/AMSAT), Rosalie White K1STO (ARRL), and Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL, (NASA) organized a joint NASA-international amateur radio meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This led to the formulation of the ARISS International Working Group of delegates representing Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the USA-and the rest is history.
Since those austere beginnings, the ARISS team of volunteers has developed and deployed ham radio equipment that resides in three modules of the ISS---the Service Module, the FGB and the Columbus Module as well as having deployed a short duration satellite in a space suit called SuitSat-1/Radiosskaf/AO-54. These systems enable the ARISS team to inspire over 15,000 students each year, encouraging them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through amateur radio communications with the ISS on-orbit crew. It also introduces these students and millions from the worldwide general public to the fun, exciting, multi-faceted world of amateur radio.
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), is an educational, not-for-profit corporation founded 40 years ago and is based in Silver Spring, MD. Its primary objective is to foster Amateur Radio's participation in space research, communications, and education through the development and operation of amateur radio satellites in space. To date, there are over 60 amateur radio satellites that have been built by volunteers around the world and flown in space.
Bummer! Major bummer!
But, all the best to you Frank! I can't thank you enough for the help and guidance you have given us... enabling us to achieve one of the greatest joys I have had in amateur radio: contacts with space people!
73, Stan W4SV Hanna, IN