International Space Station Communications
from Chris van den Berg

ISSCOM.017 (17 July 2001)


After the docking of the freighter Progress-M1-6 on 23.05.01 the passes of the ISS for Western Europe mainly took place during the night hours.

In the late evening hours of 1.06.01 things began to hum with voice communications between Usachov and TsUP-M in ISS orbit 14468, between 2055 and 2059UTC. Usachov reported the air pressure (760MM mercury) and the fact that they had been so busy that they had to refrain from physical exercises.

For these communications the VHF-1 (143.625 mc) was used. During the following days the passes almost always took place during the night and so the ISS could only be monitored via 628.125 mc (telemetry) and Packet Radio on 145.800 mc (downlink) with now and then a reaction by somebody in the neighbourhood of the Hague via the uplink 145.990 mc/s.

After 5.06.01 the communications via 143.625 mc gradually increased. This frequency also was in use (just like in the good old MIR-days) for service Packet Radio traffic. So still no P/R for that purpose via the S-band or Regul. Nothing could be monitored via VHF-2 (130.165 mc).

Though the passes for the Nehterlands more and more shifted to the early evening hours and the afternoon hours voice communications in Russian remained scanty and almost only contained technical subjects related to the Russian segments and the ships Soyuz-TM32 and Progress-M1-6. So I must confess that I sometimes feel a little bit nostalgia to the dense and interesting conversations during the life of MIR.

On 1.07.01 I went a away for a short vacation. So no monitoring until a few days before 12.07.01. Then there was not traffic via the VHF-1 and 2. Only 145.800 mc was active with Packet Radio rattles.

STS-104, Atlantis:

The launch of Atlantis for a flight to the ISS took place on 12.07.01 at 0904UTC sharp. Exactly 19 minutes later the shuttle came in range of the Netherlands and good voice signals could be monitored between 09.23.57 and 09.30.00UTC via the 259.700 mc AM-W during communications with Houston via Moron in Spain. Commander Steve Lindsey reported a number of technical and operational flight data before communications were taken over by one of the TDRS-es.

Communications ISS (continued):

After the docking of Atlantis at the ISS Usachov spoke with TsUP-M via 130.165 mc. This took place on 14.07.01 during ISS orbit 15131, between 0638 and 0641UTC. The VHF-1 (143.625 mc remained silent).

On 15.07.01 Usachov spoke with TsUP-M via VHF-2 during passes in ISS orbits 15145 (0354-0402UTC) and 15146 (0528-0538UTC).

On 16 and 17.07.01 no signals via the VHF-channels during passes within range of the Nehterlands.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.

ISSCOM.016 (23rd of May 2001)


On 23.05.2001 at 00.23.57UTC this freighter docked at the aft docking port of the Zvezda module. Approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode.


During the first pass for the Netherlands on 23.05.2001 in orbit ISS 14313 several channels were active between 0011 and 0016UTC.

From radio traffic between Usachov and TsUP could be derived that the approach was executed in the automatic mode with the use of the system Kurs, but the TORU system (manual back-up) for TORU signals could be monitored via 121.750 mc and 130.165 mc.

001130UTC 121.750 mc TORU signals.

001300UTC 166.140 mc Telemetry from Progress.

143.625 mc Usachov with TsUP.

130.165 mc TORU signals simultanuously with those on 121.750 mc.

001720UTC LOS (Loss of Signal)

Usachov reports that the operation is proceeding very well, distance 170 Meters Approach speed 004. The Progress is very well visible, also the solar batteries and the manipulator. And of course the Progress is moving a little bit downward.

We observe that the Progress is appearing near the centre.

The target dish of the station is in the centre.

Distance 164 M Speed 004. So we count on 7 seconds. 056601 076601, docking port in format. The speed increases to 03. Distance 150 M. All is correct. Distance 145 M speed 06.

Us: Jim (Voss) says that the Progress is stable and visible through the small porthole.

Disance 120 M, speed 072. 118 M speed 07 110M 07.

LOS (Loss of Signal)

Traffic during the 2nd pass for the Nehterlands in orbit 14314 between 01.48.30 and approx. 01.52.40UTC.

Only transmissions via the 143.625 mc. Usachov: We will wait for your command and are working on the preparing operation. We closed the hooks. We connect the Mano Vacuum Meter (MVM) and check the status of the KKT and the KVD (Valve for Equalisation of the Air pressure. We act according to the pages 4 and 5. Now we can check the air seal with the MVM. We will open the KKT to check the air seal of the MVM. So we do not open the KVD. So KVD is closed and in the mode of electro control.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.015 (21st of May 2001)


The launch of carrier-rocket Soyuz-FG with payload Progress-M1-6 was successfully executed on 20.05.2001 at 21.32.40UTC.

Communication on 21.05.01:

The telemetry transmissions of the ship could be heard in the Netherlands between 0438 and 0445UTC. The signals were very strong.

Pass in orbit 4/5:

04.38.50UTC 166.131 mc.

04.39.19 922.781.7 mc

04.39.40 922.771.1 mc

04.40.20 922.755 mc So for my position TCA (Time Closest Approach)

04.44.50 LOS (Loss of Signal)

Pass in orbit 6:

06.17.40UTC Short telemetry transmission on 166.130 mc

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.014 (19th of May 2001)

Progress-M1-6: This freighter will be launched from Baykonur for a flight to the ISS on 20.05.2001 at 22.32.40UTC.

The docking at the aft docking port of Zvezda will take place on 23.05.2001 at 0019UTC.

The freighter will deliver supplies of air, water and food at the ISS, but also materials for the hygienic and medical welfare for the crew and photographic and video equipment, tools for repairs and maintenance.

The total mass of the freight, inclusive fuel, is 2478 KG.

For the first time a modified carrier-rocket will be used: the Soyuz-FG. Compared to its prototype the Soyuz-FG has enhanced characteristics of the engines and the control system and the freight can be increased by 200 KG-s.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.013 (6 May 2001)

Landing Soyuz-TM31:

S-TM31 with on board the crew of the EP-1 (1st visiting expedition) consisting of Musabayev, Baturin and the tourist Dennis Tito, executed a flawless landing at 82 KM-s North East of the town Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on 6 May 2001 at 05.41.23UTC. (5 seconds earlier than the estimated landing time, so an excellent publicity for space tourism!)

Re-docking Soyuz-TM32:

This ship, docked at the nadir port of the Zarya module, will remain there for the time being. At short notice there is no autonomous flight to the axial port of the Zvezda module scheduled.

Next Progess-freighter:

The launch of the next freighter can be expected on one of the last 10 days of May.


The crew of the ISS still uses for communications with TsUP-M VHF-1 (143.625 mc). Mainly Usachov can be heard there. The topics of the conversations are technical matters, mainly the life support systems, like the Elektron oxygen generator, the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber, the water management, regenerations of condensation, waste water, etc. and the checks of the times for the 'ugli posadki' (descent angles). These are given in 6-figure groups. During conversations checks take place to be sure that all radiograms transmitted via Packet Radio channels have been received, like the work schedules in the Forms 23 and 24 and the 'ugli posadki' in Form 14. These transmissions take place via the Regul (Kvant) system, downlink 922.760 and uplink 768.975 mc. The frequencies came from an official source but thus far I did not receive anything on 922.750 mc. The use of this system means that there is no Packet Radio traffic any more via the VHF-1 or 2.

Packet Radio for radio amateurs takes place via 145.800 mc (downlink) and 145.990 mc (uplink). Gradually these activities increase when ISS is within range. We are still waiting for voice traffic via these channels.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.012 (4 MAY 2001)

During the period after the docking of Soyuz-TM32 at the ISS the crew used the 143.625 mc for communications. Baturin used his stay on board ISS to conduct a lot of experiments among which plasma crystallization. He did what he could do during this short expedition with a lot of work. Once he could not transmit a TV-report for he had a lot of different tasks to do at the same time during which he also had to go to other modules and look through portholes and check monitors. Just like his S-TM commander he was always loud and clear during voice transmissions, did not show any sign of stress and always left the microphone open when he was listening. So often TsUP M could be heard in the background. This in contradiction to Usachov, who just like his practice during MIR-expeditions, curtails his voice communications to short statements and always switches the microphone 'off' when TsUP is speaking.

I did not hear Dennis Tito, but during some passes the crew prepared TV-sessions in which he had to show up.

The 2 American crew members did not use the Russian VHF facilities on board Zvezda for voice contacts with TsUP M or TsUP H.

In the second pass for Western Europe in orbit 14023 on 4.05.01 at 0841UTC Baturin still discussed experimental data with experts at TsUP M.

During the pass in orbit 14023, 1016-1026UTC, 2 channels were active:

Usachov used the 143.625 mc and reported that Musabayev was in the Soyuz-TM31.

Musabayev could be heard on 121.750 mc. He was checking the control and propulsion systems of the S-TM31. He reported the good functioning of these systems, for instance the performance of the DPO-s (attitude control engines) and the handles for manual control of the ship.

Possibly Voss and Helms were with him. Voss reported to Houston: Houston this is Alpha, space to ground 1. We are in the free drift for the Soyuz hot fire test.

Helms reported that all windows are closed.

Voss adds: And for Huntsville and for the plan, the NDU-s are deployed and they were deployed 15 minutes ago.

Musabayev is laughing a little bit, obviously he likes this situation.

For me proof that in space understanding and harmony is better than on earth, where lots of people twaddle about the first space tourist.

And to be honest: if I had 20 million dollars, my family would agree and I still had teeth, lungs and kidneys of a young boy, I would certainly opt to become the 2nd one!

Return flight Kristalls:

The hatches of the old transport ship Soyuz-TM31 will be closed behind the visiting crew on 5.05.2001 at 2313UTC.

On 6.05.2001 at 0219UTC this ship will undock from ISS and after a couple of autonomous orbits the landing in Kazakhstan will take place at 05.41.38UTC.

For listeners in Europe it is worthwhile to monitor 121.750 mc for some hours after the estimated landing time. If the landing will not take place at the 2nd or 3rd attempt S-TM31 might come in range.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.011 (April 30, 2001)

Docking S-TM32 at ISS:

S-TM32 docked at the nadir docking port of Zarya on 30.04.01 at 0957UTC. During the approach and docking S-TM32 and the ISS still were out of range of Western Europe.

During the pass for my position in orb. 13961, 0917-0923UTC 3 voice transmitters were active.

On the 143.625 mc strong cross-modulation interference by an air traffic control centre in Germany.

The interference was also inconvenient on 121.750 mc.

130.165 mc showed a good performance: strong signals and a good reception of TsUP via an uplink receiver in the background.

Somebody, somewhere asked Dennis: 'How are you?' (No answer heard).

TsUP gave permission to open the cover of the hatch between the BO (life compartment) of the S-TM32 and the SO (docking compartment).

A few minutes later the crew also got permission to open the hatch itself.

With the S-TM32 crew already on board, during the next orbit (13962), 1053-1059UTC, TsUP and the crews established a TV-link and images were made by the LIV camera. For the next pass they promised to transmit operational images of the approach and docking of S-TM32.

During the pass in orbit 13963, 1224-1235UTC Musabayev reported that they had conserved the S-TM32. were no further remarks.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.010 (29 April 2001)

Launch Soyuz-TM32:

The launch of this transport ship from Baykonur took place on 28.04.01 at 07.37.20UTC.

Communications: The crew used the call sign Kristall. This call Musabayev used when he was commander on the MIR-space station.

Communications on 28.04.01:

During the pass in the 2nd orbit for Western Europe good signals could be heard on 121.750 mc between 1039 and 1042UTC.

Musabayev and Tito were in the BO (life compartment) and Baturin was still in the SA (descent module). The crew prepared systems for the upcoming orbit corrections.

The pressure was 611.5 mm and they had connected a purification cartridge.

During the pass in the 3rd orbit long voice traffic from 12.10.51 - 12.16.00 UTC.

Musabayev reported about the 2 successful orbit corrections and some failures.

Just before the impulses there had been failures of the IKV-s (=infra red vertical sensors)

IKV-1 08 at 11.02.00UTC

IKV-2 08 at 11.08.58UTC

Also at 11.08.58UTC the command for the GSO (gotovnostj sistemy orientatsii- orientation system readiness) failed. As there was not much time the crew switched over to "PKS" in 2 seconds.

The first impulse was given at 11.19.32UTC as planned. Fuel consumption 49 KG-s,

Delta V-2 at 11.29.48UTC also as planned, fuel consumption 75 KG-s.

Then they executed a turn (zakrutka) using solar orientation for which 1 KG fuel was needed. M. also reported a current of 27 Amperes.

Hereafter TsUP read out a lot of data in four figure groups and/or times. Baturin logged these data, for instance data referring to some orbits, the program for the 5th orbit and other orbits, the time to activate the SKD (approach and correction engine), a.s.o

Regretfully I did not hear Tito himself or any report about his condition.

Communicatons S-TM32 on 29.04.2001:

Also today not a word from or about Tito.

Traffic during pass in orbit 19 within range of Western Europe.

Pass in orbit 19, 10.42.22-10.47.30UTC. Strong signals on 121.750 mc. Musabayev reports the replacement of purification cartridge number 2 by number 3 in the BO. They are about to begin with tests of the Kurs system, but without the command for 'manual control'.

Pass in orb. 20, 12.15.30 -12.20.18UTC. Transmissions on 922.755, 166.135 and 121.750 mc. Again about replacement of purification cartridge.

Correction of the Globus adjustment.

Pass in orb. 21, 13.50.00 121.750 mc, report about pressure: 675 MM.

Communications ISS Russian segment:

On 29.04 for the first time after the arrival of Endeavour communications via VHF-1 (143.625 mc) and not via VHF-2.

During pass in orbit 13947, 1150 - 1153UTC. Usachov met Kolya at TsUP. Short conversation, Usachov will continue filming and making photographs.

Packet Radio downlink again on 145.800mc, with reactions on uplink on 145.990 mc.

Did not hear anything of crew Endeavour via Russian channels.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.009 (18 April 2001)

Gradually the ISS has begun to pass Western Europe during the afternoon and evening hours and this made it possible to be sure about the frequencies used.

As expected the crew switched over from VHF-2 (130.165 mc) to VHF-1 (143.625 mc) after the departure of Discovery. So after 1.04.2001 now and then traffic could be monitored on VHF-1. Mostly Usachov holds the mike, but I also heard Suzan Helms (only in English thus far) and in Russian Voss. His routine in Russian is good.

On 16 and 17.04.2001 the crew was checking systems on board of their ship Soyuz-TM31 in preparation for their short autonomous flight to manoeuver this vehicle from the Zarya nadir docking port to the axial port of Zvezda on 18.04.2001.

During the checks on 16.04 they used the frequencies 121.750 and 130.165 mc. During the pass for Western Europe in orbit 13746, 1453UTC, they spoke about a malfunction, but I could not determine which system (possibly a transmitter). During the following passes the crew was on board of ISS and they did not discuss that problem any more.

On 17.04 I monitored some radio traffic during the first pass for my position (orbit 13761, 1352UTC) on 130.165 and 143.625 mc. It was clear that the crew again checked the Soyuz-TM31. The elevation was only 3 degrees and there was a strong interference caused by cross modulation from an air traffic control centre in Germany. (This phenomenon often was there during EVA's by MIR crews.) This time this interference hampered the communications of the ISS-2 crew.

Radio amateurs who can communicate with Packet Radio again have the possibility to work with that mode because during the last days the well-known P/R rattles were loud and clear on 145.800 and 145.990 mc. It is worthwhile to check both channels during passes of ISS as one of them will be in use.

Progress-M44: This freighter undocked from ISS on 16.04.2001 at 07.47.47UTC and burnt up over the will known area of the Pacific the same day at 13.20.25UTC. In this way the Zvezda axial docking port became available to receive the Soyuz-TM31 after during the re-docking operation on 18.04.2001.

The schedule for the re-docking of the S-TM31 was:

Closure of the exit hatch: 0815UTC

Separation of the ship: 1237UTC

Soft mate at Zvezda: 1303UTC

Opening of the exit hatch: approx. 1600UTC.

Meanwhile the operation was successfully executed. The actual times were:

Separation: 1237UTC, Soft mate: 13.00.55UTC.

During a communication session in orbit 13778 at 1605UTC, Usachov, using the call sign "Alpha", reported that the hatches to the Zvezda had been opened.

The re-docking was needed to enable Endeavour to dock at the American laboratory module Destiny and to park over there the Italian cargo module Raffaello.

The launch of Endeavour is scheduled on 19.04.2001 at 1841UTC.

And last but not least the launch from Baykonur of the Soyuz-TM32 with the crew Musabayev and Baturin, eventually together with the tourist Tito. The Russians seem to stick to the flight of Tito while the Western partners in the ISS-project still strongly reject this plan.

Soyuz-TM32 launch on 28.04.2001 at 07.31.01UTC

Estimated docking on 30.04.2001 at 09.10.30UTC.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.008 (26 February 2001)


This freighter with supplies for the crew of the ISS was launched from Baykonur on 26.02.01 at 08.09.32UTC.

The Pr-M44 is expected to dock at the axial port of Zvezda on 28.02.01 at approx. 0947UTC.

Telemetry transmissions of Pr-M44 could be monitored in the Netherlands during the pass in the 3rd orbit via the 922.755 mc and in the 166 and 165 mc bands at 12.44.44UTC.

During the pass in the 4th orbit between 14.14.06 and 14.20.50 UTC could be heard strong signals in the 922, 166 and 165 mc bands.

TCA was at 14.16.55 UTC (Doppler dip on 922.755 mc)

Communications: After the departure of Atlantis, the crew of the ISS came back on the 143.625 mc. In the combined status the Russians used the 130.165 mc for voice communications with TsUP Moscow.

On 16.02 one of the topics during voice communications was the transfer of the attitude control of the complex from the Zvezda module to the American module Destiny.

On 17.02 Gidzenko and Krikalyov discussed with TsUP Moscow the publication of a biography of cosmonauts. They stated that such a book was a must. Gidzenko said that a fireman from the Netherlands, Bert Vis, already long ago wrote such a biography in which the biographies of cosmonauts who really flew as well as cosmonauts who did not fly at all. G. had met this fireman in Zvyozdnyy, were he collected material on all cosmonauts. His book consisted of 300 or 400 short biographies with photographs.

On 24.02 the crew of ISS boarded the ship Soyuz-TM31 for the redocking from the Zvezda aft port to the nadir port of Zarya.

The autonomous flight under command of Gidzenko took place between 10.06.40 until 10.35.44UTC. ISS commander Shepherd was 'passenger' during this operation. Gidzenko used his call sign: Uran. Regretfully the ISS and the S-TM31 were out of range of the Netherlands during the transfer.

During 2 passes after the redocking the crew still used the allotted frequencies for this operation.

On 143.625 mc there was a strong interference (cross modulation) caused by an air traffic control channel in Germany. I experienced the same phenomena during the many EVA's by MIR crews.

On 121.750 mc Krikalyov could be heard. Via 130.165 mc a strong relay from TsUP M could be monitored. Possibly these transmissions arrived ISS via a new communications system. (During the preparations for the redocking they spoke about a system named Regul.)

When the crew was back on board ISS all systems which had been de-activated before the operation had to be activated again, for instance the Elektron oxygen generator, and the Vozdukh CO-2 scrubber. It lasted a long time before the crew was back on board due to the air seal checks and the fact that one of the hatches could not be opened due to a burnt fuse in the electrical control of the KVD (valve for equalizing air pressure). But just like during the many years of MIR-practice, the Russians had no problems to cope with this problem.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.007 (15 February 2001)

During the period in which Atlantis was docked at the ISS the Russians used 130.165 mc (UKW-2) for communications with TsUP during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pass in range of Western Europe.

They did not use the 143.625 mc (UKW-1).

For Telemetry the 628.125 and 630.125 mc (Zvezda-channels) were active.

Use for predictions recent 2-line elements. Atlantis thus far increased the altitude of the ISS-Shuttle combination 6 times. Just before undocking there will be another correction.

C.M. van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.006 (8 February 2001)

ISS: From 1.02.2001 the ISS came again in range of Western Europe in the late evening hours and so the voice communications between the ISS and TsUP Moscow could be monitored again. Commander Shepherd regularly used the relay via TsUP-M to TsUP Houston.

Atlantis (STS-98): After the flawless launch on 7.02.2001 at 23.13.06UTC the shuttle came in range of the Netherlands. Between 23.34.35 and 23.38UTC commander Ken Cockrell communicated with TsUP-H via a Spanish tracking facility. These signals on 259.700 mc AM-W came in loud and clear.

Progress-M1-4: This freighter separated from the ISS on 8.02.2001 at 11.26.04UTC and burnt up over the well known designated area east of New Zealand after a short autonomous flight at 1350UTC.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

ISSCOM.005 (7 January 2001)

Radio communications :

Radio traffic from inside Zvezda, the Service Module of the ISS, is still a feast for the ears.

As soon as the station passes the Netherlands at the moment of TCA (Time Closest Approach) it comes in reach of the tracking stations Shcholkovo near Moscow and a facility in the neighborhood of Sint Petersburg. Just like the MIR operations, these passes are fully utilized to communicate with Mission Control (TsUP-M).

The downlink channels of the ISS are the VHF-1 143.625 mc and the VHF-2 130.165 mc, as the Russians say UKW-odin (sounds like ádin) and UKW-2 (dwa).

The same practice as during the MIR communications is also the simultaneous use of both frequencies, for instance one for voice and the other for Packet Radio or for voice by another crew member, for instance Shepherd in English. So for those who do not understand Russian a nice challenge.

When the ISS is in range, it is also possible to hear the telemetry transmitter on 628.125 mc (mostly due to the Doppler effect at about 628.093 mc.

The lions' share in radio traffic is still in Russian, but regularly Shepherd can be heard in contact with his countrymen at TsUP M or via TsUP M with TsUP H (Houston) and of course this is in English.

The 2 Russians, Gidzenko and Krikalyov need the greatest part of their working time for technical activities; they are very skilled cosmonauts, quick boys, who need just half a word and obviously indefatigable. If you understand the Russian language you need all your concentration to understand what it is all about. Problem is that they often use abbreviations. But in fact the base concept of Zvezda is equal to that of MIR (Zvezda was the stand-in base block for MIR-1 and for many years her destination was to become MIR-2) so I know a lot of those abbreviations from my MIR practice.

This is also the case with many systems used to keep the ISS atmosphere livable, like the Elektron (oxygen generator), the Vozdukh (CO-2 scrubber), the KOKh (cooling system) and the KOB (heating circuit).

During this stage (Expedition 1) the coordination about the technical state, maintenance and control mainly takes place between the Russian crew members and Russian experts at TsUP M. In the future this will gradually shift to TsUP H, so Flight control in Houston and to the Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, where the Flight control for Experiments is located. When during this month the American laboratory module has been integrated in the ISS, the attitude control panel commands of the station will be transferred from the Russian module Zarya to Destiny.

In the first week of the New Year Gidzenko and Krikalyov worked on the preparations for an IVA (so an internal space walk). They tested space suits (air seal, connections, life support systems and communications. As always a difficult job.

During voice communications I had the impression that I was in the MIR scene again.

The plan was to communicate via VHF-2. During the tests emerged the same problem as during MIR EVA's (and also IVA's). This is a very strong noise on the downlink of VHF-1 , which makes contact impossible. The noise was caused by cross modulation with an air traffic control frequency (ATC) used in a ATC centre in Western Europe. During the tests by the ISS-crew this noise was much stronger than at the time in MIR.

Krikalyov asked which buttons he had to press for the EVA communications tests: he spoke about "On RTF" and "LIRA/UKW-2". He asked why he did not had to give the command "Regul". (Explanation: LIRA is the transceiver on board ISS for communications via the geostationary satellite. On board MIR the same transceiver was the Antares. During EVA-s in MIR this transceiver was also active. There is no geostationary satellite now, but the launch of such a Sputnik Retranslyator -relay satellite- to be positioned over 16 degrees West will be this year).

Shortly we can expect an IVA (Internal Vehicular Activity) for the replacement of the docking cone from the forward docking port of Zvezda to the Nadir port of that module. Possibly we can monitor communications during this EVA via both channels.

These ISSCOM reports are derived from that what I can monitor during the few passes within my range and supported by background knowledge. Of course there must be much more as communications also take place via the ECS (Early Communications System). This is a system to communicate via TDRS-s in the S-band. So for us in Western Europe we cannot monitor this. And the ISS can use the tracking facilities in the U.S.A. during passes there. In the future the ISS can also communicate via American TDRS-s in the KU-bands.

But nevertheless every time listening to the men on board of the ISS is a special event for me: I know them personally from meetings in Moscow (Shepherd and Krikalyov) and in the Netherlands (Krikalyov and Gidzenko). In the website you can find my photographs of an EVA-training by Shepherd and Gidzenko in the training basin in Ts.P.K. Moscow. I also was present during an exercise by Krikalyov (approach and docking training) and during the same training by the ISS crew Dezhurov, Bowersox and Tyurin.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

Back to "ISS News & Rumor page"

Links: to the VSO Home Page, observing guide, satellite predictions, observing Mir