The aging Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) packet system on 145.825 MHz appears to have stopped functioning altogether, after experiencing some recent problems, and restoring it to operation could take months. ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said the packet system, located in the Columbus module, started to act up late last week, sending only a beacon.
“The ARISS team requested a power recycle by the crew, and with that power recycle, the packet system appears to have stopped functioning completely,” Bauer said in a news release. “Note that this unit has been on orbit for 17 years. It was launched on the STS-106 Space Shuttle Atlantis mission in September 2000 and was built, tested and certified for flight about 20 years ago.”
Bauer said the ARISS team has had extensive discussions on how to resolve the problem, starting with some additional troubleshooting with the existing packet module. He said it would take weeks just to develop the required troubleshooting procedures and have NASA approve them, before conducting tests with the ISS crew. This would include an additional power cycle, he said.