Wallenda Walking

Nikola TeslaNik Wallenda (no relation to Nikola Tesla, right) has been practicing the past two weeks for his soon-to-be-attempted wirewalk across the Horseshoe Falls on June 15th. His last scheduled practice run is scheduled to be tomorrow, Tuesday May 22nd. I went to watch today.

My choice for getting there was to drive to the little LaSalle Park near the Grand Island bridge and ride in the bike path on my Trike. I’d ridden there before, but this is the first time I parked there.

The park was kind of small and not much to see when I was there last year, but a nice location and not a bad place for a picnic by the river, maybe combined with a little fishing. There always seemed to be a few people there enjoying it. When I pulled in this time, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. I thought, at first, I had pulled into a parking lot for some apartment complex next door. But no, they’ve redone the whole parking lot and it’s first-class now. Continue Reading…

Hams in Space

Pigs in SpaceNo, no, not those Hams in Space!

I meant Amateur Radio Operators that are Astronauts. Ever since Owen Garriot, W5LFL, flew aboard STS-9 in 1983, there have been a series of Ham Operators aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. There were also Russian Hams aboard the MIR space station and Hams from a number of countries have been up in space on the various flights.

You may have been aware of this fact, or this might be the first time you have heard of it. It was a publicity coup for Ham Radio and NASA was fully in support of it. In fact, it couldn’t have happened without their support.

Having Ham Radio represented and operated from space is a great publicity tool for NASA. It also could be used as a backup communications system in the event of serious malfunction aboard the spacecraft. I’d hate to see things go that wrong – I’m sure they have other backup systems, so it would have to be the third or fourth or fifth resort – but it really could be used in that capacity.

So this is a good thing, right? A win-win for Hams and NASA alike, right? Well, maybe. Continue Reading…

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