Iridium Phones On Orbit and At Everest

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 August 2010

"Time again for Skvortsov & Yurchikhin for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phones located in Soyuz TMA-18/22S (at MRM2) & Soyuz TMA-19/23S (docked at MRM1), a monthly routine job and Fyodor's 2nd, Sasha's 4th. [After retrieving the phones from their location in the spacecraft Descent Modules (BO), the crewmembers initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion, the phones were returned inside their SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the BO's ODF (operational data files) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an "undershoot" ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return)."

Keith's note: I hope these phones work better on the steppes of Kazakhstan than they did at Everest Base Camp (lots of big mountains in your face). Scott Parazynski and I used to have phone conversations with our families back home via our Iridium phone (that I smuggled into Nepal since no one knew how to give me a formal permit) albeit in 2 minute increments interspersed with 5 minute intervals of silence while another satellite popped into (and then out of) view. That said, Scott and the Singing Sherpas did manage to sing Happy Birthday to Mike Barratt on the ISS via an Iridium phone at 21,500 feet on Mt. Everest.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 3, 2010 1:48 AM.

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