NIKISKI, ALASKA.., February 2006 -- The SETI League, nonprofit leaders in the privatized Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, is pleased to confirm that on Jan. 21, 2006 at 2142 UTC, its volunteer Regional Coordinator for Alaska, ham radio operator Ed Cole (licensed with the amateur radio callsign KL7UW), made two-way first contact with a space citizen. That entity's name is "Bill," and he currently lives in orbit around the Earth. The contact took place in the 144 MHz amateur radio band, using a standard FM transceiver and simple base-whip antenna.
Bill is, of course, US astronaut Cmdr. Bill McArthur, residing on the International Space Station orbiting Earth in a nominal 200-mile orbit. Bill is also ham radio operator KC5ACR. For months, he has been actively trying to become the first radio amateur to earn the Worked All States (WAS) award, issued to radio amateurs making two-way radio contact with hams in all 50 US states, as well as the challenging Worked All Continents (WAC) and 100 countries (DXCC) awards, from space. He had contacted radio amateurs in 49 states, but number 50, Alaska, had eluded him. Through coordination with several hams, including Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston TX, Bill and Ed made the final contact enabling Bill to achieve WAS. The space station's orbital pass reached an elevation of 14 degrees at a range of about 2000-km as viewed from Alaska, and lasted about ten minutes.
During the pass two other Alaska radio amateurs, Dale, KL7XJ and Ken, KL0RG, also talked with Bill. "Now that we have succeeded in establishing contact beyond Earth," adds Ed Cole, "we can get back to work trying to achieve an even greater challenge, detecting credible scientific evidence of other civilizations outside our solar system."
Largely using radio telescopes and optical telescopes, SETI scientists seek to determine whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have privatized the research. Amateur and professional scientists interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, and citizens wishing to help support it, should email join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.
entire website copyright © The SETI League, Inc.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 4 February 2006
Top of Page