The Space Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) was a program to use Amateur Radio equipment on the Space Shuttle and was sponsored by AMSAT, NASA, and the ARRL. It has since been superseded by ARISS, Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station.
STS-67 / ASTRO-2 launched at 0638 on 02 MAR 1995 and our group was one of only 26 to be chosen to participate in SAREX! On March 14, 1995, at about 6:45 p.m. CST, students from Watson Elementary School in Huntsville, Arkansas, with assistance from ARCUA, were able to contact NASA astronaut William Gregory aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour!
After almost three years of planning, everything went perfectly. Twelve children were able to ask 14 questions of Lt Col Gregory during the eight minutes allotted to the school. Questions ranged from “What inspired you to become an astronaut?” (“No one had to twist my arm. I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid”) to “What experiments are you working on?” (a control system and SAREX). Needless to say, the contact exceeded all of the ARCUA crew’s expectations.
This could not have happened were it not for the following people: Dan Puckett K5FXB, Jeff McFarland KB5RUI, Professor Charlton K5GOE, Clendon Gibson KC5JDO, Lynn N0PMQ and Andy KB0PBH Janes, Walt Carter N5YGR, Frank Buercklin KB5WAR, Ryan Wells KC5LDD and TV Boy, Kevin Thornton KC5LDC. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for making this a success. – Peter Laws N5UWY
[Editor’s Note: This content was copied nearly verbatim from the “old” W5YM website.]