The Radio & TV Correspondents’ Association (RTCA) has honored Cox Media Group Senior Washington Correspondent Jamie Dupree, NS3T, with its 2018 Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress. Dupree received the award during the RTCA annual dinner earlier this month, and the presentation was broadcast nationwide on C-SPAN2.

The Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress honors a Capitol Hill broadcaster who represents career achievement and dedication to Congressional coverage, recognizing “rare, exceptional careers and signifies the admiration of the many broadcasters who follow behind and benefit from the work of the recipient,” RTCA said on its website.

Dupree’s ability to speak was severely impaired in 2016 by a rare disorder, putting his radio broadcasting career on hold. A technological solution returned his voice to the airwaves, however. As the 54-year-old contester and Potomac Valley Radio Club member explained in a blog post last June, a Scottish company, CereProc, sifted through years of Dupree’s archived audio and built a voice for him — which he calls “Jamie Dupree 2.0” — that allows him to file radio reports again in a computer-generated voice. Dupree has been a radio broadcaster since 1983. 

AMSAT-NA has congratulated AMSAT-DL (Germany) and the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) for their roles in the successful launch on November 15 of the Es’hail-2 satellite, which carried AMSAT-DL’s Phase 4-A transponder aloft. Es’hail-2 will be the first geostationary satellite to sport an Amateur Radio transponder. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle, Es’hail will be capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand, although it’s unlikely to be accessible from North America with typical Amateur Radio satellite gear. 

“I applaud the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and AMSAT-DL’s achievement, the result of 6 years of work,” AMSAT President Joe Spier, K6WAO, said. “To be a first at something in space is indeed a rare, rare honor. It is this type of honor that AMSATs around the world work on every day.”

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International delegates were pleased to learn last week that an ARISS plan is under consideration by NASA’s Deep Space Gateway (DSG) program. NASA Gateway Utilization Manager John Guidi, ex-KF4YUI, informed those attending the annual ARISS International in-person meeting, held in College Park, Maryland, that ARISS is the only noncommercial entity whose ideas are under study by the program. The ARISS plan focuses on Amateur Radio communication, including optical communication channels, as well as equipment development, team cooperation, education, and public outreach.

“Naturally, because the NASA Deep Space Gateway program is so new and has yet to be fleshed out, ARISS needs to follow NASA’s lead in being open to how the DSG program flows,” ARRL ARISS-US Delegate Rosalie White, K1STO, explained. “ARISS’s first moves need to be loose enough that the plan, development, and execution can go in ways that dovetail with what is needed.”

[UPDATED on 10/22/2018 @ 1707 UTC] “Signals on this end are loud,” was the assessment as the VP6D Ducie Island DXpedition got under way over the weekend. “Pileups have been deep, energetic and generally well behaved. Thank you.” So far, the main priority has been setting up the CW camp and more antennas.

 “Over the next 2 to 3 days, we’ll complete the antenna work, including 30, 80, and 160,” a Team Ducie update said. “Because of the undergrowth, stringing radials is a challenge.” Currently erected are four-squares for 40 meters and vertical-dipole arrays for the high bands. SteppIR beams are scheduled to go up later today (October 22). DX Summit indicates activity on 160 through 15 meters, SSB, CW, and FT8, with US stations reporting success on Top Band. “We are progressing well,” the update said. The DXpedition in an update said that some callers are using the wrong version of FT8. The correct version is WSJT-X 1.9.1 in DX mode, in “hound” configuration. reporting success on Top Band. “We are progressing well,” the update said.

“My best day as a teacher!” That was educator Kathryn Craven’s exuberant reaction following a successful October 22 ham radio contact between International Space Station (ISS) crew member Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, and youngsters at Ashford School in Ashford, Connecticut. ARRL Headquarters provided equipment for the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)-sponsored event, and several ARRL Headquarters staffers were among those assisting in setting up the station, working with teachers, students, and the media, shooting photos, and offering other support. 

The entire student body of the kindergarten-through-eighth grade school in northeastern Connecticut sat in rapt attention during the event, as a dozen of their classmates spoke directly to Auñón-Chancellor, who was at the helm of NA1SS on the ISS. Using ARRL’s equipment, members of the Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association (ECARA) set up the Earth station (KZ1M), with technical and hands-on help from W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, who also assisted in summoning NA1SS for the approximately 10-minute pass.