Welcome to MARS

This is an on-line forum for those of us that are interested in re-activating the Michael Kalange Memorial Station (WA4NZD) located in Bldg 4622 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, near Huntsville Alabama. In 2010 we succeeded in reactivating the MSFC Amateur Radio Club ..!..

(This is NOT an Official NASA/MSFC web site.) At least initially we needed such a forum to collect our thoughts, resources, and visions of what we could do. Going forward, we will continue to need the support and interest of (Civil Servants/Contractors/Retired) ham radio operators at MSFC and RSA – that see the value in having this radio club again. We all have our day-jobs and busy schedules, and often don’t have time to consider turning on the radio at home to escape into the ether for even just a few minutes – but this type of organization actually can provide us with a means to facilitate those brief escapes… We can share our collective strengths and visions into establishing a team that is not only preserving a legacy and building an operating environment for our enjoyment, but offering our new hams an opportunity to associate with and learn from the more experienced hams in our community.

There is great public service and educational opportunities here as well. We intend to again become attached to the Marshall Emergency Operations Center, as an auxiliary communications facility – and exercise mutual aid agreements with neighboring emergency preparedness organizations within Madison County and the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.

We need this club not only for our own creative outlet, but the public wants to be connected to the space program – and WA4NZD was once able to help meet that need by operating special events and commemorative activities. The Amateur Radio International Space Station program (ARISS) is in need of ground stations to help support the numerous school contacts that have become so popular. We CAN do it again. We WILL do it again. We ARE on the right track.

This forum does not require registration for you to post your comments, but it will be moderated. There will be a ‘members-only‘ forum once things start moving a little better. Right now we need to use this site to bring attention to our mission, rally our team efforts, and collect supporters.

At this point the club has an interim collection of officers, about 20 paid-up members, and an approved budget; but primarily we are just a group of Amateur Radio operators interested in pooling our resources to bring this station back to life. We have a lot of neglect and loss of momentum to overcome. If you have anything to say, some worthwhile equipment to donate, or some time to help, please let us know. We need to be sure that there is enough support to sustain this venture and that members of the community feel that this is again a worthwhile cause.

The station at the original location had not been active for nearly a decade, and some entropy effects need to be reversed. We still have a minimal HF station, and a rudimentary satellite ground station. Just recently we have activated a packet BBS station to provide simple messaging ability. There is tremendous potential here, and a fair amount of good equipment that still wants to be used. Possibilities exist that additional equipment, facilities and opportunities may also become available. IF the club can continue on this hot track we can explore further future projects. We will never know what we might have been able to accomplish if we don’t try hard enough now.

We will post some stories with pics and ideas on here, so that we can spread the word and generate more interest. Tell your friends about this site, so that we can build up enough steam to keep things moving. Who knows where all it may go from here, but one thing is for sure – if we DON’T keep going – we will again lose this resource and have NO Amateur Radio presence at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

We want to thank Don Hediger – (N4MSN) for his perception to hang onto this piece of history, and for keeping the bulldozers away and the building power on. Kudos also extend to Paul Dumbacher – (W4PD) for keeping the license up to date, and trying to see into the future. I know that they are both very busy people and that without them, we would not have had this chance.

I’m here to help, how about you ? . . . . .
You can send me email via wa4nzd(at)somenet(dot)net.
Alan Sieg – (WB5RMG)
(also) Network Systems Analyst for NASA/MSFC/Colsa @ HOSC
(also) ARRL/ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Madison County