A Ham Hijinks staff report
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA officials, in a surprise announcement today, named their first choice for a five-member crew that will head to Mars by 2025. To the astonishment of many, the man is an amateur radio operator.
The chosen ham, now a soon-to-be astronaut, is Bill Thompson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Thompson, who is well known in the amateur radio community, is the net control station for the nightly “Midwest 80m Rag Chew Net.” He can often be heard talking about his award-winning milk bottle collection and his fascination with color variations in rare African violets.
Officials at the space agency said a ham radio operator was a natural choice for the mission.
“Yeah, we needed a way to get the other astronauts into a deep sleep for the long journey,” said NASA spokesperson Ned Berkinhopper.
photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via photopin cc