Bill's Space and Astronomy Page

I was born a few months after the Sputnik launch and grew up watching the Apollo program, so I've always been interested in space exploration and astronomy.

While in the Dominican Republic I picked up a second-hand 4.5 inch reflector telescope and began to explore the heavens from 18.5 degrees north latitude. In spite of the tropical humidity, I had some pretty good views of the southern skies. I kept a log of my observations. If your interested in looking at my notes, click here: BILL'S OBSERVATION LOG

Also while in the Dominican Republic, I got interested in man-made satellites. I learned that many of them could be seen with the naked eye. I frequently watched the MIR space station, the Space Shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope and other spacecraft pass over my Santo Domingo front yard. My notes on many of these passes appear in the observation log.

Amateur Radio organizations have placed a number of small satellites in orbit. These spacecraft function as radio repeaters. I had a lot of fun sending signals through these "birds." Check out my article about SATELLITE ADVENTURES IN THE CARIBBEAN

Some of the satellites have on-board robots that will respond to radio amateurs attempting to contact them. In keeping with ham radio tradition, the contacts that result are acknowledged by the exchange of "QSL Cards" (post cards with station information).

One of the most my most amazing experiences as a ham radio operator began shortly after American Astronaut Norm Thagard travelled in a Russian rocket up to the MIR space station. Norm started using the ham radio equipment on the station and - from my island perch in the DR - I started talking to him via ham radio. Check out my article about FOLLOWING MIR 18 FROM THE CARIBBEAN

I recorded my radio contacts with the MIR Space Station and the Space Shuttle. You can listen in via a collection of audio clips from these contacts.

I was in the Azores Islands of Portugal from 2000-2003. There I worked through the International Space Station, and the tiny PC-Sat (a satellite buit by intrepid hams at the Naval Academy at Annapolis).  An article on these adventures appears in the September 2003 issue of QST.  Take a look at the article

Tracking and using amateur radio satellites is a fun and easy way to launch your own private "space program." Here's an article with with some hints on how to get started.
In London, I operate a 6 inch Dobsonian telescope (an Orion XT6 that my wife bought me for Christmas).  The skies are far from clear, but I still get great views of Saturn and Jupiter, and occassionally engage in some sidewalk astronomy. 

Please send comments to my e-mail address.