Frank Bauer, KA3HDO and ARISS-USA Executive Director announced yesterday that the Amateur Radio Exploration (AREx) team of ARISS and AMSAT proposal to fly amateur radio hardware and cameras on NASA’s Artemis II mission to the moon was not “competitively selected”.

Artemis II will be the first crewed and second lunar mission conducted under NASA’s Artemis program, which has the overall goal of establishing a sustained presence on the moon to ultimately support sending humans to Mars.

The opportunity provided a better look at the overall selection process and despite not being selected this time, KA3HDO said this experience will be beneficial down the road:

Despite this loss, the AREx team learned a great deal in the development of the proposal and were able to significantly refine our lunar payload design concept. A concept that can now meet Gateway payload requirements. This new design will position our amateur radio team for future lunar opportunity requests as well as to communicate our readiness to fly as a payload on the Lunar Gateway mission.

Humans are moving into space and in the same way the polar explorers brought amateur radio along with them in the 20th century, 21st century space explorers will do the same.

In many ways the future of ham radio is in space.

In another decade hams won’t chase satellites in low-earth orbit, but will instead point their antennas at outposts on the moon and eventually, Mars. Our need for accelerated innovation in the area of deep space communication networks to support these planned missions will be the fuel that sustains and grows our hobby deep into its Second Century and beyond.