On behalf of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International team, it is with heartfelt sadness that I announce the passing of Rob Haighton, VE3FRH. Rob suffered a stroke earlier this week, was admitted to the hospital and became a Silent Key on the morning of December 2.
Rob was Past President of AMSAT-NA. As a founding member of ARISS, Rob also served as one of two international delegates from Canada. As my AMSAT “boss” and “up North” delegate, I had a unique perspective and relationship with Rob that I very much appreciated. Rob contributed significantly to ARISS through ideas, guidance and council. When we were faced with issues, Rob challenged me and others within ARISS to look at things in different perspectives. As a result of his sage advice, we were able to work through these issues and come to a resolution which benefited all. Rob was instrumental in forming the ARISS international team during our early days. Through his responsibilities as AMSAT President, he made sure that we were able to develop and deliver the ARISS hardware systems and support the technical mentoring of the schools and local hams. Rob quietly provided outstanding leadership that enabled ARISS to grow and evolve into the outstanding ham radio educational outreach program that it is today.
Just two weeks ago, at our International Delegates meeting, ARISS held a 20th anniversary celebration dinner and recognized those that have provided long-time support to ARISS. We especially recognized those founders, or pioneers, who were instrumental in developing the ARISS program from the ground up. Rob was recognized that evening as one of the ARISS founding members. We thank Rob for all he has done for ARISS. His legacy will live on, within the hearts of children and family members that experience ARISS and its connections with human spaceflight exploration.
Please take some time to keep Rob and his family in your thoughts and prayers. ARISS will miss Rob, and his legacy of excellence, very deeply.
Rob, may your spirit soar amongst the stars!
73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs