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Survey Question
What is your experience with contacting astronauts in the ISS or other space vehicles?
  Posted: Oct 25, 2016   (690 votes, 26 comments) by N2MG

  I have succeeded, and have even demonstrated this to others including non-hams
  I have succeeded on many attempts
  Tried many time, always failed
  Tried once, failed
  Interested, never tried
  No Interest
    (690 votes, 26 comments)

Survey Results
I have succeeded, and have even demonstrated this to others including non-hams 4% (26)
I have succeeded on many attempts 7% (48)
Tried many time, always failed 6% (44)
Tried once, failed 4% (31)
Interested, never tried 46% (315)
No Interest 29% (201)
Other 4% (25)

Survey Comments
I got communications with the MIR. It was
amazing to contact a flying overhead mailbox!
The antenna was made out of coat hangers and
PVC pipe.

Posted by W8LV on January 26, 2017

Fond Memories
I missed out on the first Sarex mission but
managed to work every other shuttle mission
beginning with STS-35. Most of those
contacts were both voice and packet. One
that really stands out was a contact with
KC5HBV on the 25th anniversary of the Apollo
11 mission.

Back in the mid 1990's, Norman Thagard was
the first American on the Mir station. I
believe he was a little home sick and
frequently used ham radio to keep in touch.
He was an avid football fan and was always
happy to get the scores.

If I remember correctly, my last space
contact was with the International Space
Station while I was operating the field day
satellite station with a large crowd

My days of working satellites came to a
screeching stop when I retired and began the
nomad lifestyle of full time RV'ing.

73 es Safe Travels...

Posted by K4RS on November 28, 2016

ISS Contact
As N6JSX already stated, they seem to be only interested in classroom QSOs to promote the sciences. Since Doug Wheelock, they seem not to be interested in talking to the hams. If you look at most of the comments, contacts took place years ago. Don't they realize that by talking to us (which includes young hams), they are supporting both ham radio and the sciences. It's really a wasted opportunity. I hope things change.

Posted by K1CHT on November 26, 2016

Space Shuttles/ISS
I've had MANY contacts with the Space Shuttles as well with the ISS. Received several QSL's from them as well. W5LFL was my first as well as his first flight with Ham Radio. 2 good contacts on two different Shuttle trips. Tony England, W0ORE, had SSTV set up and we made a good 2-way SSTV contact which I recorded the pictures of Tony as he was waving into the camera. Enjoyed watching this over and over several times. But tape only lasts so long and it had completely disentigrated the pictures a few years ago. I still have the QSL however. I had about 5 contacts all together with shuttles. I've really made almost 12 contacts with ISS. Once while sitting in a store's parking lot over my TM-271A a had a quick hello to Col.Wheelcock. Probably 6 contacts with the Col. Once he recognized my calling and said "Hello, Dan! How's it going?" That was a thrill of course. I never used special equipment. Just plain old everyday 2 meter stuff. Even on an HT once. Don't get discouraged. It's not hard if you will call immediately after their last word. Make your callsign fast but very clear and let go of the mike button quickly. They can't pull off to the side and chat awhile, you know!! Good luck! by WA5CYR

Posted by WA5CYR on November 22, 2016

Talked to John Blaha on Mir 1/4/1997. I was jumping around like a kid after the roughly 1:19 contact. "I did it! I did it!"
Also made many packet connects and one with a shuttle and the ISS. They thrill me more than any DX contact!

Posted by KB2SMS on November 21, 2016

My reason for answering "other" is that you
didn't allow for a response such as, "Yes,
once!", which is what happened to me. With
W5LFL under my older 6-land callsign.

Posted by K7DAA on November 21, 2016

Contacts with MIR arround 1997-2000, it was fabulous!

Posted by VE2TKH on November 13, 2016

Contacted ISS once
I had to reply other because I only contacted the ISS once,
back in there 1980's when Owen Garriot was aboard. I was
from my car with a 2-meter mag mount and 10 watt rig.

Posted by N3ZP on November 13, 2016

I forgot about MIR,

I also have several U5MIR, QSO's during the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Also while mobile from Mt. Bigelow (tucson Az) and a few from Flagstaff.

Mir was fun back in the late 1980's to the early 1990's especially from Arizonas HIGH MOUNTAINS.

Posted by WB8VLC on November 12, 2016

Contact Space Vehicles
Contacted the ISS field day 2012,73's ALL KB3WGE a.k.a. Jimi.

Posted by KB3WGE on November 9, 2016

Early Shuttle...
I got through once during the STS-9, Columbia
mission back in 1983 talking to W5LFL. Quite a
thrill to get through the east coast pileup.

Posted by K3GM on November 9, 2016

would love to
I started learning it back in 2008, I still have my WWII era key. I don't have a rig right now but looking for a duel band. I know there's a CW segment of 2 meter, not sure how to go about using it from a 2m mobile.

Posted by KB1ODG on November 8, 2016

be fun I suppose...not unlike a rare dx station

Posted by W7WQ on November 4, 2016

Many contacts with MIR with non Hams present and I met some cosmonauts in a hotel that were in transit to watch it burn up on re-entry.

Posted by ZL4IV on November 3, 2016

During August to October of 2010 I had over 10 contacts with Doug, NA1SS, using a 20 watt mobile radio and a quarter wave whip from my Prescott Arizona QTH.

Ok so living in a 5700 foot location makes it easy even while operating mobile around town.

Posted by WB8VLC on November 2, 2016

Why bother
ISS is only interested in Classroom PR, HAMdom can suck on the hind T!T. NASA does not care about HAMdom only what ISS can get in good NASA PR!

With NO published ISS schedule for open HAM passes why try? I've tried and failed many times hoping to snag them at the end of a classroom interchange but notta and with a 7min max fly-by window is an axiom in futility...

Heck, NASA will not even put the HAM station in repeater mode when not in use - NASA merely tolerates earth HAMs for their PR agenda!

Posted by N6JSX on November 1, 2016

Very Exciting
In 2010 I had a short QSO with Doug Wheelock
when he was on board. My wife was in the room
and she was blown away, we were both pretty
excited! I framed the QSO card and it's hanging
on the wall in the shack.

Posted by N7KFD on October 29, 2016

Tried twice, succeeded once
Back in the very old days I got a packet radio connect to the MIR space station and exchanged greetings with cosmonaut Musa Manarov. Just 'Hi, GL, 73', but I did it and have a qsl card to prove it. I've heard ISS a few times and a few passes of SO-50, but no 2-way qso's. I'll be back on satellites 'for real' in a few months.

Posted by K7NG on October 28, 2016

Chance Contact
I was set up for our annual JOTA event in the
radio room at a Charleston, SC area BSA camp.
I had no scouts in the radio room at the time
and was looking at Orbitron for future ISS
passes. Since there was a medium elevation
pass coming up, I setup the radio and
listened. I heard NA1SS come up on FM voice
and answered his call. We had a short
exchange and he called for other stations.
Since no one else answered, we were to able
to continue our conversation for several

15 OCT 2011, 2339Z, 145.8 MHz

Posted by KG4RUL on October 28, 2016

Sputnik, 60 yrs later
I remember listening to Sputnik years ago on a
shortwave receiver belonging to a close friend of my
father. I also remember both my Uncle Warren and my
father being extremely excited when we all actually
began to hear it. I was only about 5 or 6 years old at the
time and I had no idea how historic and significant it
was, but I also remember everybody talking about it.

Posted by KK9H on October 28, 2016

I have communicated to a $300 million dollar spacecraft(satellite)multiple times (telemetry and control) during our baseline, vibration, thermal vacuum and pre-launch engineering tests. Does that count? Someday amateur radio will get a 3-axis stabilized geostationary bird and not worry about LEO (low earth orbit) satellites.

Posted by KB6QXM on October 27, 2016

I have communicated to a $300 million dollar spacecraft(satellite)multiple times (telemetry and control) during our baseline, vibration, thermal vacuum and pre-launch engineering tests. Does that count? Someday amateur radio will get a 3-axis stabilized geostationary bird and not worry about LEO (low earth orbit) satellites.

Posted by KB6QXM on October 27, 2016

Just Not Into It Here, I'm Afraid...!
I seem to have enough challenges to keep me going here ---
confined to the surface of Mother Earth --- with the HF
spectrum & ionospheric propagation, to even want to venture
forth into this niche of the hobby...

Then again, I'm pre-historic --- but if this is "...your thing,"
though, by all means, embrace it with as much gusto &
enthusiasm that you can muster --- and more power to you,

Posted by VE3CUI on October 26, 2016

Nat Geo's "Before Mars"

Posted by N2MG on October 26, 2016

Contact with MIR, many years ago. Nothing
since then.

Posted by N5TXN on October 26, 2016

Space Shuttle
My first attempt was trying to contact W5LFL, on space
shuttle mission STS-9 - what a trip!

Posted by WA0TML on October 25, 2016

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