Radio hams launch to ISS Wednesday

Danish Astronaut Dr Andreas Mogensen at an AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium

Danish Astronaut Dr Andreas Mogensen at AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium

Denmark’s first astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ is expected to blast-off to the ISS from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, September 2.

While on the ISS he plans to deploy two Danish CubeSats, GomX-3 and AAUSat-5 which both carry amateur radio payloads.

Onboard the Soyuz TMA-18M with Andreas will be Kazakhstan’s first cosmonaut Aydin Aimbetova who takes the mission place vacated by the UK’s Sarah Brightman. The commander is Sergey Volkov RU3DIS who, during an ISS spacewalk in 2011, deployed the KEDR/Radioskaf-B/ARISSat-1 satellite which carried an amateur radio transponder and Slow Scan TV.

These dates and frequencies are from Dmitry R4UAB
• Soyuz TMA-18M launch – Sept 2 at 07:37:43 (04:37:43 GMT)
• Docking with the ISS – Sept 4 at 10:42 (07:42 GMT) ± 3 minutes
• Planned mission duration for Sergey Volkov RU3DIS is 188 days.
• Planned mission duration for Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ and Aydin Aimbetova is 10 days
• Soyuz frequency 130.167 MHz
• ISS frequency 143.625 MHz

Danish CubeSats head for ISS

Follow Andreas KG5GCZ on Twitter


Amateur Radio and ISS on ABC radio show

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

On Thursday, August 20, Onno VK6FLAB was interviewed by Gillian O’Shaughnessy for the ABC 720 Breakfast Show to talk about Amateur Radio after a UK based radio ham, Adrian 2E0SDR, managed a contact with the ISS from his garden shed.

Read the ABC 720 Blog Post

Programme Stream

Sound Cloud

You can also download the interview as an MP3 file


Worldwide publicity for hobby from contact with the ISS by Adrian Lane 2E0SDR

What is Amateur Radio ?

Danish CubeSats head for ISS

GomX-3 being built - Credit ESA

GomX-3 being built – Credit ESA

Two CubeSats built in Denmark, GomX-3 and AAUSat-5, are on their way to the International Space Station.

Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ and Murray Niman G6JYB

Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ and Murray Niman G6JYB

Japan’s fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center on Wednesday, August 19 at 1150 UT. The HTV-5 is expected to arrive at the ISS on August 24 and the CubeSats will be unloaded for later deployment.

The 3 Unit CubeSat GomX-3 is part of the outreach programme for the visit of the Danish astronaut, Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ @Astro_Andreas, to the ISS. His Soyuz spacecraft is expected to launch on September 2. The project is supported and coordinated with ESA and the Danish Ministry of Science and Education.

A number of outreach activities are being planned that will involve schools, radio amateur societies and social media both during the astronaut mission and continuing with the CubeSat mission. The IARU have coordinated 437.250 MHz for the 1k2-9k6 bps beacon.

AAUSat-5 and Deployer - Credit ESA

AAUSat-5 and Deployer – Credit ESA

AAUsat-5 is a 1 Unit CubeSat built by students at Aalborg University. The primary mission is to test an improved receiver for detecting Automatic Identification System signals emitted by ships. Down on the ground, these signals are short-range, operating mainly on a ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship basis, leaving large spans of the world’s oceans uncovered. But signals also travel up to orbital altitude, opening up the prospect of worldwide monitoring. The IARU have coordinated 437.425 MHz for the GMSK beacon.

It is planned the CubeSats will be deployed by Andreas KG5GCZ after his arrival at the ISS in September. Once deployed the two spacecraft may have a lifetime of around 6-9 months before they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Watch AAUSAT5 CubeSat mission from the International Space Station

Andreas attended the 2009 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford.

Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ

IARU coordinated satellite frequencies information is at

Related ESA stories:

School students decode ISS images

ISS SSTV in the Deccan Chronicle

ISS SSTV in the Deccan Chronicle

Students at Sree Narayana Trust Higher Secondary School returned to the classroom during their holidays to receive amateur radio Slow Scan Television from the International Space Station.

The special ISS transmissions were made in July to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

The Deccan Chronicle newspaper reports that with the support of their teachers the students were able to decode the SSTV images on a frequency of 145.800 MHz FM.

The school has an amateur radio club, callsign VU2SQL, and the Principal is licenced radio amateur U.Jayan VU2JYU.

See the full article on the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) Facebook page at

Examples of ISS SSTV images received by radio amateurs can be seen at

ISS Slow Scan TV

When ISS Ham Radio might be off

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

Mike KC8YLD has posted some guidance as to when the Amateur Radio stations on the ISS would be turned off.

Current flight rules require all the ham radios to be off during an EVA. Technically, the VHF radios needs to be off for Russian EVAs and the UHF radio needs to be off for US EVAs.

For dockings and undockings, again the ISS operates under a flight rule that has the VHF/UHF radios off for Progress, Soyuz and ATV vehicle activity. Note that Cygnus, Dragon, HTV and formerly the Shuttle did not require the radios to be off.

For Ham TV, it will be off for any EVA. It needs to be off for ATV (the last one November) docking and undocking. It also has to be off when the Robotics arm is in close proximity.

Sites for information include:

There are Amateur Radio stations in both the ISS Russian Service module and the ESA Columbus module, see

ARISS International Meet This Week in Tokyo

ARISS LogoARISS International Delegates, its Board of Officers, and international team members will meet at Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan on August 20-23, 2015 for a critical meeting to discuss ARISS strategy, teamwork, hardware and operations.

Delegates are voting members of ARISS-I representating the 5 ISS member regions: United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.

The meeting will open with remarks from meeting host Keigo Komuro, JA1KAB from ARISS Japan and JARL.

Other agenda items will include:
• Welcome by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA & an Overview of the JAXA Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program
• ARISS working group business discussions and reports, including: regional reports, ARISS Terms of Reference update, space agency coordination status, sustainability & fundraising and ARISS future endeavors
• Technical discussions on current and future hardware developments, including: Next Generation ARISS Radio Systems, the Astro-Pi Project, and an update on the Ham-TV system
• Operations discussions, including presentations on: Educational Activities, International Expansion & Planning of SSTV. School
Selection and Regional Scheduling Procedures and plans for the
upcoming Tim Peake Mission

Along with their ambitious schedule the delegates will begin each day with an opportunity for informal discussions and will have the opportunity to visit the Tsukuba Space Center.

[ANS thanks ARISS-I for the above information]

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
• ARISS International organisation
• ARISS-Europe Terms of Reference
• ISS Amateur Radio stations

“First” UK radio ham to contact space station astronauts

Mir Space Station

Mir Space Station

A newspaper story says a Swindon radio amateur was believed to be the first in the UK to contact an astronaut on a space station, the Russian Mir, which hosted UK and USA astronauts.

The story published in the Swindon Advertiser on August 7 says: “…it took place almost 20 years before another amateur hit the headlines this week for doing the same thing.

Radio ham Donald Shirreff [G3BGM], who died in 2010, was believed to be the first amateur radio enthusiast to successfully make contact with astronauts aboard an international space station more than 19 years ago.

In 1996, former MI5 agent Donald, then 77, took an unusual approach to his retirement and set his sights on contacting cosmonauts aboard Russian space station Mir.”

Read the Swindon Advertiser story at

However, it appears there were many other UK contacts with Mir prior to Donald Shirreff G3BGM. See details of the contacts made in 1991 by Chris Lorek G4HCL and radio amateurs in schools across the UK at

On Aug 7,  commenting on the Daily Mail website on the story about a recent ISS amateur radio contact, Donald Shirreff’s son (User ID crunchbard) posted:

“My father Donald Shirreff (1918-2010) used to communicate in the 1990s with Russian cosmonauts on the Mir space station as it flew over his Wiltshire farmhouse. He was a keen radio ham, with a 40-foot mast in the garden. Though he spoke some Russian he often used Yana, a Russian friend, as translator. The cosmonauts seemed to enjoy this light relief after hard work over Russian territory. His greatest coup was to talk to British-born Michael Foale when he was a guest on Mir.”

See the Daily Mail story and his son’s comment at

Donald Shirreff G3BGM Obituary

August 2015 UK radio ham’s ISS contact in the press

UK radio ham’s ISS contact in the press

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Adrian Lane 2E0SDR got some great publicity for the hobby in national newspapers and TV about an amateur radio contact he had with an astronaut on the International Space Station.

Many of the ISS astronauts hold amateur radio licences. In their spare time they carry out scheduled amateur  contacts with school students and occasionally talk direct to individual radio amateurs in their home.

Recently astronaut Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS has carried out several ARISS educational contacts using the ISS amateur radio station located in the ESA Columbus module with the callsign NA1SS. There is another ISS amateur radio station in the Russian Service module which uses the callsign RS0ISS. A description of the stations can be found at

Adrian Lane 2E0SDR

Adrian Lane 2E0SDR

Adrian spoke to a local newspaper about his ISS contact and the story, which also mentioned the Ruardean Hill Radio Club, appeared in The Citizen on August 4, 2015. From there it was picked up by other news outlets.

The story was published in the Thursday, August 6, 2015 edition of many UK national daily newspapers including The Sun, The Times, Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Mirror.

The Thursday edition of the BBC Radio 4 Today show also featured the story at 8:09:46am. To hear it fast forward to 2:09:46 in this recording: it was also mentioned on BBC Radio 5.

During Thursday evening the story featured on the TV news station CNN.

On Friday, August 7, Adrian was interviewed about the contact on the BBC TV Victoria Derbyshire programme and was mentioned on the BBC World Service. Watch the BBC TV interview at

The online version of the Daily Mail story features a video interview with Adrian 2E0SDR

Watch CNN – Ham radio and the ISS broadcast 1930 GMT Aug 6, 2015

Read the Telegraph story at

Read the Mirror newspaper story at

The Sun newspaper story is behind a paywall at

The Register story: HAM IN SPAAAAAACE

On Thursday, August 20, 2015 Onno VK6FLAB was interviewed by Gillian O’Shaughnessy for the ABC 720 breakfast show to talk about Amateur Radio as a direct result of the ISS contact by Adrian 2E0SDR.

List of some of the astronauts who have held amateur radio licences


AMSAT-UK publishes a newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.
Join AMSAT-UK via the online shop at

What is Amateur Radio ?

Scout ISS ham radio contact video

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Scouts at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree at Bunkyo-ku in Japan had an amateur radio contact with the International Space Station.

The contact on July 31, 2015 was between 8N23WSJ and NA1SS operated by astronaut Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS @astro_kjell from the ISS Columbus module.

Watch Radio scouting with the ISS

ARISS 23rd World Scout Jamboree contact

23rd World Scout Jamboree

Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA

Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who holds the amateur radio callsign IZ0JPA, will be heading for space a third time, as part of Expeditions 52 and 53 to the International Space Station. He will be launched on a Soyuz vehicle in May 2017 on a five-month mission.

The new mission is part of a barter agreement between NASA and Italy’s ASI space agency involving ESA astronauts. It will be ASI’s third long-duration flight, following Luca Parmitano’s Volare in 2013 and Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura this year.

Paolo’s first spaceflight was his two-week Esperia mission on the Space Shuttle’s STS-120 in 2007, ASI’s second short-duration flight under the barter agreement. One of his main tasks was to help install the Node-2 module on the Space Station.

He returned to the Station in 2010 for ESA’s 160-day MagISStra mission as part of Expeditions 26 and 27. In addition to his many experiments, he was involved in the dockings of two cargo craft: Europe’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle and Japan’s second HII Transfer Vehicle.

Following his second flight, Paolo worked at ESA’s ESRIN centre in Italy and at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. He recently began training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow, Russia, for his new adventure.

March 2015 Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA at at BBC Solar Eclipse event