On May 20, 1991 Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR arrived on the Mir Space Station.
She launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on May 18, 1991 arriving at the space station 2 days later. During her 6 day stay on Mir she used amateur radio to linkup with students at 9 schools in the UK.
Using the callsign, GB0JUNO, six students who held Full amateur licences established the initial contact with Helen from the Harrogate Ladies’ College and then passed transmission to the other eight schools involved in the experiment. Katy G7NST asked Helen the first question: “If you had no clock on board Mir, what would give you sense of time in space?”.
In addition to the school linkups Helen also made some random contacts on 2m FM, one of those fortunate to speak to her was Chris Lorek G4HCL.
Read more about the amateur radio side of Helen’s mission and download the RSGB RadCom article about the JUNO project at https://amsat-uk.org/about/history/first-uk-astronaut-helen-sharman-gb1mir/
Astronaut Helen Sharman is appearing at the Science Museum May 21 to talk about her work in space and answer questions from the public https://londonist.com/2016/05/meet-astronaut-helen-sharman-at-the-science-museum