25th anniversary of first UK astronaut

From left to right are Anna-Karin G7IRR, Helen Sharman GB1MIR, Richard Horton G3XWH and Katy G7NST - Image Credit G3XWH

After her return to Earth the first UK astronaut Helen Sharman visited the Harrogate Ladies’ College club station G0HCA From left to right are Anna-Karin G7IRR, Helen Sharman GB1MIR, Richard Horton G3XWH and Katy G7NST – Image Credit G3XWH

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

Frank Bell G7CND on BBC The One Show

Helen Sharman GB1MIR

Helen Sharman GB1MIR

On Friday, February 26, BBC’s The One Show featured radio amateur Frank Bell G7CND, UK astronauts Helen Sharman GB1MIR and Tim Peake GB1SS along with the Oasis Academy Brightstowe ARISS contact

Frank is a retired Science teacher who was instrumental in the amateur radio linkup in 1991 between students at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford and the UK’s first astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR who was on the Mir Space Station. With Frank were two of his former pupils, Les and Pete, who took part in the contact nearly 25 years ago.

The Oasis Academy Brightstowe amateur radio contact with Tim Peake took place on February 19.

The ISS and amateur radio segment of the show starts at 4:50 into the recording at

ARISS UK video of the Oasis Academy Brightstowe contact

First UK astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR

ARISS Principia site https://principia.ariss.org/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see

Helen Sharman and Amateur Radio

Helen Sharman GB1MIR

Helen Sharman GB1MIR

The UK’s first astronaut Helen Sharman was asked about Amateur Radio on the BBC Radio 4 show Saturday Live broadcast December 12.

When asked by a listener, Brian, whether she still uses her amateur radio licence, she said:

“My amateur radio license was given to me very specially. I didn’t pass the tests in order to get it and I was only allowed to use it while I was in space, but I made friends all over the world. You can’t talk to a lot of people in Europe because there’s so many people trying to communicate with the space station but in parts of the world we’re it’s less populated, for instance in Australia, the astronauts do make friends that they’ve only ever met through the radio… it’s lovely.”

Read the full Essex Ham story and listen to the show at

Read about Helen Sharman’s amateur radio operation from the Mir Space Station at

Sarah Brightman to fly to International Space Station

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

On Wednesday, October 10 it was announced in Moscow that UK private spacefarer Sarah Brightman had passed the required mental and physical examinations to fly into space. In 2013 she will undertake six months of training at Star City in Moscow in preparation for her mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Continue reading

Rocket Science – Helen Sharman Interview

Helen Sharman GB1MIR was the first UK astronaut. On May 18, 1991, she flew to the Mir Space Station on board Soyuz-TM12, aged 27.

Before flying, Helen spent 18 months in intensive flight training in Star City on the outskirts of Moscow. The Soyuz TM-12 mission, which included Soviet cosmonauts Anatoly Artsebarsky and Sergei Krikalev, lasted eight days, most of that time spent at the Mir space station. Helen’s tasks included medical and agricultural scientific experiments, photographing the British Isles, and participating in an amateur radio hookup with UK schoolchildren.

Watch Rocket Science – Helen Sharman Interview

Since her return, Helen has become one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for science. She was awarded the OBE in 1992 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the British Interplanetary Society. Helen has won numerous awards including the Medal “For Merit in Space Exploration” in 2012 from the Russian Federation government. Helen is currently Group Leader of Surface and Nanoanalysis at the National Physical Laboratory.

Autumn OSCAR News

The autumn edition of the colour A4 newsletter OSCAR News is being posted to AMSAT-UK members this week

As usual it’s packed with Amateur Satellite articles:

– Haven’t Got A Callsign – regular column by Clive Wallis G3CWV
– Memories of working Astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR by Chris Lorek G4HCL
– Louis Varney Cup Presentation to Paul Robinson 2E1EUB
– ARISSat-1 Reception
– USA NTIA WRC proposal for an ITU “Educational” Satellite Service
– ARISSat Update
– FUNcube Testing at RAL
– Syncart geostationary transponder
– Report on First UK National Space Conference 2011
– FUNcube Project Report
– KiwiSAT Current Status
– IARU Region 1 Sun City Report
– 2011 AMSAT-UK Colloquium Report
– QB50 Latest News

To receive this copy of OSCAR News join AMSAT-UK online at

If you’ve never seen OSCAR News before you can get an idea of what it’s like by downloading a sample issue from http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf