back to article HAM IN SPAAAAAACE! ISS astronaut contacted by Gloucestershire bloke in garden shed

Radio ham Adrian Lane was able to send his "73" (ham lingo for "best regards") to an American astronaut as the International Space Station passed over Gloucestershire. The amateur operator told The Telegraph of his communication with the International Space Station from his garden shed in the small market town of Coleford. …

  1. Brian Morrison


    Er, no, that's his shack...

  2. Jimboom

    Sounds like the original wife "you are spending too much time online" complaint

    And I am sure the husbands excuse for not going out and doing something in the "real" world would be the same as any Mmorpg/Xbox/Online gamer. "But honey, I don't need to go out, I am actually playing/talking/interacting with REAL people all around the world!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like the original wife "you are spending too much time online" complaint

      "...actually playing/talking/interacting with REAL people all around the world!"

      Ham radio A.I.:

      10 SPEAK "599 QSL via buro CQ Contest"

      20 GOTO 10

      This two-line program has won several Ham radio contests over the past few years.

  3. Jim 59

    Astonishing and brilliant.

    "former lorry driver plotted the approximate path of the ISS using Michael Lodge-Paolini's-"

    say whaaaaaaaat? Bloke should get an hon. degree from somewhere or other.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      You can sign up for NASA email alerts when the station is going to pass over your location here at their Spot The Station site.

      I have it, and get updates most days of appearances. Seen it a good few times, always amazes quite how fast and how bright it is, and indeed how large it appears even to the naked eye. This is of course when it isn't being obscured by the great British summertime, aka cloud and rain.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Or ISS Detector from the Play store?

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Or Orbitron

      Postcard ware.

      YEARS ago put Orbitron on Scout hut wall via video projector.

      Mag mount car aerial on scout hut roof.

      Mobile Radio was pinched from car too.,

      Sure enough the radio woke up with chatter when the edge of footprint touched our city

      Amateurs world wide doing this for years. People on ISS are often also Hams.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All very well, but...

    How is this news? It happens regularly. Maybe not in Gloucester, but in most other parts of the world.

    Astronauts get to play radio in their free time as the relaxed, friendly communication with random people is great for their mental health.

    Personally, I like it when they use the SSTV gear up there - there's nothing quite like receiving a picture directly from space!

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: All very well, but...

      "there's nothing quite like receiving a picture directly from space!"

      I don't quite get the same feeling when I'm watching anything on Freesat, but if that's what does it for you then who am I to question?

    2. ingie

      Re: All very well, but...

      v true.

      This was a report about my good friend from school and occastional work colleague Matty from 8 (EIGHT) years ago, he's always doing this sort of shizzle.

      ( We often converse over cunning electronic projects - me being the student, he being the master)

      ... my favourite part of the report they put on TV back then was that Matty was playing a CD of the band he was in (all members being friends I've played music with myself) in the background while he chatted... The Tholtan Builders (you haven't heard of them, probably) thus being the first Manx Band in spaaaace, sortof :)

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: All very well, but...

      Actually I imagine of all places in the world it happens most in Gloucester. At least the receiving part.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats to say

    3 streets over, someone else with a ham setup and a goof faux American accent isn't pulling his leg??

  6. Emo

    Kelly has no HAM license

    Commander Scott Kelly was asked this the other day if he used amateur radio - no license.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Kelly has no HAM license

      NASA are well aware of what happens too :)

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. TheNSA

    CQ CQ Space nerds.

    No need for a shack, just stand outside with a £40 handheld from eBay, 145.800 mhz FM is where you'll want to listen, they even have an AX.25 packet repeater on 145.825, hope the bloke sent more than just 73's, a callsign would be good! Still not a bad contact to have in your log book.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: CQ CQ Space nerds.

      I've received the packet data with a £10 DVB SDR, and the Amateur radio conversations have been going on for some years and are routine (though I've never attempted it).

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: CQ CQ Space nerds.

      It's late in the evening; how long's he had on the clothes he wears?

      A ten second pass but no time to stop and stare

      And then I asked , "Does it look all right?"

      "That's a no-brainer; you look 73^3 tonight."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CQ CQ Space nerds.

      I would love to the the astronaut's logbook:

      Location : 17.55N 28.25W, altitude 402km, speed: 27623km/h

      notes: contact lost after 53 seconds (horizon got in the way)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is Kjell Lindgren who holds an amateur radio licence, callsign KO5MOS. Kjell would have been operating the ISS amateur radio station in the Columbus module using the station callsign NA1SS. See AMSAT-UK at

  10. Steve I

    If it had been me...

    ...just for a laugh I'd have asked him if he'd had a credit card or loan from a UK bank within the last 10 years and had he been paying PPI?

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: If it had been me...

      Genius. It would be the ultimate literal cold call.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: If it had been me...

      That would be an embarrassing way to discover the secret orbital weapons capability that's been fitted to the ISS for a few years now...

      Still, you've got to go eventually. So why not impress your friends with your originality.

    3. BongoJoe

      Re: If it had been me...

      Surely a more important question would be to ask if he wanted double glazing?

  11. Irongut

    Why is this news?

    I spoke to a British female astronaught on the Shuttle using ham radio from my bedroom around 1990 (sorry don't remember the date or her name). I was 17 years old. I should have a tape of the conversation somewhere.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Why is this news?

      Helen Sharman?

      She's about the right vintage for the timescale, and I think is about the only British female astronaut there has been. Although having said that I didn't think she'd been on the shuttle, but rather on the Russian Soyuz launches.

    2. David Kelly 2

      Re: Why is this news?

      Around here amateur radio volunteers go to schools all the time to host a sked with (former) Space Shuttle or ISS. In 1993 I worked for Owen Garriott W5LFL the first ever to operate amateur radio from space (1983) and was shown the actual radio used which he kept in his office. The height of my career.

    3. Rusty 1

      Re: Why is this news?

      Don't be such a cockwomble (learned that here today!)

      This is all cool stuff. Chap in ordinary place with simple kit contacts chap in extraordinary place speeding around planet with simple kit despite massive closing speed. Timing is everything.

      I'm sure you did it a while ago, but every time there is a vulnerability with Flash, Exchange, etc. it is reported enthusiastically. Why aren't we happy with the first one?

      This stuff is exciting, it's cool, it is to be applauded. The low budget of entry is interesting.

  12. Lamb0

    Did the sheep eat your decimal places?

    "at 18,500mph, or 0.2759 per cent" - You're missing two of them.

    0.002759 per cent or 0.2759 hundredths per cent of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum would be a bit closer to the mark.

    I know, it's tough sticking the decimal in the correct place. The teacher called it "Dimensional Analysis" as part of "New Math; which sounded like a real eye glazer when my class learned that trick way back when... in Fourth Grade. Unfortunately here in the states they're trying to make Elementary Mathematics even more obfuscated with "Common Core"; too often taught by those who have little understanding of Mathematics. (sigh)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did the sheep eat your decimal places?

      I think you are getting confused with multiplication. A percentage is already shifted 2 digits. 0.2759% is 0.002759 times

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: Did the sheep eat your decimal places?

      0.2759% is the official result for 18,500mph

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    Come in Expedition 44

    Your time is up.

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Meager terrestrial comestibles ?

    Come on. I would be thrilled for an opportunity to spend some time aboard the ISS, but I do believe that after five weeks of pre-chewed food packets sipped from a straw, every astronaut must be dying for the taste of a good steak.

  15. earl grey Silver badge

    He's out in the shed

    Well, at least he's not out back of the shed...

  16. Graham Cunningham

    Am I the only one who read this story and thought... "Total Perspective Vortex"?

  17. Red Bren

    Space Lettuce?

    I'm not setting foot off this planet until the boffins invent Space Bacon!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it has to be said, Hams in Space? Pigs might Fly!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And in other news

    Bloke in shed invents a device that extracts energy from a self contained region of subspace time and figures out how to use off the shelf parts to build an interstellar information transference device.

    Wasn't there a series along these lines starring Richard Dean Anderson?

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