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International Space Station Crew Member Fires Up NA1SS to Seek Random Contacts


“Hello, America. This is the International Space Station. Who’s out there?”

And with that “CQ” of sorts on 145.800 MHz, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, MD, spent some time at the helm of NA1SS on October 6 making casual, random contacts — something that’s fairly rare these days. The ISS was on a pass that took the spacecraft up along the east coast of the US at the time. In response to a question, Auñón-Chancellor, who has been on station since June, told one caller that she’s been floating the entire time she’s been in space.

“We float every day. Float to work, float back to sleep. It is awesome,” she said.

Scott Chapman, K4KDR, of Montpelier, Virginia, edited a clip of downlink chatter by the 42-year-old flight surgeon and flight engineer.

“During most passes of the ISS where I'm working with the packet digipeater on 145.825, I also monitor 145.800 just in case there is any activity on that frequency,” Chapman said in a post to AMSAT-BB. “For the first time in my personal experience, today one of the astronauts was randomly calling to see if anybody was listening. Of course I tried to reply on 145.800 simplex, but there are a number of possible uplinks, and none of them were programmed into my radio. They are now! It was a real thrill and, like so much of this hobby, a learning opportunity.”

Auñón-Chancellor is aboard the ISS as part of the Expedition 56/57 crew. She’ll return to Earth in December. 

The Amateur Radio FM voice frequencies for stations in ITU Regions 2 and 3 are 145.800 MHz down and 144.490 MHz up. For stations in Region 1, the uplink frequency is 145.200 MHz.    



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