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Former Ham-Astronaut Gets Back into Ham Radio


Former NASA Astronaut Susan J. Helms, ex-KC7NHZ, has renewed her interest in ham radio and now is KK6HNZ. Helms, a lieutenant-general in the US Air Force, now is the senior officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Due to pressing Air Force duties, she allowed her license to expire in 2005, but when the Satellite Amateur Radio Club (W6AB) hosted a 2013 Boy Scouts Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) activity for several local Scout troops, Helms’s interest returned, and she took and passed the Technician examination during a test session at the event. Word is that she’s applied to get her old call sign back.

In 2001 during her duty tour aboard the International Space Station, Helms thrilled ARRL Field Day participants by getting on the air from NA1SS in the first Field Day operation from space. She worked several dozen stations as the ISS passed over the US. — Thanks to Eric Lemmon, WB6FLY



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