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21 March 2023

A Contact with the ISS


Tim Kirby talks to Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

Voices from the KO5MOS


Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, currently aboard the International Space Station is also an amateur radio enthusiast holding the callsign KO5MOS. As well as the pre-arranged contacts made between astronauts on the ISS and schools, Kjell has been using the radio equipment to make contacts with individual radio amateurs. Once his work day is complete, Kjell often turns up the volume on the crossband repeater equipment in the ISS and talks to stations on the ground.


Last night, Practical Wireless and RadioUser writer, Tim Kirby GW4VXE was lucky enough to make a contact with Kjell. Tim said, “I knew that Kjell was active on some of the passes, so I had been listening carefully as the International Space station approached from the west. For several days I had monitored each likely pass, with no sign of Kjell, but last night, as soon as the ISS popped up over the horizon, I put out a call and to my surprise and delight, Kjell replied!”.


After a brief contact with Tim, Kjell went on to make many other contacts as the ISS climbed higher in the sky towards Europe. A notable contact was with Isabella, aged 8, daughter of Matt M0LMK who sent Kjell a greetings message and was delighted when Kjell replied in return, thanking Isabella for taking the time to call him.

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Kjell is currently scheduled to be on the ISS until October, so there should be plenty more opportunities to hear him, operating under the callsign NA1SS from the Space Station. If you have a scanner, why not listen to the output of the crossband repeater on 437.800MHz (note that doppler shift will make the frequency vary during the pass, you will probably first hear it on 437.810 and then it will drop in frequency and it approaches and goes overhead, so you could set 5 channels up (437.810, 437.805, 437.800, 437.795 and 437.790).


If you are able to transmit, then the uplink to the crossband repeater is on 145.990MHz (CTCSS 67Hz).


Why not have a listen when the ISS is passing over and see what you hear?


Picture @ European Space Agency (ESA)