22Aug2015

Radio Ham Talks To Space Station From Garden Shed

Radio enthusiast  Adrian Lane, 52, put out a call from his garden shed - and found himself speaking to the International Space Centre

Radio enthusiast Adrian Lane, 52, put out a call from his garden shed – and found himself speaking to the International Space Centre Photo: SWNS oup

An amateur radio enthusiast has described how he made contact with the International Space Station from his garden shed. many have tried and failed but once in awhile, someone gets lucky.

Adrian Lane, 52, a former lorry driver, spent weeks trying to make contact after being told that astronauts were due to pass over his home. The father-of-two plotted the space station’s route and worked out the brief window during which it would be 200 miles overhead, travelling at 18,500mph.

As it came into his frequency he sent out a call with his unique sign and to his astonishment an American astronaut answered back to “welcome him aboard”. The station was in range for just four minutes and the pair chatted for around 50 seconds before they lost contact.

Live from Space

The ISS was in radio range for about 50 seconds Photo: Alamy

Mr Lane, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, admitted that it was a mundane conversation in which he asked what it was like in space and got the response: “Very dark”. But he said it still “blew his mind”. The adrenaline was pumping a little bit,” he said. “I said to them how wonderful earth must look from up there. They said ‘oh Adrian, it’s amazing, you can’t imagine what it looks like from up here’.

“He said it was very dark but when you look down at Earth it is full of colour. I basically asked who he was and how things were in space that day. It was such a rush. “I was buzzing. It’s not every day you get to talk to some guy out in space.”

Some ISS crew members are known to make unscheduled radio contacts with amateurs, known as hams, during their breaks or at weekends. But Mr Lane spends most of his time using permitted frequencies to talk to fellow enthusiasts around the world.

Adrian Lane contacted the International Space Centre from his shed

But he admitted that his wife, Deilwen, did not share his passion for the hobby. “She hates it with a passion,” he said. “We’ve had so many rows over it. Even the kids know where to find me. Where’s dad? Oh, he’s in the shed again.”

Meanwhile, ten schools have been shortlisted to make contact with British astronaut Tim Peake via amateur radio when he joins the ISS for a six month stint in December. There will be a ten minute window when the space station is flying over the UK and some of the schools will have the opportunity to make direct contact with him during that time.

However, they will not know which have been selected until much nearer the time due to location and timings. UK Telegraph

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