The International Space Station

Periodic amateur radio activity from the International Space Station (ISS) offers a unique opportunity to work some "DX" using a VHF radio - even a handy-talky. Here is some info and links to get you started.

Updated: 24 June 2008

Operators/callsigns for past, present, and upcoming flights from the

Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club.

Voice communication:

Downlink (Rx)
145.800 MHz
Uplink (Tx)
144.490 MHz

Although the ISS provides digital modes of communication via packet radio, the emphasis here will be on voice communication. The downlink (Rx) and uplink (Tx) frequencies for voice are provided above. Program your VHF station/mobile/HT to use the downlink fx with a down-shift (-) offset of 1.310 MHz. Most VHF radios are capable of being programmed with shift frequencies other than the standard 600Hz. Go to one of the first 3 websites below for tracking schedules for your location. When the ISS is within a range of 500 miles of your location, and if the operator is available, QSOs can usually be made with a typical VHF transceiver: mobile, base, or even an HT. A weekly email of scheduled flyovers for your location is available from NASA. Also, listen for the sound of packet signals on 145.800 preceding a flyover.

The QSO protocol is to listen on the downlink fx until you hear the operator call CQ, QRZ?, or ask for a call; whereupon you then give your callsign phonetically once. If the operator responds to you, give your callsign again and a signal report, along with a brief comment or query if you wish. That's it! For USA hams, QSL via: ARISS QSL, c/o ARRL.

To here what a QSO sounds like, right click here to download an audio clip of a QSO made by Randy, WX5L, with Bill McArthur, KC4ACR, as he was operating as NA1SS on Flight 12. Give it a try and good luck with your contact!


ISS & satellite tracking, email flyover alerts, orbital schedules, etc.
ISS Fan Club
Info for hams interested in the ISS.
Amateur Radio on the ISS
ISS commander, NA1SS, nears DXCC from space (Note: He worked 130 entities).
BackBack to DDXA Home page