UK Astronaut gets Ham Licence

Major Tim Peake (Photo: ESA)
Major Tim Peake (Photo: ESA)

British astronaut Major Timothy Peake has just obtained his amateur radio licence – fuelling hope that when he visits the International Space Station next year, he’ll be making contact with amateur radio operators in the UK.

Tim’s new callsign is KG5BVI, which is a US Technician Licence (broadly equivalent to the UK’s Foundation, but without the practicals!). He obtained this whist training in Houston and has publicly stated a desire to join the ranks of amateurs and make use of the ISS amateur radio station during his 6 month tour of the ISS, scheduled for November 2015.

Tim,born in West Sussex, spent 17 years with the British Army and was selected to join the European Space Agency in 2009.

Well done to Tim and welcome to the world of amateur radio – when you’re flying over Essex, it’d be great if you could make contact – you’d be welcome to join the Monday Night Net too, if you’re passing!

UK Contacts with the ISS

The RSGB recently announced that Ofcom has agreed in principle to issue the permanent Special Callsign of GB1SS to the International Space Station, which will allow British astronauts who visit the ISS, to use a British callsign during their stay.

Amateur radio club, South Essex Amateur Radio Society is set to help a Canvey Island school make contact with the International Space Station in the coming months – they’re on a waiting list for a schools contact under the ARISS scheme and previously helped make a contact with the ISS in 2005.

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