Sounds from space: ISS

Did you know you can actually see with your naked eye the International Space Station (ISS) when it passes over your home? During passes when it is dark outside, early morning or late in the evening, the ISS itself is still in sunlight, and you can see it in the sky as a moving star.

It’s really fascinating to watch the ISS. But there’s even more. You can listen to the ISS as well. At a frequency of 145.825 MHz FM, licensed radio amateurs use dedicated equipment onboard the ISS for short message services, also called APRS. In very short packets of around 2 seconds (it’s digital communication), they can broadcast a message via the ISS to everyone in the ‘footprint’ (that is everyone that could ‘see’ the ISS at that very moment).

This same radio equipment is also used for voice contacts between astronauts and radio amateurs, as well as for daily for school contacts, when students ask astronauts onboard the ISS questions about their stay in space.

This video shows the ISS passing over the Netherlands (Europe) as a bright, moving star. You hear the bursts of digital communication and see them decoded on screen. LA4FPA (Norway), G6HMS (United Kingdom), IW9FRA (Italy), ON7DS (Belgium), YO8RBY (Romania), PA3GUO (Netherlands), OE1CWJ (Austria), UA1CAS (Russia) and SP9TTX (Poland) were active during this pass with their stations.

Camera: CANON HV30
Editing: SONY Vegas
Radio: Kenwood TS2000x

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