Astronauts on the International Space Station can now talk with people on Earth with video using simple transmitters. ‘Ham TV’ has been set up in ESA’s Columbus laboratory and already used for talking with ground control.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins had the honour of being the first to commission the unit and broadcast over Ham TV. He had a video chat with a ground station in Matera, Italy. The crew finished commissioning the set-up on 12 April 2014 for general use.
Ham TV will add to ham radio for space educational purposes, offering schoolchildren the chance to talk and see astronauts in space with simple equipment.
For more information on how to get involved and organise an educational event, contact the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organisation.