Although the lockdown of Johnson Space Center (JSC) postponed amateur radio training and licensing over the past 7 months, NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, was able to work with all of the new astronaut-class graduates, as well as offer some refresher courses with already-licensed astronauts. Licensed astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) may operate the on-station ham radio equipment without restrictions.
Astronauts often participate in Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts with schools and groups on Earth.
NASA Astronaut Kayla Barron, who completed her introductory course in June and received basic ham radio operations training in late September, recently tested and received the call sign KI5LAL.
European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer passed his amateur radio exam on July 30, and he got his basic ham operations training in July. He now is KI5KFH.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, completed the refresher course earlier this year. Two other new astronauts are in the queue to take the Technician license exam. — Thanks to Rosalie White, K1STO