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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Ham TV Lets You Video Chat With The International Space Station


Now—if you catch a lucky window—you can video chat with the International Space Station.

Amateur radio enthusiasts have set up a "ham TV" system—the video counterpart to amateur or "ham" radio—from which folks on Earth can get video and sound from the space station. Astronauts aboard the space station, meanwhile, are able to hear (but not see) their Earth callers and respond.

 Actually making the call takes a bit of planning. The connection only works if the space station has a clear line of sight. The longest window of time a caller has is 20 minutes, and that's only if five portable ground stations are positioned in just the right way.

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