Year-Long NASA On The Air Event Kicks off on December 11

November 22nd, 2017 by

The Amateur Radio clubs at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers around the US have invited the Amateur Radio community to join the NASA On The Air (NOTA) special event. NOTA gets under way in December 2017 and continues through December 2018. In addition to being the agency’s 60th anniversary, 2018 will mark 50 years since NASA orbited the first human around the moon, and 20 years since the first elements of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched into low-Earth orbit.

Starting on Monday, December 11, 2017 (UTC), Amateur Radio club stations at various NASA centers and facilities will be on the air with special event operations to celebrate these monumental achievements, as well as current milestones. Some clubs will offer commemorative QSL cards, and a special certificate will be available indicating the number of NASA club stations worked on various bands and modes.

“We plan to have a web-based system for you to check your points total and download a printable certificate at the end of the event in December 2018,” the NASA announcement said. “Points will be awarded for each center worked on each band and mode (phone, CW, digital, and ‘space’ modes — satellites, meteor scatter, EME, ISS APRS).” That would, of course, include contacts with any of the Amateur Radio stations on the ISS.

Key anniversaries during NOTA include the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 on December 11, 2017, which kicks off the event; NASA’s founding on July 29, 1958; the 20th anniversary of the ISS first element launch on November 20, 1998; the 20th anniversary of the ISS Node 1 Launch on December 4, 1998, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 — launched on December 21, 1968, and returned on December 27 — marking the end of the event.

Ham radio clubs at various NASA facilities will sponsor their own special events to commemorate and celebrate specific events.

“We hope to be on the air for casual contacts and contests as well. All contacts with NASA club stations will count toward your total,” the announcement said. “QSL cards can be requested from each club you work and details will be on the individual QRZ.com profile page for each club call sign.”

Center/Facility Designator Call Sign State
Ames Research Center ARC NA6MF California
Armstrong Flight Research Center AFRC NA6SA California
Glenn Research Center GRC NA8SA Ohio
Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC WA3NAN Maryland
International Space Station ISS NA1SS, etc. Earth orbit
Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL W6VIO California
Johnson Space Center JSC W5RRR Texas
Kennedy Space Center KSC N1KSC Florida
Langley Research Center LARC KG4NJA Virginia
Marshall Space Flight Center MSFC NN4SA Alabama
Stennis Space Center SSC TBD Mississippi
Wallops Fight Facility WFF W4WFF Virginia
White Sands Complex WSC N5BL New Mexico

More information is on the NASA On The Air website. Participating Amateur Radio clubs, and the NASA On The Air (NOTA) event are independent of — and not officially sponsored by — NASA. — Thanks to Rob Suggs, KB5EZ, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club (NN4SA), and Kevin Zari, KK4YEL, NASA Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club (N1KSC).

Source:ARRL