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Man reaches astronauts with amateur radio

September 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A ham radio operator in East Texas pulled off a nearly impossible feat when he talked to astronauts at the International Space Station. "Alpha one sierra sierra kilo five delta golf yankee Pittsburg Texas," Darryl Young said into a radio.

"Hi Pittsburg, we catch you loud and clear," replied an astronaut.

Young was shocked when he got through.

The outpost is 250 miles away and travels at a speed of 17,000 miles an hour.

He figured he had about a two minute window to make contact using an inexpensive radio antenna.

"There's a guy that has all this fancy antenna with tracking and everything else who've been trying for three years. It's bragging rights. Hey, I talked to the space station," said Young.

NASA said it is not uncommon for people on the ground to contact the space station and talk to crew members.

Young said he just wishes they will slow down on their next flyover so he can actually carry on a conversation.

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