2018 NASA On the Air Event

2018 is a big year for NASA anniversaries and the amateur radio clubs at NASA centers would like for you to help us celebrate.  It will be 60 years since NASA was created, 50 years since NASA orbited the first man around the moon, and 20 years since the first elements of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched into low-Earth orbit.

The amateur radio club stations at the various NASA centers and facilities plan to be on the air with special event operations to celebrate these monumental achievements, as well as current milestones. Some clubs will be offering commemorative QSL cards and a special certificate will be available indicating how many NASA club stations you 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.  Points will be awarded for each center worked on each band and mode (phone, CW, digital, and “space” modes). The event will run from December 11, 2017 through December 27, 2018 with the following key dates:

Apollo 17 45th anniversary – 11-14 December 2017, beginning of event

NASA founded 60th anniversary (Space Act signed by President Eisenhower) – 29 July 1958

ISS First Element Launch 20th anniversary – 20 November 1998

ISS Node 1 Launch 20th anniversary – 4 December 1998

Apollo 8 50th anniversary – launch 21 December 1968, splashdown 27 December, end of event

Note that there will be other special event operations by the various centers commemorating and celebrating specific events, but those listed above will include participation from most of the clubs. All operating modes are fair game including “space” modes such as satellites, meteor scatter, EME, ISS APRS, etc. 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. QSL cards can be requested from each club you work and details will be on the individual QRZ.COM pages for each club callsign.

Here is a list of the participating centers and facilities with designators and callsigns for each:

Center/Facility Acronym Callsign 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/White Sands Test Facility WSCTF N5BL New Mexico

Check back for direction to further details of the event and information on how to check your contacts and obtain a certificate at the end of the event.

Please help us celebrate this significant anniversary year for your space agency.  We look forward to working you!

The participating amateur radio clubs, and the NASA On The Air (NOTA) event activities are independent of, and not officially sponsored by NASA.

QSL information for NN4SA

NASA On The Air Website


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  1. Pingback: NASA On The Air | wa2jqz

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