Final Shuttle Flight STS 135, July 2011

STS-135 launch

STS135 Mission Patch

STS135 Mission Patch

WA4NZD will operate from NASA‘s Marshall Space Flight Center‘s club station after the launch of Atlantis to celebrate and commemorate STS-135, the final flight of the space shuttle program. The launch is currently scheduled for Friday morning, July 8th, 2011. This station may be in operation sporadically throughout the entire mission, based entirely on operator availability. Most likely the operating times will be during lunch and after work. Watch this website and our for the most timely updates in real time. Similar operations are being conducted at other NASA centers, including:

  • special event station N4S operating near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their information can be found via .
  • The JSC club station W5RRR near Houston, Tx ..
  • special event station N5S operating from near the White Sands Complex in New Mexico. Their web site can be found via
  • Hopefully, other NASA center radio clubs will be operating on nearby frequencies and several should be available for multiple contacts.

These are volunteers, and many of us are working supporting shuttle and ISS missions during our day-job time slots… please be patient with us.

The operating frequencies for WA4NZD are most likely to be near 7.280, 14.280, and 21.280. A confirmation certificate will be provided only to stations in our contact logs that submit a large 8.5 x 11 (#10) SASE, as this operation receives only voluntary contributions for postage and printing expenses. Confirmation via is of course at no cost.

We are proud to be able to support the shuttle program, and to be able to celebrate this final launch of the shuttle program. Bon Voyage . . . ! . . .

The STS135 crew

The STS135 crew

Listen for us and give us a call.
Thanks /;^)

( – update, as of 11am CDT 8 July 2011 – )
The orbiter Atlantis is underway, and has attained orbit.
Our special event operations will commence shortly.
Please also visit our Final Shuttle Flight page for additional thoughts.

( – update, as of 4:30pm CDT 8 July 2011 – )
We are currently on 20m at 14.280 +/- 10 kHz.
We managed to get thru the pileup and made contact with N4S, there were lots of stations calling them. Could be busy… /;^)

STS-135 In Orbit

Space Shuttle Program patch

Space Shuttle Program patch

(Atlantis is NOW on-orbit – 8 July 2011 !!)
‘s Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club will be on the air ! We are looking forward to making many contacts with amateur radio operators, in celebration of this final launch of the US Space Shuttle Program.
Additional details on this special event operation are on our home page.

Previous experience shows that folks are interested in NASA, and enjoy connecting with us via ham radio. It often seems that everyone these days either knows someone working on the space program, or has had friends neighbors, or relatives contributing to past missions in space.

It is hard to believe that out of NASA’s 50 years – we have been flying the shuttles for 30 of those years. Sometimes it seems like we have just begun.

These are exciting times, and the end of this shuttle program brings us a new opportunity to explore the next generation of discovery and further exploration. As sad as this is in many respects, this transition will allow NASA to re-utilize some of this talent and know-how to bring the future closer to reality.

We also need to invest heavily in our future scientists and explorers. Ham radio has been, and continues to be an excellent introduction to the world of science for many of us – please do your part to encourage and support our future generations by helping them to become involved in the world around us.

Thanks for your interest and support /;^)

STS 135 Landing

Posted on by

The pre-dawn landing of the Atlantis orbiter marked the end of the US Space Shuttle Program. New developments and technologies will continue to evolve our world, but only if we push the limits of our imagination – and encourage this upcoming generation of scientists and engineers to continue in our footsteps. We will need more than Prime-Time TV and unlimited downloads to actually motivate our offspring to seek answers to the world’s questions. Show them the wonders of the world in such a way as to generate questions. Don’t just give them the easy answers. They will in time derive solutions much better than ours.

I always like to think that ham radio plays an important role in fostering exploration and discovery, that surely was the case for me. Speaking for the handful of ham operators that performed this special event here for the last two weeks; we certainly had our share of challenges and constraints, but we feel our mission was accomplished. We pulled together our limited resources, pooled our talents, and shared our enthusiasm for the space program with hundreds of fellow operators that nearly always thanked us and congratulated us on the success of NASA. We greatly appreciated your enthusiasm and interest.

WA4NZD Mission Patch for STS135

WA4NZD Mission Patch for STS135

Nine of our club members have collectively logged contact with 262 ham radio operators during our lunch hours, time after work, and even coming back to the Center on the weekends. Those that got onto our log sheets and that send us a SASE will receive our certificate, to confirm their contact. We expect the full log to be uploaded into after processing is complete. We would have liked to have had more operators, more time on the bands, and more contacts – but we really appreciated this opportunity to participate in such an historic event.
Not bad for a club that has only recently come out of hibernation.
Maybe next time…. The US Space Program is NOT over ..!..

Our thanks to the club operators, in no particular order :
(and the supporting members that helped to bring this club back to life)..


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