Final Shuttle Flight STS 135

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

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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)..



9 responses to “Final Shuttle Flight STS 135

  1. Pingback: STS-135 launch | MSFC Amateur Radio Station

  2. Michael A. Tucker

    It was a pleasure makking contact with you today, 10 July 2011 at 1650Z on 14,272 MHz. Your signal was 5-9+ into Northern Michigan (Antrim County) where I am on vacation. My Equipment is an Icom 756PRO feeding an inverted-V, the apex of which is 60′. My normal QTH is Uncasville, CT. If you peruse, you will find my bio there. Again, thanks for the fine QSO, even with QSB on the band.

    73, Michael A. Tucker, W1MCT


    Thank you Alan for your contact I am the person wich try to contact you more than 40 minutes with my old equipment from the car having just 40 wats and in the end you did heard me, you made my day when you reconize my call sign, there were teribil condition, plus my week power -Thank you
    Please let me know what i have to do to receive the certificate
    Thank you again and 73
    Bogdan KC2WUO

  4. Richard KW0U

    Thanks for the QSO, given my 100W to an attic dipole in Minnesota! Conditions have not been great, but you made a terrific effort to catch everyone. I wish the event was, say, a Mars landing or asteroid visit (where we should be now, on the way to mining Jupiter’s atmosphere) but you are keeping the dream alive.

  5. Glenn Branch

    Thanks for the QSO, Even if we had trouble figuring each others call sign. I am using a G5RV with a ICOM IC718. My uncle retired from NASA’s Rosman Tracking Station but is now deceased. This would have been something for him to see. Thanks again

  6. chris kochanek

    Bonjour from Montreal,Quebec,Canada..My name is Krzysztof (Chris) and my callsign is VA2HU and i had a pleasure making a QSO with You on 19 july 2011..A few days ago i made myself a vertical delta loop antenna,which along with my Icom 765 with 100watts helped me to get a 5.9+20 signal report from You on 14.293Mhz ..That makes me very happy ,especially because you are a SPECIAL EVENT station,so it is a great event to remember..Your station makes a BIG positive mark in our new history,our human space challenge…Thank You for making it all happen,best regards from french speaking part of Canada..chris / va2hu/

  7. Currently on or near all of the stated frequencies. Looking for this last opportunity to work you guys. Are you operating today? De KC9NCF

  8. Michael Alauskas

    Michael Alauskas My name is Mike born in Princeton New Jersey lived in Palm Beach Gardens for 10 years. I made a QSO with you on July 11 at 1:20 UTC using a high sierra vertical antenna and icom ic-7000 with 100 watts on 14.286.50. I received you at a 5.1. Thank you very much for the contact.

  9. paddy mc cauley

    Thanks for answering my call,pleasure to talk with you,From Paddy MI1FCQ 19/07/11 2320 , 20m, My antenna sommer XP708 Log, covers from 40m to 6m,

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