The conversations are a treat for the astronauts as well.
“You’re talking to someone and looking right down at where they are,” NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold II said.
Over the last 10 years, ham radio has become more popular, experts say, with about 750,000 licensed amateur operators across the U.S. (not all of whom are active on the air). Helping to drive that interest: emergency communications.
“Ham radio is when all else fails,” said Diana Feinberg, Los Angeles section manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. “Unlike other forms of communication, it does not require any kind of a switched network.”