Saturday April 21th. at about 20:00 UTC I had a brief radio contact with Andre Kuipers who is an Astronaute on the I(nternational) S(pace) S(tation). I had planned this QSO since his spaceflight was announced.
I had tried to make contact before without any result till now. Was it luck? No. The same day I had a conversation with Cor (PD0RKC) and he told me about the presleep period of every Astronaute. Presleep is just another word for free time before going to sleep. So... I just called him Saturday the 21th. of April on 20:00 UTC and I had seen that Andre's Presleep period was scheduled from 19:30 - 21:30 UTC. At that time the ISS was travelling above the Netherlands.
I contacted him with my Icom IC-910H and my X-Yagi on 3 meters height directed by my Azimuth-Elevated rotor of AlphaSpid. I had to direct the antenna by hand and there was no doppler correction, because I still did not know my Icom IC-910H well enough to do so in satellite mode. That's the reason that Andre did not hear me...[more]